Archive for the ‘Milongueros’ Category

Ernesto Jorge DeGouvea

July 14, 2019

I went out for a walk this afternoon for exercise and fresh air on this cool, but sunny, day in Buenos Aires.  I didn’t take my usual route and suddenly noticed Jorge sitting in a restaurant.  I was so happy to see him.  The last time I saw him was almost a year ago when he danced an exhibition in Obelisco Tango at the beginning of the annual Festival y Mundial de Tango.

I went inside to talk.  He had finished having a meal, so we had time for a chat.  He’s still going regularly to dance a few times a week.

I realized that I’ve known Jorge longer than any other milonguero.  I danced with him during my visit in 1997.  Many milongueros with whom I danced over the years are gone.  Jorge is still dancing and still smiling.  It was so good seeing him today.  I’m glad I had my camera in my pocket to snap these photos of him.


Nestor Leon

May 2, 2019

October 25, 1934 – May 2, 2019


Ten commandments of the milongueros

April 19, 2019

These are the unwritten rules that every milonguero respects.

1.  Thou shalt always dress well.  A milonguero bathes and shaves before the milonga. A pressed suit, clean shirt and tie are his uniform. Trimmed hair, shined shoes, and scent of cologne complete his attire for the milonga.

2.  Thou shalt dance ones own style.  A milonguero is a self-taught dancer with his own style, who can dance elegantly with any woman and make her happy.  A milonguero has learned by observing others, but he never copied them.

3.  Thou shalt dance well or not at all.  If there is no woman with whom he can dance his best, a milonguero is content to listen to the music and observe the dancing.

4.  Thou shalt dance for yourself and your partner.  A milonguero dances what he feels and transmits that feeling to his partner.  He doesn’t dance to perform or for applause.

5.  Thou shalt treat women with respect.  A milonguero never approaches a woman at her table or greets women while entering the milonga.

6.  Thou shalt invite a woman to dance from the table. A milonguero uses either a tilt of the head or movement of the lips to invite a woman to dance.  The invitation is subtle and not obvious to others in the salon.  Once a woman refuses his invitation, he will not invite her again.

7.  Thou shalt not dance with another man’s partner.  A milonguero takes time to watch the floor for several tandas so that he knows if a woman he wants to invite has a commitment with another man.  This is not always obvious since they sit separately, but dance only with one another.  A milonguero learned patience.

8.  Thou shalt dance in the floor space available.  A milonguero dances compactly without interfering with others dancing.  If he touches other dancers, he quickly acknowledges it by raising his hand.

9.  Thou shalt not dance consecutive tandas. A milonguero dances only when the music inspires him.  He can wait hours to hear his favorite orchestra or a certain tanda that inspires him to dance.  A milonguero prefers quality over quantity of dances.

10. Thou shalt not be seen leaving the milonga with a woman.  A milonguero arranges to meet a woman on the street.  He always leaves the milonga alone, just as he enters it.


“The codes are like the commandments which were born with the tango.”  — Ricardo Vidort

A long search for a milonguero

January 21, 2019

His daughter Veronica reported him missing November 22.  Friends  announced his disappearance on social media.  He was found hospitalized in a coma.  He’s recovering.  What a relief.  Veronica was searching for him for almost two months.  Juan Carlos is 81.

Pedro Faroldo

January 13, 2019

January 3, 1929 —

Pedro (Toto) FaraldoToto celebrated 90 years dancing an exhibition at Club Gricel.

Video    Interview

José Guillermo Salurso

January 10, 2019

May 17, 1934 – November 22, 2009

I remembered the feeling, dancing in his embrace.  I was only dreaming this morning.  El Tano Guillermo, as he was known in the milongas, was the first milonguero with whom I danced.  That was in Milwaukee where he was living with his family for decades. Eventually he returned to his roots in Buenos Aires.  His teaching and dancing had a tremendous impact on me.  El Tano was a character who I will never forget.  I’m glad he appeared today in my dream.

Alberto Luis Ayala

January 5, 2019

July 2, 1941 — ?

I saw Beto this morning.  He was smiling and gave me the news that we were going to dance together very soon.  I was so happy to see him after such a long time.  I think of him every so often.  Seeing him today was significant, even if it was only a dream.  It proves he is still in my thoughts and in my heart.  I don’t know where he is and have no way of finding him.  He doesn’t answer his cell phone or call me.

I joined Beto and his wife Teresa at their table in the milongas for several years.  Beto and I gave private classes together in my apartment.  I loved dancing with him.

Francisco Gysel

December 18, 2018

September 26, 1940 – December 17, 2018

I have only one video of Francisco dancing with Elba in Lo de Celia.  He was one of very few milongueros who taught tango.

Roberto Segarra

November 23, 2018

September 16, 1920 – November 21, 2018

Roberto con su novia Olga Gomez en Club Fulgor de Villa Crespo

Roberto con su novia Olga Gomez

Carlos Herrera

October 12, 2018

October 12, 1934 —

I almost didn’t recognize Carlos when I saw him on Wednesday at El Beso, but I did recognize his embrace.  I didn’t know if he recognized me since we have not danced together in more than two years.  I was happy to see him, and he invited me for two tandas.