Tango Argentino > Cabeceo promotes better dancing

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Yes, i have used the cabeceo in BA (i am actually not sure if that means all that much - you can find any tango related behaviour you can imagine "in reality in BsAs" - you just have to pick the right milonga at the right time of the night, and even the "same" milonga with the same organizers will have a somewhat different crowd and different dancing at different venues/times, e.g. compare the different cachirulos with each other) - and i completely agree - most of this is all happening in split seconds - i did not want to make it sound complicated (i lapse into game theory-speak when trying to explain what i experience as different strategies - sorry) - what i wanted to emphasize is that "asking" is the leader asking one follower, and the follower accepting/rejecting one leader, while the is cabeceo more like leaders and followers sweeping over potential partners and see if eyes stick.

  2. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    ... there are, of course, no Spanish-speaking tourists in large capital cities in places where Spanish is spoken, and there are no Argentinians for whom BsAs is a remote big and rarely-visited city, and there are certainly no native Portenos who don't have tango in their blood... ;)
  3. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I don't think I do apply cabeceo at BsAs standard but some aspects should be in place. Some followers can have surprising intensity in their communication; When a follower pass me in a milonga and I know she wants to dance with me. Or when another follower became aware of my intention and didn't want to dance with me it is equally clear. It is not only about the direction followers are looking at but also about the will and intensity behind that it.

    To me the distance is an important aspect when I need to reject a dance. One of the followers in our community put her arms around my neck when asking for next tanda and it was the easiest thing to hug her and say no thanks. This easiness was such a surprice to me - still thinking of it!

    In my world the most painful distance for a NO is at arm length from each other when she is asking: Would you LIKE to dance with me ...
  4. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    At some venues, cabaceo isn't used; small talk is. Walk up to a woman, start a conversation, blah blah, "would you like to dance?" "Sure." I don't know where the rejection can occur in this case... maybe just starting the conversation is a binding contract that you would like to dance with him/her, as was already mentioned.
  5. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I have similar experience. For a while I thought that I must look terrible in their eyes, but now I think they probably only greet the people they already know.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    In my case, they definitely know me. It's a small community; we all know each other. I've known these guys for YEARS.
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    That reminds me of a party game we played when we were kids..was it "murder?"
  8. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The discussion, so far, has been about whether cabeceo is a good way to get dances, whereas the title asserts that it promotes better dancing. Does it: how?
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Quite frankly i think its a mystifying statement. If I ask has the cabeceo been an incentive or motivational factor in my own dancing?"the answer is an unequivocal. 'No.'
  10. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The English seem to find little or no use for cabeceo. Unless you are part of a group (a small minority, usually) who understand its use, or in a venue where it is the norm (not many, here, as far as I can tell), you just won't dance if you rely on it.

    We hate to be stared at, and anyone trying to catch our eye by looking at us for more than a moment or two makes us feel uncomfortable. Outnumbered followers, who want to dance, can be the worst practitioners. They sit together (which at least tells us leaders that they are not keeping company and that they might be available to dance), but they will nearly always be found, at cortina time, deeply in conversation with each other (about shoes, or cake, or both), never looking up, or seemingly paying any attention to those around them. It can be a heck of a risk to actually go up to one of them and ask them if they would like a dance. If they realise that you are there at all, and look up, they may look startled or surprised - as though it was the last thing they expected - and they may very well turn you down out of embarrassment or even because they were mid-sentence (and it can't have been because they have seen me or anyone else dance - they never seem to glance at the dance floor). I generally leave them alone, and can end up dancing very little and leaving early, even though the room is comparatively full of potential partners.

    Perhaps organisers could offer segregated seating: dancers and others. At least you'd be in with a chance ...
  11. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    Well at the milongas I go to where we do that it's because we don't want you to ask until you know what the music is because
    a. if you ask during the cortina and then they play 1960s D'arienzo I will not want to dance and I will not enjoy the tanda no matter how you think you dance.
    b. It shows you don't care what the music is. In that case I do not want to dance with you.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    that still does'nt imply better dancing will happen.....only that people chose to dance to their favourite music....which again doesnt need a cabeceo. I often get 'booked' for milongas by one lady and valses by a couple of others..then the cabeceo is just a nod to a prearranged agreement..
  13. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Fair comment, but you have misunderstood my meaning (which is largely my fault, because I wasn't clearer). I don't expect to contract for the next dance without regard for the music being played next*; but I do expect anyone who wants to dance to give the room (ie the other dancers) their full attention once the floor had largely cleared and the next tanda is about to begin. This seems to be the point in the cycle when the attractions of shoes, cake (or whatever) are most pressing on the attention of those followers who are the first to complain that they don't get many dances. Let 'em sit!

    *Actually, if it's a night when it's a struggle to get dances I'd rather line up a partner even before I know what the music is, than to sit out all night. My only exception is if the DJ is playing non-tango music (why would they do that?) and I know that I have nothing to offer. But if it's any mainstream orchestra: I'll have a go. Of course, I have favourites, but I look upon a less favoured orchestra as a chance to learn and grow as a dancer, not a chore. The day it's a chore is the day I quit.
  14. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    Not saying it'll lead to better dancing, just pointing out why we don't look receptive to invitations during the cortinas.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Jan's title suggests it'll lead to better dancing. What do you say to that?
  16. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    Yes but followers have a preference too, if you've looked at them dancing you will see that some appear to be happier or 'better' when they are dancing to one orchestra or style of music over another. I like to match my partners to the music. Nothing worse than dancing with someone whose style is a total mismatching with the music. Incredibly frustrating.
  17. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    I was responding to your comment. I don't see how complaining that british women don't look receptive to invitations before they know what the tanda's going to be will make your dancing better either. And I really don't think that Jan would agree that accepting an invitation to dance before the music starts will lead to better dancing.
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    ... and I've made it clear that that wasn't what I meant. What's you preferred shoe brand?
  19. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    OK I'll shut up. Obviously you know more about followers experiences than I do. Well done.
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Please yourself.

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