Tango Apilado / Milonguero Dancing Style

Apilado (sometimes called Milonguero, Almagro, Cafe or Confiteria) means piled up in Spanish, in which the dancers have an especially strong lean against each other. It is a style beautifully crafted by the maestro Carlos Gavito.

Apilado / Milonguero has the following attributes:
The lead and follower lean against each much more than usual.
Both dancers are leaning forward with their axes on the edge of balance, particularly the follower – there is variation allowed in the strength of the lean, but it is sufficient such that if one partner is removed, the other will fall. The lean is preserved throughout the dance, with constant contact.
The follower’s right cheek connects to the lead’s right cheek.
Danced in close embrace, with variations in the dance to allow for constantly maintaining the embrace: for example backward ochos with minimal or no pivots.
The apilado is a prerequisite for the volcada.
Knees are flexible, perhaps bent slightly, particularly for the follower.
Bodies are aligned – midline to midline and chest-to-chest contact. The spines are kept straight with bodies relaxed, creating a triangle between the two dancers and the floor. This imparts a unique flowing sensation of shared energy to the dance, known as cadencia by the milongueros, tuned by the inhalation and exhalation of the leader’s breathing.
To preserve the orientation and lean, the lead will step forward and put his front foot on the floor before the follower places her back foot on the floor.
Both lead and follower are highly responsible for maintaining their own axis and balance.
Steps are small, and feet are kept close to the floor.
The embrace is high: the follower’s arm is typically placed behind the man’s neck, over the top of the shoulder.
Leading is done by moving the body along with moving slightly forward from the feet and tilting the axis slightly.
There is the concept of the apilado connection – a connection that is enhanced by the use of this style. This connection, which is enhanced by a meeting of the bodies at the rib cage, is close and constant without undue pressure.
It is especially advantageous for taller women.


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One Response so far.

  1. Zaki казва:

    An easy solution to the heel-first/ball-first qsuetion is to let your forward step touch the floor first with the outside edge of the foot. Simply turn your toe out and down slightly so that the area of your little toe becomes the landing gear. It looks graceful and unaffected, and allows your weight to come automatically onto the ball of the foot as you complete the step. Depending on your walking trajectory, the heel may sometimes hit first, but it’s not a big deal and you will always have a soft landing if your foot posture follows this formula.Further hint: For back steps and side steps, the inner edge should touch down first. Reach back from the hip and set the posture of your foot to make this happen.