I’ve been the DJ at a couple of milongas recently where there were show dances during the Milonga (not at our milongas, I hasten to add. We never have show dances, for reasons that’ll I’ve made clear in the past ). Both times were an absolute nightmare, for different reasons:
Both times I was only told which tracks they wanted to be played after the Milonga had started, so there was no chance for a sound check.
Luckily, at the first milonga, the selection was in my extensive collection. But then the performance was delayed 3 times because of ‘wardrobe issues’. Now, it may not seem like it sometimes, but when I’m DJing a lot of thought goes into the flow of the tandas, so a big break for show dances is bad news. If I know when it’ll be happening then I can prepare a good selection Tandas to try and keep the Milonga flowing. But when I have to change my carefully thought out plans 3 TIMES then I start to lose my sunny disposition and start sticking pins into voodoo dolls.
At the 2nd milonga the show dancers didn’t select the tracks for the show dances until just 20 minutes before the performance, when I was given a memory stick. With the wrong tracks on it. Cue much frantic file swapping whilst the correct tracks were found, whilst avoiding interrupting the music currently playing, all the time managing to stay calm and professional, even when the track volumes were at least 10Db different from each other. And, quel surprise, the show dance started one tanda later than scheduled so once again my careful planning was trashed. Oh, and you know what? After all that fuss and drama, the choice of music didn’t seem to make any difference to the performances, after all. My curses were saved for later; they matured and festered before emerging as a blood-curdling scream of murderous intent as I howled at the moon.
Dancers. Your moves may be sublime and your balance jaw-dropping. But please save a thought for the DJ; choose your tracks well in advance, and start the show dances on time. Then even the DJ might applaud afterwards, too.