Dancing when abroad

I have a question mostly for followers/ladies: do you usually go to milongas when visiting a new city during holidays ? I do not have a regular partner and I find it very difficult to pluck up the courage to go alone and risk being ignored the whole night. Actually, I only did this twice, in Berlin, and I managed to have a nice dance with someone who was also visiting. I know that there is a facebook page for people who want to dance in airports, between two planes, I wonder if there is such a thing for travelers who want to dance in a foreign city and who happen to be in the same place. Thank you in advance for your answers !
Firstly, you may post in Stranded at an Airport group about finding a partner in a place other than an airport. It has been successfully done in the past.

Secondly, there is a FB group Tango Globus where people exchange current information about local milongas in the cities they visit. It is mostly Russian speaking, but quite a few participants are world travelers and fluent in many other languages. You are most welcome to join, and count on my full support, linguistic or other. :)

Thirdly, for me visiting a local milonga may be more of an ethnographic expedition than a milonga outing. I am aware of the fact that Argentine Tango in a given diaspora (or in a given milonga) may have little, if anything at all, in common with what I know as Argentine Tango. Hence, I may not want or be able to dance there much, or even at all. It is not about that. I am still interested to go, see, and experience. And if on top I can dance, yupee. :)
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Although I'm not a follower, I do travel a lot and always look up local tango events whether they be a milonga, an event (like the Tango USA Championships) or just a class. The short answer to your question, and not to repeat the good suggestions by Lilly, is to a) search on 'Tango in <City>', find a site that is posting schedules (like TangoMango.org in the San Francisco Bay Area, or TangoBerlin.com, or...you get the idea) and then b) see if there is a contact who is running the event. I've often contacted the folks in advance to make sure the event is happening, and as a way of introducing myself. It doesn't guarantee anything but it does enable some communications prior to the event. If the event organizer is nice/friendly, they could take you under their wing, introduce you to others and generally make you feel welcome and provide a dance or two. I've had both experiences where I've been made to feel welcome by folks, and the opposite where I and wife were completely ignored. There can be lots of reasons for this, but it does bug me when places are not friendly. It doesn't take much to make someone feel welcome. Anyways, that is a subject for another topic.

The other idea is to take a class. I will often take a class even if it's a beginning class because a) there is always something to learn/practice and b) - and this is the most important reason...you meet people. Even if you only exchange a few pleasantries (assuming one can communicate) such as your name, it shows that you are interested in Tango and are a nice person (presumably). I've found that classes are an excellent ice-breaker, but it does require a greater investment in time and a few dollars (or euros or whatever the currency is).

I think my two suggestions would go a long way down the road of success, but it is hit and miss depending on so many factors.

Try out the ideas and let us know what you find. Hopefully it's good news!


Well-Known Member
There is no general rule Anapura. I alway vitit milongas abroad and I alway meet travelling women who do the same abroad. Very often people introduce themself in the local fb groups beforehand. But of course, sometime there will be disappointing experiences, (but the same happens at home).
Thank you for your suggestions. Taking a class before the milonga is a wonderful idea, if only I knew German well enough to be able to understand the teacher.
I've been in that situation many times. If you are in a big city (or even mid size) then there is likelihood the instruction will be in English. Or, there is often someone in the class who does speak English and can translate. And/or the instructor may come over to you and speak English to give you the instruction. I'd say don't worry as people are usually curious about visitors and will help you feel welcome.
I always go to local milongas when travelling! In fact I plan my business trips around the milongas of the place I am going to. Often I end up in places where I don't speak the local language and people don't speak English: China was one such place. This is the best feeling in the world - a pure, undiluted tango language. When you don't have to say anything, no small talk - just dancing! I also went to Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland. Some people there spoke English, some didn't. But everywhere I felt welcomed - Paris, Viena, Barcelona, Shanghai, Zurich...

One thing I have to say - the only place so far where I spent the whole night sitting, not a single cabeceo, all my miradas ignored, was New York. People in all other places are at least curious about new faces. I never spent the whole evenings with no dancing while abroad. Buy in New York... it was not my skill as I never got a chance to show it. People were just socializing with their own friends and looking over my head at my attempt to establish eye contact... That was disappointing. But will not deter me from going to every place I can when traveling! :)
I know that there is a facebook page for people who want to dance in airports, between two planes, I wonder if there is such a thing for travelers who want to dance in a foreign city and who happen to be in the same place.
At an airport you've nothing, have virtually to create your own milonga "on the fly".
But in a bigger city with well-established milongas - is it worth the effort to date someone for one or two tandas there?

@newbie: How should a tango community in a 8 million city be heterogeneous, e.g. cliquish?
Like LivingstonSeagull, I also try to fit a little tango into my business trips. I have generally found people cautiously welcoming - in Tango there seems to be a reluctance to dance with new folk, I guess in case they turn out to be a complete beginner - or just bad. Once you get past the first dance, it's usually a lot easier to get subsequent dances.

My favourite work-around is to try to get to any pre-milonga class as you can generally dance with someone you met in class thus avoiding the whole first mirada/cabeceo issue.

As LivingstonSeagull says, language doesn't tend to be a problem


Staff member
From my experience and observations (in the US), big crowded milongas tend to be more difficult for new faces (visitors or newbies), than the smaller ones. Also, at some milongas (at least in the Northeast, like New York and Boston), some women will ask men to dance (verbally). In that type of environment, a new women is at a big disadvantage, if she's just sitting there, waiting for a cabeceo.
I can see that. I like dancing with newbies fine, but if it's very crowded I don't want to take a risk on an unknown follower. If they don't know how to keep their dance small, we run a greater risk of bumping into someone. I danced with a new (to me) person on a crowded floor last week, and they liked big, dramatic Pugliese-appropriate steps. I like them too, but I definitely wasn't leading them, and they were way too big for the space. I had to stop them mid-song to say, "let's keep our steps tiny, so we don't bump anyone"
I don't know an activity where it is easier to get contact during a journey than Tango. And I'm happy that the Internet is there to get informations on time.
If I'm well in balance in my local community, I can get over a mediocre experience abroad from time to time...
When traveling I always try to work in as many milongas as I can. Even if I don't dance I can listen to the music and enjoy the ambience. Oftentimes I'll be able to chat with someone, maybe find out more about food and entertainment in the area.

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