En una Milonga, hay que Bailar, no hay que Practicar and other El Flaco Dany Memories

In February 2010, Almirante and I visited Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo and Colonia in Uruguay. He had been there before and I was fascinated by the tango stories. I had just started dancing tango and wanted to see what it was really like.

In Buenos Aires, we stayed very close to Salon Canning, which is well known for its tango milongas, so we went there a few times. On one of those occasions, I met an Argentinian guy who spent some time talking to me. He pointed out to me an old man, sitting at a nearby table. He told me, this is El Flaco Dany – he is a famous milonguero. I was sufficiently awed by the man that I took a few photos to take back with me as memories.

Fast forward 7 years, and to my surprise one day, I saw a Facebook post that said El Flaco Dany was coming to teach workshops at Gustavo and Jesica’s in San Mateo! Needless to say, I signed up for and did these workshops, and got to know this wonderful man. The world is indeed a small place!


I’m eternally grateful to the Argentinian man I met at Salon Canning. He was a serious tanguero. While he was chatting with me, Almirante was having a conversation with a Brazilian couple who was also sitting at our table. The lady told Almirante how she had been trying some steps she learnt in class in the milonga. She encouraged him to try it too. Immediately the Argentinian guy stiffened significantly, leaned forward and told her: “En una milonga, hay que bailar, ¡no hay que practicar!” – in a milonga, you must dance, not practice!

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