Last weekend saw a group from the meetup group Love Tango head over with a picnic to Tango al Fresco in Regent’s Park. I have been aware of this event for a while, but have always been out of the country/otherwise engaged, so I was looking forward to it – plus, we had beautiful weather!
We got there as Kele was busy with the finishing touches to her dancefloor, and set up our blankets close by. We were a small group of 6 people, some of whom had met me before at different events, none of whom had met each other. However, as we all shared an interest in tango, the conversation flowed quite happily. Turned out there were lots of other interests we shared too, and it felt like we’d known each other for years as we shared out the foods we’d brought.
There were many different tango abilities in the group, from complete beginners to those who had been dancing for a while, but we all joined in the introductory class.
I had heard good things about Kele as an organiser and teacher, and I wasn’t disappointed. She had a good teaching structure, gave clear instructions, and injected a sense of fun into the proceedings too. After this, we were left in the capable hands of her DJ. Perhaps inevitably for such an open milonga, and considering there were some very new dancers on the floor, there were some collisions on the floor from time to time. Therefore, this is not a milonga for the purists. However, what it lacked in dancefloor flow, was made up plentifully by the sheer pleasure of dancing outdoors, and the fact that many newer people were encouraged to dance. The tango community can be a daunting and difficult one to enter, so every milonga that is easily accessible and friendly to the newer dancer is a thing to be welcomed.
Still, having said that, much of the usual London tango crowd had also turned up, so as the day progressed, the initial issues with floorcraft seemed to melt away and the milonga flowed much better. The music was nicely varied too – we all have our own favourites, but it seemed the DJ was managing to cover much of the popular music.
This milonga is held twice a summer as a fundraiser for The Royal Parks Foundation, and the funds raised go towards environmental and planting projects in Regent’s Park.
So… I will definitely try and go again in August!