Milonga is a very fast paced dance form that incorporates many of tango steps in an open or closed embrace. It is danced to a 2/4 beat where every beat is stepped on. The milonga lisa and milonga con traspié are the two distinct styles. While the dance form uses the basic elements of the Tango, it allows for greater relaxation of the legs and body. The moves are fast without any pauses, making it a kind of a rhythmic walk without complicated figures.
Milonga is often considered a more humorous and rustic style of the Tango. In Milonga Lisa, the dancer steps on every beat while in the Milonga con Traspié the dancer changes weight from one foot to the other and back again in double time or step thrice over two beats. The latter is considered the next level where the spaces between the beats syncopate the Tango steps. The Milonga rhythm is derived from the habanera rhythm. It is faster paced and less complex than the Tango although it uses many of its basic elements. Greater emphasis is placed on the rhythm where dancers must keep their bodies as relaxed as possible.
The box step is the basic pattern used in Milonga with several variations of the step made depending n the rhythm. The zig zag or grapevine is one of the most popular Milonga steps in addition to the ‘Pendulum’ step. Since instant weight changes are transmitted directly to the woman’s feet, the way the man holds the woman in the Milonga varies from the Tango. The man’s right hand is placed on the right side of the woman’s hips, just above the waistline. It is important to pay attention to the music, the rhythm, and the number of partners on the dance floor. To make the most of it, most experts say every couple must hear the beat in their head as their dance. Since it is fast paced, none of the pauses and paradas that are found in the Tango, are to be used in the Milonga.
One of the best ways to follow the beat is to tap on the ground with the feet during practice. Half steps, which add the staccatos, the double time stepping and suspension of motion, are the main characteristics of the Milonga. In the quarter step, the foot moves half the space of a half step to emphasize the rhythm of slower milongas.
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