Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. The pursuit of tango is the pursuit of connection, love, unity, beauty, harmony and humanity, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us as individuals, but tango unites us as a people and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.

September 8, 2018

Champaign Milongueros

Champaign Milongueros is a group of local tango dancers committed to the milonguero style of tango. We chose this name for the group because we want to carry on the milonguero tradition and distinguish ourselves from the existing tango culture in this university town. Champaign is one of the earliest tango communities in Illinois, yet for more than two decades Champaign tango remains small and weak because it has only focused on university students, the part of the population who would leave the town after graduation and are interested in things that are not appealing to older local dancers.

We want to depart from that path and try a new approach.

1. This group is mainly aimed at the locals. We believe that only with local dancers as the mainstay can Champaign tango community meet the needs of the permanent local residents, deviate from the current culture, achieve sustainable growth, and in turn have a better impact on university students.

2. We are dedicated to the milonguero style of tango that features close embrace, feelings, gender roles and classic tango music, not the Nuevo style featuring open embrace, exhibition, gender-neutrality and alternative music. In contrast to the ideologies that unduly promote pluralism, diversity and difference, we emphasize authenticity, standardization, conformity and milonguero tradition. (See Pluralism versus Monism.)

3. By observing the tango protocols practiced in the milongas of Buenos Aires, including milonga etiquette, dress code, separate seating, cabeceo, and navigation rules, we want to create an integrated, respectful, friendly, pleasant, elegant and orderly environment in our milongas. (See Milonga Codes.)

4. We emphasize team spirit, brotherhood, love and responsibility within the group against the individualistic tendency that focuses on the independence, rights, liberty and freedom of the individual. A milonguero is not an individualist but a team player. He/she belongs to a group of like-minded dancers who understand the interdependence of people and the importance of the community, who regularly dance together, conform to the group standard, observe its protocols, participate in its administration, and are role models for novices and newcomers. We want to continue that milonguero tradition and work as a team to make our group a home for all like-minded dancers. (See Tango and Individualism.)

5. To secure the quality of our milonga, this group opens only to selected dancers. To become a member of the group newcomers need to complete a 20-hour training course on the fundamentals of the milonguero style and milonga codes with us. We welcome new people to attend our classes, but only those who meet our standard may become members of the group and visit our milongas. Students who have failed the course may repeat it until they qualify.

6. Members need to continue their training and actively participate in group activities to retain membership. Members may lose membership if they fail to keep up with the standard of the group.