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Street Tango Nights: During Tough Economic Times Greeks Get Creative

Many cities around the world are well-known for their vibrant street life, so it comes as no surprise to discover a place in Athens which is pulsating with life. If you happen to be walking down Ermou street, in Gazi, on a Monday evening, you may come across what appears to be trained dancers performing the Tango. However, this mixed bunch of people are not professionals putting on a performance, but Tango enthusiasts who meet up every week at 10pm to dance the night away under the stars. Tourists, locals and Tango fans gather at the park just across from the old yellow trolley depot to put all their energy into this passionate and intense style of dancing. Each week, the number of dancers, referred to as ‘Milongueros’ increase as word spreads about the open Tango session. Newcomers are made very welcome and usually turn up again and again with their friends or family members.

The street Tango evenings came about after a couple of friends passed a small marble plateau on the way home from class. They simply started dancing to music played on a mobile phone and enjoyed themseves so much that they returned with a CD player and a couple more friends. Dancing Tango in the park soon caught on and the unconventional dance floor has became a popular location for anyone fond of Tango dancing. The park is known as the ‘Milonga’ which is an Argentine term that describes a place or an event where tango is danced. However, the Ermou milonga is not unique, as the street Tango phenomenon burst onto the scene in Thessaloniki almost a year ago. It is a great way to meet people and enjoy an evening of Tango, so for those of you who would like to give it a try, just dance your way down to Ermou and get the whole of Athens in a Tango.

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