why run a milonga
I run milongas and I don't teach - to some this makes me a pariah - I am not sure why. I suspect they think I make pots of money from the milongas, or that I do it to make others lives miserable! On the contrary I run milongas because I love organising events, I love putting together playlists of Golden Age, I get a real buzz when people tell me they have enjoyed the night and it is a great social occasion for me. Today I was reading an article about tango in Buenos Aires in relation to the ongoing Festival/Championship and there was a very well-thought out paragraph on the roll of the milonga which said: "Milongas have always been the lynch pin of tango culture. However they are independently financed and generally receive no financial subsidy from the government. Coordinating and sustaining a milonga is a precarious business. The organiser must rent a salon, hire a band, and pay to market the event. Often the salon owner takes all the money from the bar, leaving only the money from the door to cover the rest of the costs." ["Tourism and Tango: Dream Partners or Four Left Feet", by Kate Beloley, 15 August, 2012, The Argentina Independent.] And so it is in Sydney. I don't pay a band because I can't afford it, and every time I make a small profit it seems to get swallowed up in the other costs of annual insurance, APRA fees and equipment like lights, candles and CDs. In Sydney as in Buenos Aires milongas are 'the lynch pin'. They are the place where dancers socialise, dance the steps they have learnt in class, dance with friends (and hopefully strangers as well) and steep themselves in tango culture. I run a milonga because I like doing it!