Tango Etiquette

Common Sense and Courtesy

These rules and etiquette guidelines are meant to create a safe, welcoming, and fun environment while at the same time promoting a positive and respectful dance culture. These expectations are in addition to our statement about personal safety and inclusion here.

Consent to Dance

  • You can ask anyone to dance. Try a "cabeceo / mirada!"

  • You are not obligated to dance with anyone. You should feel free to respectfully decline a dance for any reason. If asked verbally, a “No, thank you” is polite. If you are resting, you can say, "Thank you, I'm sitting this one out," or "Maybe later."

  • If someone declines a dance with you, respect their decision and try someone else.

  • The general etiquette during a milonga is that dance partners will complete together the tanda of three or four songs, unless there is a reason not to. You may stop a dance at any time for any reason. “Thank you,” and it’s over.

Floorspace and Dance Safety

  • Be mindful of the space you have, and of the other dancers around you. Use caution especially on crowded nights, or when attempting complicated or space-taking moves.

  • Let your partner know if they are hurting you or if you don’t feel safe with any particular dance moves. Refrain from doing moves that may hurt you, your partner, and/or those around you.

  • If you or your partner bumps into anyone, acknowledge the mistake and apologize, making sure that others are alright.

  • Aerials and lifts are not permitted. We encourage heels to stay towards the floor.

  • If something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, please let the organizers know.

Dance Etiquette

  • New dance partners should introduce themselves to each other. First names only is fine.

  • At a milonga, do not give unsolicited feedback / instruction on your partner’s dancing. At a practica, feedback is generally acceptable if offered in a constructive manner (rather than in a critical manner).

  • At the end of a practice set or of a tanda at a milonga, both partners end by saying, "Thank you." Some old-school leaders will escort followers back to the seating area at a more formal milonga, but this is optional and becoming less common.


  • Where possible, please limit your use of scented products such as perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, etc. Because many people dance Tango in close embrace, these products can rub off and be unpleasant to some dancers.

  • Polish up your pearly whites. Maybe even tuck a few breath mints in your pocket.

For more tips, take a look at our Tango FAQ.