Dissed by the DJ

Dear Tango Tia: I started in tango a few weeks ago and one night I asked the DJ if they would please play a certain song. They acted like I had insulted them or had asked for something impossible. People make requests all the time at other dances and the DJs don’t seem to mind. Are all tango DJs like that or was it just this one? Dissed by the DJ

Dear Dissed: Tango is different from other dances in more ways than you can imagine, including how the music is organized. You may know that songs are played in sets of three or four and that each set includes the same orchestra, style or era of music. Skilled DJs plan this very carefully and make sure their music matches the mood and energy level of the crowd. DJs have a certain style of putting sets together and playing “one” song is not part of the plan. It would disrupt their whole playlist and cause experienced dancers to wonder what was going on. Except in the case of a birthday dance or other special occasion, it’s best to let the DJ do their thing. Do not be insulted. When you have studied as long and as hard as they have, you’ll understand.