Milonga is essentially Tango; the differences lie in the music, which has a strongly-accented beat, and an underlying “habanera” rhythm. Dancers avoid pausing and often introduce syncopations and broken rhythm into their walks and turns.
Milonga uses the same basic elements as Tango, with a strong emphasis on the rhythm, and figures that tend to be less complex than some of those danced in some varieties of Tango.
Milonga uses the same basic elements as Tango, and requires a greater relaxation of legs and body. Movement is normally faster, and pauses are not made. It is rather a kind of rhythmic walking without complicated figures, with a much more “rustic” style than Tango.
There are different styles of Milonga: Milonga Lisa (Simple Milonga), in which the dancer steps on every beat of the music; and Milonga con Traspié, in which the dancer uses Traspiés or contrapasos (changes of weight from one foot to the other and back again in double time or three steps in two beats) to interpret the music. Thus, dynamics may be danced without having to run fast or without the use of much space.
Milonga is also the name given to tango dance parties. This double meaning of the word milonga can be confusing unless one knows the context in which the word “milonga” is used. People who dance at milongas are known as milongueros.