Sarah La Rocca founded The NYC All Night Milonga in 2001. It is one of the most successful milongas in the United States. It regularly hosts 200-300 dancers and is an important stop for visiting artists and DJs. The cabaceo, an Argentine-style invitation to dance with a small nod of the head, is reasonably well understood. Performers sit at the tables in the back right of the room. “El Muro,” the wall where followers who want to dance sit, is a row of marked tables on the left as you enter. Most of the action is around that left door.
There are sort of two milongas. The main room is traditional and there is a smaller nuevo room. But the real difference is before and after midnight. As in Buenos Aires, better dancers arrive late to take advantage of the more open floor.
The milonga stayed open until 4am on a recent visit. Dancers kept arriving through the night. Probably the best way to do the NYC All Night Milonga is all night.
The only thing missing is a place to get media lunas (Argentine pastries) in the morning. The Argentine food truck in Greeley Square has them, but they don’t open until 10 am on Sunday.
(Original by Keith Widyolar on October 19, 2017 https://www.newyorklatinculture.com/nyc-all-night-milonga/)
The NYC All Night Milonga presents the finest tango teachers, performers, and DJ's from around the world. Many famous and important tango artists have graced our floor.
Founded in 2001 by Sarah La Rocca, The NYC All Night Milonga is one of the oldest and most popular milongas in North America. Typically we have between 200 to 300 dancers attending and on special occasions. There are two dance floors- the large main ballroom for traditional tango and a separate room for alternative/electronica/neuvo tango, plus a lounge area for drinks, snacks and tango related vendors. There is always an intermediate level class at 9pm before the milonga starts.
The NYC All Night Milonga is open the 2nd and last Saturday of every month. Admission $18 with the class, $16 without, students $10 with valid college id.
Please join our Facebook group to keep up to date on all activities.
Sarah La Rocca was an art teacher in her late 20's in Washington when she saw a dancer named Fabian Salas tango. Moved to tears, she began taking private lessons from him four times a week. She started traveling around the world to take lessons, then quit her job and moved to Buenos Aires.
For months, she lived the nocturnal life of an expatriate American tango bum. Like others, she would rise in the mid-afternoon to practice the tango, take a class in the evening and go out for coffee and then to a tango club. She would arrive after midnight and stay until 6 A.M., eat breakfast and go home to bed. When her money ran short, she said, she taught English to bank executives.
In the clubs, she saw people whose lives seemed to be held hostage by the tango: the same women, in the same seats, waiting for the same men. They looked like zombies, liberated only by dancing.
''I thought, 'God protect me from becoming like that,' '' Ms. La Rocca recalled recently. She returned to the United States in late 1997 and now works, and teaches tango, in New York.
''There is something about tango, about the listening to each other in tango, that creates a really moving experience,'' Ms. La Rocca said. ''It's not that it happens every night. But when it does happen, it's very powerful and it keeps you looking for it. It's almost like love at first sight, in a way; it's like a physical love at first sight.
''It can be two people who don't even know each other, who don't even have a common language,'' added Ms. La Rocca, who is now in her early 30's. ''It's almost like this meditative state where two people can transmit feeling to each other without even speaking. It's an extraordinary thing and I've never met anyone who could explain it.''
(Original at NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/11/movies/flirting-with-the-tango.html)