Recently, for one evening, as a trial, Carablanca milonga in London decided to dispense with a pre-milonga class and use the time instead for dancing. In a bold move the organisers also decided to get an extension, so the milonga started at 8 and finished at 2am. Moreover, they brought in a really good DJ, Bernhard Gehberger. It seems to have been a big success. Plenty of people were on the floor from start to finish, and it was remarkable that almost all the dancing was close or close-ish embrace. It wasn't as disciplined and restrained as a BsAs milonga, but then Londoners haven't had years of practice at dancing on crowded floors. (All it takes is practice! It's not something you can learn in classes!) Although it's a fair-sized hall, the organisers have limited the amount of space available for dance, so everyone is developing the skills needed for tango at a traditional milonga.
I gather that when the Welsh Centre milonga, Carablanca's previous incarnation, started out they had just one CD, a Troilo CD that those who remember those days know by heart, and that it was known as a place for kicking and being kicked. (I hope I'm not maligning it: this was years ago, anyway.) From that to six hours of excellent music, and reasonably good dance too: times have changed for the better I think! It parallels some comments made recently by Irene and Man Yung about Toronto tango: perhaps Toronto has gone through the same transformation as London within a similar timescale. (It's a hilarious post if you haven't already seen it.)
& the good news is that there's more of this coming up. I hear that there are several evenings without a pre-milonga class arranged for the next few months, a full four hours of dance each night, and that an extension until 2am for a further evening has been applied for. Combined with bookings of first-rate DJs, there are some really good evenings to look forward to. Keep an eye on the website.