The moment or should I say process of entering a milonga is very special for me. I think savoring the moment is something very important in tango, and for me it starts at the moment I am standing outside the milonga entrance. There is a certain amount of expectation for the night even before, of course, but this is when I really start enjoying the sensation.
As I move into the building, the sound of music becomes more clear, maybe the dj plays a nice song, and I get this uplifted feeling, raising the expectations for the night. This is even more exciting for unknown milongas, but it goes for my regular milongas as well. I just love when I have to climb some stairs to get to the milonga (think Niño Bien), feeling the music getting stronger with each step.
After entering the venue, I prefer taking a moment in the back, watching the floor. How is the mood today, who’s dancing, is it crowded, or will I there be space for the occacional caminata? Are any of my favorite dancers present, and if so, am I able to locate where they sit? I am now taking the first small steps towards taking action: finding a table, determining whom to ask (with the cabeceo, of course) to dance. If my friends are not dancing, I greet them and might sit at their table. If possible I change my shoes before entering, else I do it as discreetly as possible while taking in the mood of the night. Getting ready.
In all milongas where they serve drinks, I get something to drink, a beer, maybe some champagne, and have a taste while I watch the floor and listen to the music. Waiting for the right moment…
I wanted to write about this special moment for some time, and the challenge of una tanguera made it irresistable.