For the Community, by the community.
Our priority is to provide great music in a great location and a friendly atmosphere to foster a true community milonga.
Milonga Sin Nombre relies on a lot of support from awesome community volunteers. If you are interested in becoming part of the team please contact us and tell us how YOU would like to be part of the fun!
Our goal is to strengthen the dance community in San Diego so that the enjoyment from a night of dancing leaves everyone feeling electric. We offer a comfortable space with a large top-quality floor that welcomes dancers of all styles and backgrounds. We encourage good navigation that allows traditional dancers to occupy the outer lanes and dancers performing larger moves to occupy the center of the floor. (For more information on the rules of the road in Argentine tango, please see our Navigation page.
Milonga Sin-Nombre was founded by some of the earliest pioneers of Argentine Tango in San Diego and founders of the UCSD tango club. We honor their legacy by providing one of the best social dance atmospheres in San Diego. We host some of the best local DJ, several of whom DJ at various festivals. Additionally we try to recognize up and coming talent and offer opportunities for new DJs and nurture them to become connoisseurs of great social dance music. We’re proud to say that, several great DJs have had their first milonga experience at Sin Nombre!
We also try to build new community by connecting with beginners wanting to find their way in tango . Since 2007 we have taught a weekly drop in FREE Intro Class before the milonga. This is an excellent place to send your friends or coworkers that you want to share your obsession with. We encourage all beginners from the class to stay, socialize and observe the milonga in the hopes that they will feel the connection and become new addicts.
Tango is a social dance and one of the best, yet hardest, parts is the interactions with other dancers, both on and off the dance floor. There are many guidelines for tango etiquette (called “codigos”) that can help make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Many pages can be written about this, but here are some important points to get you started.
We strongly encourage the use of the “cabeceo” for asking and accepting dances. This technique of using eye contact to initiate a dance empowers both leaders and followers. Leaders can avoid the embarrassment of having walked up to a follower and being rejected and followers can decline dances without feeling rude. Hint to the leaders: If a follower is avoiding eye contact with you (and she is not a beginner) she might not want to dance with you at that time. It is considered rude at some milongas to walk up to a follow that you don’t know and ask her for dance. At Sin Nombre many of the group have know each other for many years, so the rules are a little more relaxed, but we still encourage the use of the cabeceo first. Try it, the first time you get a dance diagonally across the dance floor in a room with 100+ people, you might see the utility!
This is a tricky subject. Tango is a balance between pursuing your own connection in the dance and nurturing beginners that might be awesome future partners. If you don’t feel like dancing with a particular person you shouldn’t have to, but think about conditions in which you might be more inclined to dance with that person, especially if they are a beginner. Personally, I find that I prefer rhythmic music, which often occurs earlier in the night, when I am dancing with someone new to tango. Your own preferences may vary, but try to consider the other person’s feelings and how you can help them be a part of the community, without compromising your own social experience.
Try to use the cabeceo! If you use it properly you can get a feel for the type of music that a more advanced dancer is interested in dancing with you. People who have been dancing a long time tend to have strong opinions about music. If you don’t put them on the spot to dance to music that they don’t think is right, you might find it easier to get dances with them in the future.
You should not have to dance with anyone who make you uncomfortable. If you are in physical discomfort consider whether there is something that you can do or ask them to do in order to ease it. If there is not, this is one of the few times that ending a tanda is appropriate. Try to be polite, explain that it is a matter of physical pain, hopefully without placing blame.
If someone is giving you an odd vibe, or makes you uncomfortable you do not have to dance with them. If someone does anything inappropriate on the dance floor, you do NOT need to finish the tanda. Excuse yourself — politely or not depending on the situation. If it is a serious transgression, please let some staff know. We want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable at Sin Nombre. In the rare case that you may consider it to be a serious transgression, please let some staff know.
Resources for more info:
…has been dancing tango since 1999 and DJing nearly every week since 2002 at either Tango Addicts or Milonga Sin Nombre. She has been invited at a guest DJ in LA as well as for the San Diego, Denver and Portland Tango Festivals. She is very active in the San Diego Tango community, DJing, organizing the SDTF All Nighter, and maintaining the official online venue calendar for the city, as well as running her monthly Sunday milonga.
