If you are coming to dance from outside Cambridge, then welcome! We look forward to seeing you. Here is a rough guide to how things work in a Cambridge tango milonga -more information on music, shoes and a general FAQ is coming soon.
Music in the milongas is always played in tandas of three or four pieces from the same style, era, or orchestra. A break between tandas will be signalled by a cortina (a short piece of non-danceable music) or by a short silence, depending on the DJ. The floor does not clear totally during tandas and couples will often dance more than one tanda, chatting on the floor through the cortina. Some couples dance exclusively with each other but this is rare. The DJs in Cambridge are pretty ‘traditional’ in other words they play mostly music from the golden age with the odd newer track or ‘special’, though we don’t play salsa.
It is acceptable for followers to invite leaders to dance, but much more common for leaders to invite. You are more likely to secure a ‘yes’ to your invitation if you use the cabeceo, or at least make eye-contact with the invitee before walking across the floor. However plenty of people do ask verbally. Some of our followers lead, and some leaders follow. We very rarely have show dances during a milonga, but we do have the birthday vals tradition.