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This post is not directed at well-seasoned DJs or those rare dancers who study tango music.  This post is to educate dancers on what you ‘should’ expect at an organized milonga.

Call me crazy but when I go to a milonga I expect thoughtfully constructed tandas and  cortinas that are not danced.  I expect the night to flow in this way:  easy-to-dance-to tandas to warm up the crowd and then slowly building up to more complex music as the evening progresses.  I expect that when the first song of the tanda is a milonga, the rest of the tanda will be milonga (or vals, or tango from the same orchestra within a similar feel).

This news is not new and has been widely written about for years.  An example of such can be found here on Steven Brown’s website or here on Keith Elshaw’s site.

A good DJ is nothing without the dancers and good dancers are great dancers with a thoughtful DJ.

Some folks think that all you need to do is pop on a cd or press shuffle on your iPod and voila you are a bona fide DJ.  To me a DJ is that unseen entity at the milonga that, unless really bad, you don’t necessarily notice.  A good DJ adds to the connection and allows dancers to go to that ‘tango high’ by providing a clear and concise night of music.  A good DJ is incredibly intuitive and works with the ever-changing energy of the crowd.  A good DJ doesn’t show off their incredible knowledge with some rare B-side tanda that leaves dancers feeling lost in space nor does he or she ignorantly mix up the rhythms.

Being a DJ is not easy.  It takes practice, knowledge, and respect for the music.  It takes time.  I love it when people are excited about the music, when they notice the music.  Hey, I am not saying I am a great DJ, I have a lot more to learn.  I am just asking  that you pay attention to the music and tip your hat to the guy or gal who has done a great job all night being DJ, probably without pay .  And then I ask that you not indulge the bad DJ by supporting their events or better yet suggest a really great DJ for their next event, they may even be relieved.

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