… has been involved in tango since 2002, running and promoting the UCSD Tango Club for 2 years, and DJing for Sin Nombre since mid 2005. He has DJed the San Diego Tango Festival all-night milonga since 2008 and frequently guest DJs at other venues within and outside of San Diego.
…has been dancing tango since 2003 and has a connection to the music forged in his years as a social dancer. He was the host and resident DJ at the Uptown Milonga in 2010 and now guest DJs at many local venues. We are always guaranteed a night of good social dance music when Marius DJs.
…is one of the most sought after festival DJs in the US. He plays an awesome blend of social dance music. We are honored that he considers San Diego to be a second home and makes frequent Guest DJ visits to Sin Nombre.
Milonga Sin-Nombre relies on a lot of support from awesome community volunteers. If you are interested in becoming part of the team please contact us and tell us how YOU would like to be part of the fun!
A fun interactive floorcraft trainer can be found at http://www.tango-dj.at/dancing/interactive/interactivecodigos.htm.
The most important thing to understand is the “ronda” or outer lanes of dancers. This functions a lot like a freeway at rush hour, everyone has to be respectful of the dancers around them in order to make everything flow smoothly. Unlike the freeway, however, we all have our radios tuned to the same station, which hopefully orchestrates the movement of the dance floor as a whole.
Before entering the floor the leader should make eye contact with the leaders in the ronda. This is the equivalent of turning on your turn signal. Leaders in the ronda will return the eye contact and allow a gap for you to enter the floor. The leader can then enter the ronda and invite the follower to enter downstream of him in the line of dance, shielding her from any accidents. Leaders in the ronda, please be courteous to those entering.
The ronda proceeds in a generally counterclockwise direction. Smaller milongas will have only one lane for the ronda, larger or festival milongas may have several concentric lanes of dancers. When dancing in the ronda figures should be compact and respect the line of dance and those around you. Use caution when executing boleos and other larger moves. If you wish to do larger moves, more patterns, or find that the line of dance doesn’t move enough for you, you might be happier in the center of the floor. Additionally, if you find that you are dancing with someone unpredictable or who “overfollows” you might choose to move into the center to protect your reputation. Remember, if you hit another couple, they will remember you, and you may be less likely to get a dance with that follower. Followers, be aware of the weapons strapped to your feet, any move can be toned down to avoid causing disruption or harm to the dancers around you. If your boleo hits a couple, you may find that leader is less likely to ask you to dance later.
It is helpful to imagine a lane line around the ronda. Just like on the freeway, you should avoid veering too close to the line or cutting in and out. This causes the leaders to tense up and have to practice “defensive driving” severely impacting their enjoyment. Just because you didn’t hit someone doesn’t mean that they didn’t have to swerve or put on the brakes to avoid you. Everyone wants to relax and enjoy themselves, don’t ruin other people’s dance by being a floor hog. If you are dancing in the center, you should not cut into the ronda. This is the equivalent of cutting off cars on a freeway exit after the solid white line at rush hour when they are patiently going 10 mph waiting their turn. You all swear at that guy on the freeway, don’t be him on the dance floor.
People who are not dancing should stay off the floor. If you need to cross the room, please walk off the floor in the corridors that are provided. If you must walk on the edge of the floor, give right of way to the dancers at all times. On NO occasion should pedestrians cut across the floor when people are dancing. If you find that you and your partner want to continue to talk when the rest of the ronda begins to move, please be courteous and step off the floor.
Under no condition should teaching be conducted on the social dance floor. The majority of people come to milongas to enjoy the dance. There are plenty of opportunities for practicas and classes in San Diego for improving your tango. If both you and your partner agree that you want to work on something, Sin Nombre is lucky to have a second floor downstairs that you can use to practice. If you find yourself stopping and discussing steps or overwhelmed by the flow of traffic at the milonga, you may want to go downstairs for a bit.
Dancers of all styles can coexist if they respect the rules of the road. Try to be honest with yourself what kind of dancer you are and dance in a manner that allows everyone to enjoy the floor.