In the last few months, I‘ve presented some of my friends. All of them share a vision of Tango as a social encounter, to be danced in a close embrace in deep connection with partner, music and the other dancers in the Ronda. They may not be living in Buenos Aires and most of them are fairly young - but they are real Milongueros.
They are nevertheless not as lucky as a Milonguero in BA, who can find a traditional Milonga every evening in his barrio. All his friends will be close and he will never lack opportunities to dance with great partners. Plus: dancers from all over the world will come and visit. Buenos Aires is one big Encuentro Milonguero!
The European Milonguero‘s situation is totally different. He/she will find little opportunity to dance in his home town or region, because there are just not enough traditional Milongas - if at all. This is why most of them spend many hours in cars, trains and planes to travel to the next Milonga, Encuentro or Festivalito and meet friends who share their philosophy. This costs a lot of money, energy and time. At home, they try to build up Tango communities by teaching and organising Milongas or bigger events. But this is a work in progress - it takes years! Only few of them make a small income by teaching or DJing - most of them spend far more on Tango, than they could ever earn. And solely by their enthusiasm, traditional Tango has come that far outside of Argentina.
I only mentioned some of my closest friends, the ones that I know best and that I can tell authentic stories about. There are many more - some of them thousands of kilometres apart. But this lack of Milongas and friends nearby has been turned into an advantage: distances are crossed, international friendships are formed and great events for Milongueros have developed. Social Tango has become an European phenomenon of a very unique variety. And I‘m honoured to be a part of it!