Buenos Aires Tango Tips

Clarry Smits is one of the top tango dancers and instructors in Vancouver, Canada. He also runs Tango a Media Luz, a popular Vancouver milonga that features Golden Age Buenos Aires tango every Friday night.

Clarry recently visited Buenos Aires and I asked him about his tango experience in “the Paris of South America”. He offered some wonderful Buenos Aires tango tips on milongas, tango schools, and other tango-related topics. Read them below.

Piazzolla - Tango Argentino

Piazzolla – Tango Argentino

What are your favorite Buenos Aires milongas?

My favorite milongas in Buenos Aires seem to differ every time I go there. It depends a lot on the visiting transient population at the time.
I like Niño Bien on Saturday night. A lot of the good dancers go there on a Saturday night. Friday night at Niño Bien is a posing night. A lot of well dressed beautiful ladies go there to see and be seen not necessarily to dance. It is a night for socializing. It was a puzzle to me at first until I was enlightened by a local Tanguera.

I love Sunderland. The floor always seems to move well there. The food is also very good and affordable. It is a popular haunt for a lot of the maestros. I enjoy watching them dance socially when they are not performing.
Confiteria Ideal is great for their afternoon milonga. The ambiance there is very comfortable. An older crowd. Sometimes they have live music.

Salon Canning is a must. There is always good energy. Many good dancers. Also a favorite haunt for the maestros. They also usually have a live band there which is a wonderful experience.

5 replies
  1. South Africa
    South Africa says:

    Visit gaucho country, go skiing in the southern lake district or visit the miles of beaches to the south of Buenos Aires.

  2. Tina
    Tina says:

    I lived in Buenos Aires a year and a half recently, and just wanted to make a quick comment on a couple of the milongas Clarry mentioned, just so visitors aren’t confused when looking at a tango guide to find information on milongas.

    “Niño Bien” is not a venue. It is the name of a Thursday night milonga that takes place in a venue called Centro Region Leonesa (otherwise known as “La Leonesa”). The Friday milonga in that place is called “Entre Tango y Tango” and yes people go there to dance, not just to be looked at – but go early, like at 8:30 or 9pm when it’s hopping. The Saturday milonga he was referring to could have been the afternoon milonga known as Los Consagrados.

    He mentioned Maipu 444 as having the men on one side and women on the other. Definitely the case, and great for hard-core cabeceo-ing. 🙂 A lot of other traditional milongas are like that too, so be prepared.

    This was a lot of fun to read!

  3. Jerkskin
    Jerkskin says:

    An easy solution to the heel-first/ball-first qutesion is to let your forward step touch the floor first with the outside edge of the foot. Simply turn your toe out and down slightly so that the area of your little toe becomes the landing gear. It looks graceful and unaffected, and allows your weight to come automatically onto the ball of the foot as you complete the step. Depending on your walking trajectory, the heel may sometimes hit first, but it’s not a big deal and you will always have a soft landing if your foot posture follows this formula.Further hint: For back steps and side steps, the inner edge should touch down first. Reach back from the hip and set the posture of your foot to make this happen.


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