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All Posts By

Charles Long

DJ shopping

By | Rant | No Comments

It’s around this time of year that we start to recruit and select the DJs for our big events coming up at Easter, September, and Christmas.  All together, we need to sort out the DJs for around 20 milongas and this takes many weeks of discussions and emails. So what do we look for from guest DJs, and why can it get so tricky?

I think that the music is the main fundamental element of a Milonga, and so the DJ is absolutely crucial.  That’s why I get very cautious and careful when it comes to selecting guest DJs.

By and large we only ever use guest DJs that we have heard playing at least once.  It doesn’t matter how many recommendations they have, or how popular they are at other events, I will try to check out milongas where the DJ might be a good choice for us. And when I’m at a milonga there are several things that I’m looking for in a good DJ:

  • Do they arrive and set up on time?
  • Do they spend too much time with their headphones on pre-listening to tracks?
  • How much do they walk around the dance floor, checking the music quality and volume?
  • Are they actively using an equaliser with at least 8 channels?
  • How are the Tandas constructed?
  • Are they using BPM or another method to manage the energy within a Tanda?
  • Are the tracks volumes all levelled?
  • What is the mix of familiar favourite tracks and lesser known recordings?
  • How does the mood of the Tandas vary through the evening?
  • Does the music link without pregnant pauses or, even worse, crashing between tracks?
  • How do the Cortinas contribute to the atmosphere of the Milonga?
  • Are they familiar with their DJ software?

Simple, isn’t it? Er, no. That’s why it gets so hard to recruit DJs of a good enough standard, and why we tend to stick with the good ones.

And, by the way, that’s often why I’ve stopped going to some local milongas with a resident DJ.  So now you know.



We are all doomed

By | Rant | No Comments

At a well-known regular Milonga in London recently the DJ still hadn’t turned up 25 minutes after the Milonga was due to start.

There was no apology from the DJ.

There was no apology from the organiser.


Everyone who had travelled to get to the Milonga when it started was kept waiting without any explanation, and the Organiser didn’t even contact the DJ to see where he was or when he would arrive.


We are all doomed.

Septonathon is Go, Go, Go!

By | News | No Comments

Yes, ‘Septonathon’ is back! – our Tango weekend event in September.

We’ve juggled dates and pulled some strings, and have the Old Windsor Memorial Hall all to ourselves for the weekend of 8th & 9th September.  So there’ll be the usual milongas in the afternoons and evenings, attracting lots of dancers from far away as well as our local friends (well, hopefully).

Plus, amazingly, I’ve also started to get the DJ team together, with just one more to confirm they can come.

And also I’ve checked out the prices of rooms that weekend at the Travelodge. Currently the price is £101 for 3 nights, which is an amazing bargain.

This is all going too well; should I be nervous?

That was quite a year

By | News | No Comments

Now that 2017 is over, we’re looking back and taking stock of a momentous year for our Tango.

Early in 2017 we were told that we must stop using the venue in Eton that had become the ‘home’ of our lessons and events for over a decade.   It was shattering news, and extremely shocking for hundreds of dancers.

Hundreds of phone calls followed, and days spent visiting venues and agonising over the future.  Then we heard that a brand new floor was going to be laid at Old Windsor and suddenly everything fell into place. We had a great venue, close to Eton, with good facilities

The change of venue to Old Windsor caused few problems. In fact, we’ve had a lots of people come and tell us that they prefer the new venue; the floor is gorgeous, it is a more airy space, it’s easy to reach, and has loads of free car parking.

So now we’re looking forward to 2018!

Getting along with the neighbours

By | News | No Comments

The Tango world in our area has been strong and varied for many years now, and I’d like to think that we’ve been part of that story. Many good milongas help to sustain the community, and make it attractive to dancers from other areas too.

Cooperation is a big part of this. We try to support the other events going on locally; it’s great to get to meet up with other dancers and connect with the local dance community. So we know what’s going on and share our enthusiasm and support.

And we always make sure we avoid running events that clash with other Tango events locally i.e. not on the same day, and not within an hour’s drive.

Let’s face it, it’s just plain good old common sense all round, isn’t it?

Yes, I understand that nobody has the right to ‘own’ a date for an event. But to give events the best chance of attracting a good crowd, then it seems logical to not force dancers to choose between competing milongas. If there’s a choice of events, then obviously each of those organisers will attract will have a reduced number of dancers.

And obliging dancers to choose between events is divisive; it doesn’t encourage a cohesive local community.

You’d think that was obvious, but not everyone seems to think so. Over the years since we started running milongas several people have established local milongas that clash with our existing events, and the consequences have been predictable.

Despite that, it’s still happening *sigh*

Etonathon venue change

By | News | No Comments

Exciting news today about the venue for Etonathon 2017.

St. Bernards Convent told us they needed much tighter security arrangements for the event, which would have caused major headaches on top of the factors we had already discovered at the Charity event we held there in May.  But after the first milongas at Old Windsor Memorial Hall we’ve heard lots of great feedback about the Hall and its great dance floor, so it crossed our minds that Old Windsor would be the right venue for the Etonathon event instead.

