What Is An Encuentro?
What is an Encuentro?
An encuentro refers to an event (usually in the form of a weekend retreat) where milongueros and milongueras gather to enjoy dancing Argentine tango based on the milonguero style codes of etiquette and floor navigational concepts.
The Encuentro structure and practice:
More specifically, the sitting arrangement at an encuentro separates the leads from the followers, usually on opposite sides to each other. This allows dance invitations to be made using mirada and cabeceo from a comfortable distance.
Entrance onto the dance floor is also based on cabeceo. The lead desiring to enter will cabeceo the lead dancer of the couple on the floor to enter in front him/her/them.
Once on the dance floor, the dancers stay in their own line of dance (ronda) and don't zig zag from one ronda to another. The movements that are led and followed are usually compact, musical, and safe for the couple and the dancers around them. The milonga is not a place for giving instructions and/or corrections, while practicas or classes are great spaces for learning.
There a couple of more features to encuentros: 1) They are usually role-balanced so that everyone will have a good chance of dancing; and 2) The music played at the encuentros is classical tango (versus nuevo or alternative) and mostly from the Golden age era of Argentine Tango.
One thing is for sure: If you respect and follow the tango etiquettes, you will be welcomed by other dancers (even if you are new to encuentros) and will have an amazing experience. Otherwise, encuentros can be challenging.