Now we get to Milongas, where there are usually pretty heavy set rules. WHen it comes to Alternative Milongas and throwing in Nuevo music too, things are a little more lax, but most of these are indeed there anyways.
Tanda Order is the number one rule when it comes to Milongas. When you dance, you hear the order of the music, and it follows a pattern. At a Traditional Milonga, you have an order of TT(V/M). So you’l have 2 Tango Tandas, the either a Vals or a Milonga Tanda next, then back to 2 Tango Tandas, then Vals or Milonga, whichever was not used previously. This gives flow. You’ll find this everywhere, and even when it comes to Alternative Milongas, this rule should apply, but can be bent.
If you DJing for alternative, 50/50, or others, you have options available to you. If you’re just having alernative or nuevo in your mix, you can replace a Milonga or Vals set for Alternative or Nuevo, but my suggestion is, either do it earlier in the night or later, depending on the crowd.
TTV-TTM-TTAlt-TTV-TTM-TTAlt or TTV-TTA-TTM-TTV-TTA-TTM
If you’re running a 50/50 something like:
T-T(a)-V | T(a)-T-M(a) then T(a)-T-V(a) | T-T(a)-M
Notice the double alternative at the Milonga bit? Usually best when the energy is high to move the rotation, same can be done at the traditional bits, do it around the Vals or Milonga. There are other combinations of course, and it’s open to you to make the dance flow, but also feel like tango! Of course I’m listing Alternative, but Nuevo music is interchangeable of course.
Cortinas are also something every Milonga I’ve been to have had, expect when it’s bee advertised as much or live music. Some Alternative nights have zero Cortinas, but are few and usually dependent on the DJ. Good Cortinas that match the mood of the music before or after can sometimes be harder than making a tanda, but when done right, people wont notice any hindrance in flow. When done wrong, interrupts the mood, so tread lightly, this skill comes with time or a really good ear.
La Cumparsita is also something that ends all Milongas, for the most part. Sometimes there are two back to back at the end. Usually the last Tanda is announced, and La Cumparsita is played after. It’s a good ending to the night. If you are at a Marathon though, you may not wish to end with La Cumparsita to finish your set, instead you may wish to have something more romantic, or something that has an ending feeling. This can be your own signature as a DJ, maybe starting or ending with a certain song or type. Sometimes people will end with a Chacarera, which can be a fun ending to the night. Other times a Chacarera or two may be in the middle of a Milonga or not at all.