Last night was probably one of the most enjoyable nights that I’ve had at tango in a long while. My friend Dirk’s family owns some land outside of Battleground, WA with horse stables and their own private tango setup. It kind of looks like a large gazebo (without the fancy white trimmings and everything), with a mirror on one of the walls. They had put up Christmas lights around the perimeter of the dance hall to truly give it a more magical feeling.
What I love about this milonga is that the people know before showing up that it will be laid-back, that there is no need for impressing people. It’s really an evening to share with friends. Of course, some regular tango rules apply: cabaceo, line of dance, dancing full tandas, etc. But no one will look and wonder why you are spending more time socializing than dancing.
Last night was particularly enjoyable because of the company. I brought along one of my good friends who I’ve known since we were both in kindergarten together, his girlfriend, a couple of close friends, and then one of their friends who I had never met. Turns out the addition was a perfect compliment to those of us who were already close. I truly love meeting new people and hearing their stories. It just makes life more interesting. It also makes for good dancing.
There is something to be said about dancing outside with the moon shining down upon everyone, especially with the glow of the hanging Christmas lights, a little Pugliese or D’Arienzo wafting through the night air, and the constant soft murmur of people uniting, reuniting, or just meeting for the first time.