This table has rules.0
The milongas are getting busier.
Good tables are becoming harder to come by and
if you haven't realized by now,
where you sit can make a huge difference in your evening.
Personally, I hardly ever go to a milonga that I don't think I will have a table to sit at.
I know that at milongas and festivals in the United States and across Europe the table is just a place where you drop your things.
But here in Buenos Aires I think the table serves a much bigger purpose... We will talk about that in another post.
Now I want to talk about the rules.
My table has rules
you might not agree with them,
but then you could always get your own table or...
you can stand at the bar.
If we run out of seats, the men stand. If you are a gentleman at my table I shouldn't have to ask you to give up your seat. If you are a woman at my table I shouldn't have to force you to accept gracefully and SIT DOWN.
If you sit at the table you order from the table. You do not go to the bar to get a drink. I don't care how long you have been waiting. If you want to order from the bar go stand at the bar.
Be social with the other people at the table. It surprises me how often people join a table and then neglect to talk to any of the people at the table. It won't hurt to try and make some conversation. No one is going to make you do anything and you never know you might make some new friends.
No one is required to dance with anyone. While it would be nice and fun if everyone at the table enjoyed dancing with everyone else. Neither life nor tango are always nice and fun. Please don't try to guilt people into dancing with you and never feel bad that someone has chosen to dance with someone else. I know these are easier said than done... when in doubt see my note above about life and tango.
Practice the cabaceo. I know that it can be difficult and that many people coming from other dance communities are not used to using it. This is why you practice... you will get better. Ask for pointers. Hold the gaze 5 seconds longer than feels comfortable. Smile. Keep practicing.
Know how much you owe. We are not going to get separate checks. Keep track of what you order and know how much it costs. If you leave before everyone else calculate your share and pay it directly to the waiter or leave it with a reliable person. Preferably the person who reserved the table since they will be responsible if the table comes up short.
Tip the waiters. I know "people don't tip in Argentina" but in the milonga we tip. Always.