Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Early Milonga Revolutión

Catch to 8am milonga at La Confitería Ideal* in Buenos Aires.
But how about your town's own early milongas?
I am asking you to take up arms!  And use those arms to hug people who also enjoy earlier milongas. I think they are the silent majority, and it is time for an Early Milonga Revolutión!

When I wrote about the health risks that tango dancers have because of sleep deprivation caused by late-evening start times, I got hundreds of emails, messages, and comments in agreement.  (See Tango's Worst Heath Risk.)  I made the point that sleep deprivation is unnecessary if we just had earlier milongas.
From all the agreement from comments, it occurs to me that organizers are unaware of the changes in their customers.  Let's not wait for organizers to figure this out on their own!  Some organizers like late milongas and are not even aware of the silent majority--their potential customers.

Here are some marketing ideas to use in your area:
  • Feasibility Study:  Anytime a chain restaurant, for example, wants to build a restaurant they look at the customer base. Here are the people who would come to an earlier milonga:
       > Milonga customers who need to or would drive +40 minutes to the milonga.
       > Customers who must get up early the next day.
       > Customers who would have evening commitments.
       > Customers who are health conscious about their sleep.
       > Customers who like to dance and then go out and eat with friends after the event.
  • Soft-sell approach:  Create a group of like-minded people who will individually contact the organizers they most like and talk them into earlier start times with earlier stop times.  The reason for earlier stop times is very important.  With encuentros (small gender balanced events or "festivalitos"), the start times generally are earlier and end earlier.  This keeps the event even-handed without a clique that comes late.  In other words, "Come late? Dance less!"
  • Hard-sell:  Especially in larger communities, organizers who are unwilling to listen to the many customers they have about an earlier milonga start time need to face a simple business consequence:  Competition on the same day of their milonga.  Dancers should have little patience with organizers who refuse to listen or even consider the health risks of sleep deprivation on their community. Late night driving risks for those who travel home goes up exponentially. I know!  I drive over an hour to the closest milonga to me.  I am at the moment in Texas, and DUI (driving under the influence) of sleepiness in many states is no different than any other DUI. The organizer should expect that another organizer has the right to have an earlier milonga on the same day if he or she not willing to change times.  In a few words:  Vote with your feet after giving fair warning.
  • Motivate good dancers to come out.  Early milongas have a reputation that the good dancers stay at home.  Why?  It's tango culture of the last century, but unfortunately for those who know sleep deprivation health risk, staying out late is also foolishness, especially when given a choice to dance earlier.
  • Give examples of communities who have early milongas.  Here are some:  Cleveland, Ohio (PLEASE hit the link!!), Cleveland has the most impressive early-milonga schedule I have ever seen.  If you are in Buenos Aires, go to afternoon milonga at Ideal; it starts at 8am in the morning and goes all day.  On Saturdays alone, Buenos Aires has ten milongas/practicas that start between 8am, as the earliest start time, and 7pm, the latest start time.  Twenty-one on Sundays; five on Mondays; four on Tuesdays; eight on Wednesdays; five on Thursdays; and Fridays have five early milongas/practicas that start at or before 7pm.  There are many more that start at eight and end by midnight, which most towns would consider "early."  
Maybe your town needs early milongas during the week and on weekends too?  Vive la revolución!

*Ideal's milonga is presently closed for renovations; so you will not see that milongas on the following link for Hoy Milonga (given below for this Sunday's milonga.  The milonga calendar for Buenos Aires has practicas and milongas in order by start time.  I am including only those practicas and milongas starting early in the day and no later than 7pm (1900). There are active links on each of the milongas listed below.

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