So said someone the other day! and I thought they've got a point. I go to quite a few of the milongas about town - not all of them as I am a dedicated yogi and have just taken up bellydancing! - and that's just the keeping physically active bit. I have noticed that some milongas are more like a playground than others... what did this friend mean by playground? She/he meant that there are little groups that don't play (tango) with other groups either because they are part of a group (tango school) or feel a certain allegiance to a certain person who is top of the class or a good sports person (tango teacher). There are others who don't join in (dance with others) because they are shy or new. And there are those who keep to a small group because they have been bullied or been the victim of a nasty remark or action.
As with a playground where the teachers and those in charge can diffuse the situation, so in a milonga can the hosts diffuse or aggravate the situation.
Some dancers just find it all too hard and unlike the playground where they must stay or play truant, they go home - or just don't go to those milongas (the poll a while ago found that some even give up on tango!).
As Sydney gets more and more milongas - another one has just been announced for the 3rd Saturdays - it is getting easier to avoid those milongas that have such bad vibes they remind some of a playground.
The new milonga? ... It's being organised by Robert Ness from Newtango, and will be held at Donnington, 13 Victoria Street, Ashfield starting 8pm - with late entry after 11 at a reduced price. More info - firstname.lastname@example.org. Robert is reasonably new to tango in Sydney and one of the friendliest hosts I know.