The term “milonga” has three meanings:
- A “Milonga” is a social event or location for tango dancing. More simply, milongas are tango dance parties. People who dance at milongas are known as “Milongueros”.
- “Milonga” refers to a distinct style of tango. which tends to be faster-paced and less complex. Milonga tends to place greater emphasis on the rhythm of the music. Dancers must strive to keep their bodies relaxed, as syncopated pauses are not made.There are two distinct styles of Milonga, Milonga Liso and Milonga Traspié.
- Milonga refers to a music genre, which is distinguished by its faster-paced beat, requiring dancers to take quicker steps.
Milonga has the following attributes:
- Fast-paced dance.
- The embrace can be either open or close.
- Incorporates many of the normal tango steps, but due to its fast pace, the vast repertoire available to modern tango cannot be reproduced in full in the milonga (for example many of the embellishments, which require a pause).
- It is played and danced in 2/4 beat rather than the standard 4/4.
- Generally every beat (or sub-beat) is stepped on.
In Milonga lisa, or simple milonga, the dancer steps on every beat of the music.
Traspié literally means “trip”… Milonga traspié is considered the next level of dancing beyond simple milonga. It plays with the space between the beats to syncopate the tango steps – finding the essence of the milonga. In milonga con traspié the dancer may use either traspié or contrapasos (changes of weight) to achieve double time, or even to step thrice over two beats (true syncopation).