Although the different type of tango events that we can find may seem obvious to the most seasoned and experienced tango dancers, we thought it was worth putting together a quick explanation outlining the considerations we took when defining the different categories that can be used in our tango agenda. We think that this clarification will not only help newcomers into the global tango scene to better understand the differences in the tango programs on offer but also it will be useful to align how tango events are presented and searched for. This way we achieve a unified and simpler methodology to put the right tango events in front of the right audiences.
Obviously, each event is unique in its own way and may not tick all the boxes of the definitions we provide here, but we think it is good practice to categorise them in order to set the expectations as much as possible. We also acknowledge that some international Tango Festivals are so big nowadays that may even include a Tango Marathon in their schedule, or they are so different and original that may not fit any of the proposed categories at all. Our tango database only allows to assign one category per event entry hence, for the cases where there are different types of tango events mixed together, we recommend applying the category that will apply to the maximum number of participants. That is the applicable category to the sub-event that will have the biggest number of tango dancers in its Milongas. And for those pretty unique tango events, or that simply do not fit any of the proposed categories, we have reserved an additional category called Uncategorised Tango Events. But we believe that over 90% of the events will fit into one of the traditional tango categories that we define below.
It is also worth mentioning that to further describe and structure the presentation of tango events in an orderly manner, we also make use of “Tags” in order to capture those traits that may apply to any tango event regardless of its category. For example, the tag Queer may be applicable to a Queer Tango Marathon or to a Queer Tango Festival. Tags can also be used to further describe Uncategorised Tango Events.
The category is just one of the several taxonomies we have introduced in our tango events directory in order to make it as easy as possible to find what you are looking for. However, beyond categories, you can also search for tango events based on keywords, dates, countries, tango maestros, event duration, Tags, the number of expected tango dancers, services, registration type/dates, etc. We make it very easy to filter the tango information since we understand that, for true Milongueros, there is nothing worse than missing out on a great tango event with plenty of heavenly tango Tandas on offer.
So, let's look at the category definitions we propose for the different types of tango gigs.
Tango Festivals are the maximum expression of dance events devoted to Argentine tango. They tend to run for several days during which tango enthusiasts enjoy a variety of tango workshops, shows, and Milongas. They are a great opportunity to take tango lessons with some of the biggest tango dancing stars (e.g. Geraldine Rojas & Ezequiel Paludi, Mariana Montes & Sebastian Arce, Noelia Hurtado & Carlitos Espinoza, Juana Sepulveda & Chicho Frumboli or Roxana Suarez & Sebastian Achaval) and see them in action at their different performances and shows. Some of the most popular Tango Festivals are attended by hundreds of dancers from all over the world and feature live tango orchestras on the main nights, which tend to be hosted at glamorous big venues. In addition to the nightly Milongas, some Tango Festivals also offer more dancing time in the afternoons in what tend to be known as Tango Cafe. Because of the big amount of dancers that get together in this type of event it is common to find a big mixture of tango dancing styles and proficiency levels.
Tango Marathons are born from the demand of more dancing time and fewer shows and performances. In fact, Tango Marathons remove completely all the activities like lessons, shows, and concerts that Tango Festivals offer and ensure that there is a dance floor enabled with a DJ playing Tandas for as long as possible. Dancers just drop in and out the dance room as they please for the two or three days that this type of event tends to run for, although there are much longer ones. Tango Marathons normally appeal to the younger tangueros with a more energetic way of dancing and some of them have a strict registration process in order to enforce a balanced number of leaders and followers in the event. Check out our Tango Marathon directory to find some examples.
Tango Encuentros - Encuentros Milongueros
Tango Encuentros are also known as Encuentros Milongueros. This type of tango event gathers people who like to dance Milonguero style with a very close embrace and proposes a more traditional approach to the dynamics of the Milonga. Only social dancing time tend to be on offer with no lessons and shows, and strict tango codes like invitations by Cabeceo, rules of floor craft and even in some cases split sitting between men and women are proposed and enforced. It is common that you may require to register for Encuentros Milongueros well in advance to their starting date under role balancing conditions and normally there are no tickets available at the door. Encuentros Milongueros are famous for attracting quite high-level dancers although it might be tricky secure a spot on them.
Tango weekenders / festivalitos.
This tango event category embraces two or three-day events who normally happen during a weekend and that do not fall under the strict Tango Marathon or Tango Encuentro definitions. They tend to be a smaller version of a Tango Festival, with fewer dancers and shorter duration but with similar characteristics. Tango Maestro couples provide tango lessons and workshops during the day and performances at the Milongas in the evenings. Some Tango Weekends just provide social dancing time and usually offer a more relaxed registration process where you can find ticket availability at the door. The dancing style in this type of event tend to be quite eclectic and the level of the dancers quite diverse.
Tango Workshops / Seminars.
A series of Tango Workshops and lessons provided by particular tango maestro/s outside of their regular classes schedule. This category will include the visit of a particular couple of professional dancers to a city where they don't teach regularly and where they will be providing some tango workshops, or it could also include a particular set of master classes specially prepared as a special seminar by local teacher/s. In some occasions, tango seminars are hosted in rural houses and offer a quite intense tango program.
Tango Balls / Special Milongas
Tango Milongas that fall outside of the regular Milonga schedule and require a great deal of preparation by the organisers. They tend to include special shows by tango maestros and/or orchestras and they are hosted in out of the ordinary venues which are especially glamorous or quirky. Food may be on offer and there could be a special dress code. Reservation in advance is advised.
Uncategorised Tango Events
As previously stated, we provide this category to catch all the tango events that either do not fall under any of the other category definitions or there is not enough information to be able to categorise them. Typical examples of the types of events that you could find in this category are Tango Holidays, Tango Camps or Tango Cruises.
Of course, event organisers are free to describe their tango events the way they wish however, there are clear benefits on assigning a category that the majority of the people will understand. This does not mean that the words “Tango Festival” or “Tango Marathon” need to be included in the title or name of the event, it is enough to assign the category that illustrates best the philosophy of the event. This way we make it easier for the tango community to find and plan their tango agenda according to their preferences.