Ethics in Tango

On our events we welcome people from all nationalities, all ages, all backgrounds. This means that we have to deal with a mingle of cultures. Unfortunately this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings. To avoid this, please read this code of ethics. Not to be confused with the codigos. Understand them more as the unwritten laws in ethical attitude of a tango dancer.

How do you behave in a milonga,?

* In close embrace-salons, codigos are applied to regulate the etiquette
1. between the attendees
2. the floor craft.

Honour them, than you honour the history, the traditions, the culture, the music, the dance, … Apart from that also respect the unwritten ‘codigos”, it is to say, your ethical attitude towards people. Do not touch your dance partner in a sexual way during instruction, classes, milonga,… (unless it is your lover. But even that can be compromised is some countries).

Keep in mind that the salon/close embrace-Tango is a very gender-conventional environment, far more than our daily lives, our cultural, our country. Be aware if somebody exposes too much sexism, to talk about it.

* Everyone present in a milonga has the responsibility that the other attendees can enjoy a beautiful time. That includes that you don’t raise your voice level to speak over the music, don’t be grumpy, don’t invade a part of the dance floor with your bags, shoes, don’t criticise the tangueri in attendance, don’t teach, … Remember, if you smile you are so much more attractive.

* If a tanguera/o doesn’t want to dance with you in a very close embrace (for whatever reason), respect that. Open your embrace or frame. In some countries they are accustomed to dancing in an open embrace. Not everyone feels comfortable in entering someone else’s comfort zone/personal space.

* Take care of new people. A first appearance on a milonga can be overwhelming. For some it was a traumatised experience, others were guided by their dance teacher or fellow dancers.
If you spot a person new to the tango world, you can say hello and welcome them. Introduce them to codigos and culture. Or even invite to share your table.

* Don’t interrupt a couple that is dancing. Leave them in their own little world. Let them enjoy their mutual presence, being together as one. In all probability you spoil their opportunity of a “divine embrace”.

* Mind that you are not the only one who wants to have a good time. Maybe today you are dancing like crazy, next week you experience a hardship-milonga. In stead of prevailing the floor, see to it that others also have fine hours. Don’t be egoistic and claim a certain dancer, don’t play dirty with the cabaceo. Recognise the qualities of other dancers as well and leaders behave like a gentleman.

* When you attend a milonga, refrain from provoking maestro’s, teachers, self-proclaimed instructors, organisers and their students with each other. A conflict can disrupt a tango community for years.

* Maintain high standards in honesty and integrity. Behave as a grown adult concerning your relationships with your dance partners, people you are or were romantically involved with, or people with whom you have frictions, … don’t let it interfere with the atmosphere of the milonga, classes, practica.

* Think on the rule of unwritten reciprocity. When another dancer, a student, an organiser offers you free transportation and/or accommodation and/or meal and drinks, you own them something.
In all likelihood they will expect that in return for the free support, you will dance with them (or their partner) on a next occasion or even thereafter depending on the amount you received.

If you really have been offered significant assistance to become a professional, you start a long term relation with your benefactor and he/she will expect to be repaid for years.

Contribution: Kristin Daenen
Thailand Tango Community – for more, click here!


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