So now, with the basic framework established, let's go back to my definition of a milonguera. 'Someone who has mastered the art of conversing with her dance partner in the dance with tango music.'
Like a good conversationalist, a milonguera knows tango music by heart (conversation topics). She feels the music in her soul. Every violin string, every piano note and every word of the lyrics, she knows it musically and she feels it emotionally as well.
Music isn't only a formation of mathematically harmonious notes; it is primarily a window to the emotions of the interpreters: orchestra, musicians & singers. And in tangos, interpreters sing about places and events which are close to the hearts of Argentina's people.
So many times, when I danced with milongueras of Buenos Aires, they sing beside my ear, with their beautiful voices, the wrenching lyrics of tango. And they are the only ones to do so. These are the moments you can tell they are lost in the music which flows within their blood.
From the outside when you see milongueras dancing, their bodies move in harmony with the music: smooth, when the music is romantic, excited when the music is energetic... And never any high kicks on slow and quiet Di Sarlis!
Like a good converstionalist, a milonguera can dance with many good social dancers and will be fully connected to her partner (listens and understands).
After so much social dancing, milongueras have the ability to listen to the leader's suggestions, understand his musical interpretation (conversational ideas) and connect with him perfectly.
I can see many milongueras which are highly sought after by the best milongueros; they dance with just about all of them and milongueros always dance with a smile on their faces while the couple is moving in harmony.
Like a good conversationalist, a milonguera has her own interpretation of the music (her own independent ideas) and isn't afraid to express it.
In the embrace, if the leader is sensitive enough and allow himself to feel and listen like a good conversationalist would, he will feel the milonguera's music through her body's expressiveness. He will feel the motion of her face towards his as if she is looking for a more intimate hug, when the music gets intense. He will feel her body softening like a languid snake following the drawn out melody of the violin. He will feel her feet landing and/or embellishing with a sharp energy when the music gets rhythmic.
And if he is an open minded leader (a sensitive guy), he might even allow for some times during the dance when he will suggest and lead nothing. He will let the women express her own interpretation of the music fully. And milongueras never miss a chance to seize these little 'silent windows' and embellish them with body expressions of their own (their own tango talking). They dance!
Like a good conversationalist, a milonguera inspires (interesting conversation) her partner during the dance. Not only does she know the music, can she connect to her partner and add her own interpretations, but also she is able to inspire him through her dancing.
When, with a milonguera, we listen and share the same emotion to the music, she gives me the sensation that she truly understand and agree with what I am dancing (saying). And she can add her own emotions and musical interpretations (clever remarks) on top, like adding oil to the fire, making it burn even more brightly. When I slow down, she slows down too, but in an even more intense way. When I attack the beat, she attacks the beat too but with an even sharper energy.
When we are listening to different elements in the music, or when I am dancing to a tango which I am not familiar with, she delights me with her way of interpretating the music. She is never disconnected from me but shares with me her interpretation which usually suits the music perfectly. Through her body energy, she lets me know when she would like us to pause, when she would like me to slow down and when she would like us to attack the beat.
Whether we are listening to the same elements of the music or not, her dancing is inspiring. In the very same way, Royce described her dancing experience with old milongueros.
So how do you become a milonguera then? That is another topic for another day...
A female tango dancer friend related to me, a fellow guy dancer suggested this to her:
This dancer said that dancing tango is just a way to 'stretch one's body'... ...He regards tango as a kind of sport and might think of the milongas as gyms too... ...He also said that the dancing energy can be seperated from the music and he doesn't like girls to express anything of their own in the dance. He even said that girls can give up their musicality and just follow what he wants to do."
To that I have the perfect response, which comes in the form of a story a good milonguera friend named Marite told me:
She was once with a dancer who danced trying to control and lead her every movement. He ignored all the suggestions she made to him during the dance...
After half a song, she gave up adding her own spice and just followed. At the end of the tanda the guy said: "Wow!! You dance very well!"
To which she replied: "Oh thank you! I followed well, but I didn't dance."