…bringing the best in Argentine Tango to Madison!

Welcome Calendar Membership Other Tango About MTS
Argentine Flag Dancing Feet in Tango Shoes

Milonga Codigos

Ideas are based upon information from Gustavo Benzacry Saba’s book “Embracing Tango”.

Codigos are rules of behavior that govern participants at a social dance, a milonga.

The codigos chosen for this month will relate to this following central theme; that a Milonga is a social dance experience that is for the respectful enjoyment of all dancers.

1. The strictest Codigo is that dancers must know how to dance.

We do not go there to learn but to use and enjoy what we have learned.

Learn at a lesson or practica or in your own practice. Rehearse at a practica or elsewhere.


Dance using movements the couple can manage. The couple gets to know each other during the tanda. The lead should not risk a movement that they are not capable of.

Walk more with rhythm than focusing on Figures. If we do not walk well and stand well and connect well, our figure will not work well.

Do not teach or ask for corrections or criticize each other while dancing as dancing is a gesture of solidarity between two people.

Learn from each other through the dance itself.

2. Do not stop dancing if you make a mistake.

This is an improvised dance so resolve your mistake with an accommodation that is not obvious or that interferes with other dancers.  However, pausing or stillness is part of the dance. The dance is an organic living thing that pauses and renews and continues until the music and tanda stop.

3. Invite a partner of similar ability.

Practicas lessons and other venues are for practicing. Milongas are for mutual enjoyment.

4. No one is obliged to accept a dance.

5. No one changes partners during a tanda.

The first two dances are for the couple to get to know each other. At the end of the tanda escort you partner back to their seat. Honoring the previous codigos will prevent this embarrassing situation from occurring

6.  If one of the dancers wants to stop dancing, do so at the end of a piece of music with polite thanks.

7. At the end of the Tanda the lead escorts the partner to their seat.

Courtesy and good manners are the basis of the codigos