Review: Tango Mango (Devon)

30th October 2009 2009

Date: 26th October 26th - 1st November 2009

Location: Rudolf Steiner School Dartington, near Totnes, Devon

Introduction

Tango Mango is a regular week / weekender Tango event, held in Totnes near Devon.

In October 2009, it was on from all week from 26th October - 1st November. I went down there from Thursday 29th and spent three days there - I'll split my comments into several entries.

Getting there

I arrived for the Thursday evening Milonga. Its cost £30 for three days of dancing from 10:00 am until 12 midnight (Sunday until 6:00) and £6 for the Thursday night Milonga.

The event is held in Rudolph Steiner School near Dartington, Devon - directly off the main road to Totnes. It's not too bad a drive - coming from West London, it took me about 4 hours to get there.

Accommodation

There is shared dormitory-style on site accommodation, but I'm not a communal-sleeping person, so I booked a Bed-and-Breakfast ("The Great Grubb") a couple of miles away in Totnes.

It's very nice - hotel-like, but with a personal touch. And Wifi!

First impressions

The place itself could do with a "Tango Mango" sign at the entrance, as it's easy to drive past it - especially at night. It's also a bit of an adventure going from the car park to the venue in darkness - follow the sound of the music is your best bet. But taking a torch may also be a good plan.

The Hall

As you go in, there's a large shoe rack for you to change your shoes, which is nice. There's no bar, simply a small kitchen area with seating, where people can help themselves to water, tea, coffee and juices. There's also a comfy-cushion area. It's a bit of a culture shock to those of us reared on London milongas, seeing people lying down on cushions half-asleep. Even more of a culture shock to see the same in the main hall. I was not in Kansas anymore, that was for sure.

The Dancing

The music and dancing was pretty much traditional and standard - there were few floorcraft issues that I could see, and people were mostly dancing in close embrace. The hall itself is a reasonable size - in London terms, I guess about twice the size of the Dome or Negracha's.

There were no tables around the hall, just a few seats and a couple of benches. No cabaceo either - people simply asked each other to dance, it was all quite friendly and informal.

I had a nice time - it seemed like a nice, standard, traditional milonga. Nothing magical, but certainly nothing to be sneezed at either.

Next time

Next up... the classes.

More details: www.tangoindevon.co.uk/tangomango.html

- David Bailey, 30th October 2009

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