There was just one problem; there were already some bookings at Old Windsor when we would want to be there.  Hmmm… So we sent a few emails and made a few phone calls, and over the next couple of weeks slowly the pieces started to fall into place. Then yesterday we got the news that the final hurdle had been removed and we could use Old Windsor Memorial Hall for the entire 4 days 27-30 December! Fist bumps all round!

We’re really pleased; the dance floor at Old Windsor is one of the best we’ve ever danced on, and it’s got a lot of other things that make it a better choice, too, including the acoustics, ventilation, access, and technical facilities.

And it looks like we might also be able to fit in an extra opening Milonga on the afternoon of Wednesday 27th December too!

No, apparently it isn’t just us

By | News | No Comments

We used the Baldwin Hall in Eton for many years before our bookings were terminated without an explanation.  It took months of asking before we finally found out that it was because the Hall’s Trustees preferred to keep the Hall for use by locals only.

Now I’ve been hearing on the grapevine that other users of the Hall are having a hard time with bookings also. Yes, it seems that even minor bookings are being rejected if it doesn’t suit the Trustees.

OK, so I’m biased, but it makes me wonder quite why bookings are being declined even when the Hall could otherwise be empty. Are there really that many people in Eton who might possibly want to use the Hall instead?

And there’s the wider effect on the Eton to consider. Over the years we used the hall we brought in thousands of dancers to Eton who then spent money in the local pubs and restaurants and shops. I’m left wondering about a strategy that’ll leave a resource standing empty instead of having a facility bringing in visitors and boosting the local economy.

It’s comforting to know it isn’t only our Tango events that are being affected by this strange decision. Luckily for us, we’ve now found a new venue with better parking, a better dance floor, better toilets, installed sound system, plenty of power sockets, Wifi, and a friendly organiser. So we’re not bothered.



We’re back!

By | News | 2 Comments

Well, hello again. What a couple of months it has been! The biggest news is the re-start of our milongas, as the new venue at old Windsor.

The opening night was a real heart-in-mouth moment for us; we had spent days and weeks preparing and doing dress rehearsals too. Sarah spent hours making bespoke bunting in beautiful colours and we created longs chains of fairy lights and rope lights to create a magical atmosphere.

The big unknown for me as the DJ was the quality of the sound once the room was full of people chatting and dancing on top of the dance music. There really is no way to predict how it will go, and I was really nervous – I guess it might have showed. The hall has huge speakers installed, but I chose to supplement them with an array of our own speakers just to give the best possible sound quality. Of course, that also meant miles of audio cables to connect and power cables too. As it turned out it was great, and I needn’t have been concerned about it.

Luckily we never needed to worry about the dance floor. It is absolutely fantastic; silky smooth.

The doors opened and we were amazed at the huge crowd of dancers that arrived; it was unbelievable! We hadn’t dreamt that there would be so many people coming along to support us and celebrate the new venue. The food was gobbled up, and the dance floor was packed all night.

So, that’s it; we are under way again in a great new venue that has happy reviews, and I can’t begin to describe how fantastic that feels.

No peace for the wicked

By | News, Uncategorized | No Comments

August is traditionally a quiet month for Tango.  Many lessons pause for the summer, and milongas are often shut for a few weeks too.  For several years now we’ve taken a break for the month, and ironically found ourselves with nowhere to go and dance, because most other Tango organisers were doing the same thing!

But this year it’s different; now that our regular group lesson have stopped, we’ve had more time on our hands, and the pace of life has calmed down.

So, what have we been doing?  Well, strangely, it’s been a pretty busy time, planning and organising for the future events.

Our Monthly milongas have a new home, so there’s a load of preparation needed to design the layout and decoration of the new venue, and get everything ready.

And now that we’ve got St Bernards Convent booked for 4 day events at Christmas and Easter there’s been a flurry of emails to DJs as we try to put together teams for both the events.

So please don’t ask if we’ve had a nice restful summer!

At last!

By | News | No Comments
First of all a huge thank you to everyone who has encouraged, supported, helped, and stood by us for the last few months. It has been amazing how many people have been rooting for us! Finally, we can now share our plans for new Milongas:
Eton Milongas are starting again in September, at a new home; Old Windsor Memorial Hall.
We’ve been holding out for a brand new, sprung, maple dance floor to be laid in the Hall, and it’s going to be installed in August. Once it’s ready, we can get started with new monthly Saturday night Milongas!  Why did we choose Old Windsor? Well, it’s a fantastic hall:
~ It’s really easy to find ~
~ There’s loads of free parking ~
A brand new, sprung, maple dance floor ~
Free Wifi ~
Just 10 minutes away from Eton ~
And a there’s pub over the road ~
Saturday 9th September – Launch Party
Saturday 7th October
Saturday 11th November
(no milonga in December)
then the 1st Saturday of every month in 2018​

The venue is new, and everything else will be what you’ve come to like; the music, the friendly atmosphere, tasty catering, and great floorcraft. We can’t wait to get started and see everyone again! ​