How not to ask someone to dance

Speaking as an outsider to London, we (that is brave tango commuters) very rarely venture into London alone. If we turn up mob-handed we know we're with people who will make our night go ok, even if the locals are totally unwelcoming. Followers in particular need to bring a favoured leader with them or risk spending the whole night getting a numb bum.

Some of my best nights in London (new year at Negracha for example) were primarily because a good helping of friendly faces were present to talk to and dance with. Also, I've found the atmosphere tends to lighten up as the hour gets late (midnight onwards). I think people have got tired of posturing by then.
Is London really that bad? Isn't it just like other places, where people prefer to dance with friends and if they've been around a long time they generally like to spend a lot of time socialising and not just dancing. In a smaller place it's also more obvious when there are new people, so you get noticed by the regulars, but in a bigger city there are always new people coming and going.

When I came to London milongas as an outsider I had good and bad nights in the beginning. You shouldn't just sit in a corner and expect people to come running to ask you to dance, or as a leader attack the best followers. But there are lots of people who want to dance with strangers - just think about all the other visiting dancers from other towns...
Is London really that bad?
I think that central city dance venues - and I think this is a general rule for most dance forms - just tend to be more "aggressive" or "predatory" than out-of-town venues. I think it's something in the air...

My point is, that there is no equality in the dance hall. A woman may turn a man down for any reason or none, but a man may not turn down a woman however obnoxious she is.
I'm not sure where this came from, is it actually a rule? Has anyone stated this?
I think that central city dance venues - and I think this is a general rule for most dance forms - just tend to be more "aggressive" or "predatory" than out-of-town venues. I think it's something in the air...
Pollution, probably. :)

And the general sense of stress - no time for strangers, mate!
I think that central city dance venues - and I think this is a general rule for most dance forms - just tend to be more "aggressive" or "predatory" than out-of-town venues. I think it's something in the air...
Part of the go-getter culture. Women have to compete in the workplace, they have to juggle their time between home, children, partner and leisure. They will not sit around and wait for dances to come to them.

In my experience the young women tend to be more extrovert in that respect than their older counterparts.
I always feel funny about asking a guy to dance. I know, I know. I've read numerous times that guys tend to like being asked, for once not having to be the one to risk rejection. But still, there's an element of, "If he wanted to be dancing with someone he'd be on the floor. And if he'd wanted to dance with me, he'd have asked me already." Liberated woman and all that aside, I still haven't found the stones to be able to do it. I will ask friends, where I know there's always the "come find me if I don't find you" thing between us. But other than that? I'm chicken.

I`ve been lurking in this forum for some time now, but I`m really new at Tango, and this would be my first post :)

I don`t know about other guys, but I feel flattered when girls asks me for a dance. I`m happy to do the asking most of the time; but once in a while, it`s nice to know that the girls actually enjoy dancing with me. I`m still very much a beginner in Tango; so sometimes, I don`t know whether the girls wanted to dance, or whether they accepted the invitation to dance simply because they`re just being nice.

It`s true that if the guy wants to dance with you, he should ask you. But on the other hand, if he always asks without ever being asked back in return, he might start to wonder whether she`s just obliging him. Or if he hasn`t asked you yet that particular evening, it could be because of one of a number of reasons, e.g. he hasn`t seen you yet, thought you were busy in conversation, etc. On the other hand, maybe he does intend to sit out the song for whatever reason, e.g. resting. However, if it was me who wanted to sit out a song; if any girl asks me for a dance, I`d happily dance that song first and sit out the next! :D


New Member
Hey, welcome to the DF! You should post more and lurk less. ;)

I like your open and friendly attitude about social dancing. :cool:
I find that asking "Are you taking a break or would you care to dance?" while extending my hand or just cocking my head toward the lead is a very non-threatening way of asking for a dance. This automatically gives them an out if they prefer it and it is an out that anyone can live with. More times than not my invitation is accepted but I know that I have afforded them a graceful way to decline if they so desire.

Rudeness is rude no matter the venue or dance. I do not find such behavior acceptable in any social or business situation. The woman in the original posting just set herself up for defeat by the way she approached the entire situation and her reply to you was uncalled for. Over time she will find that she will gain a reputation for putting people off and have far fewer dance partners that will willingly ask her to, or accept her invitation to dance.
After all, what goes around, truly does come around.
Please accept my apologies if this has already been addressed - I've started reading this thread from the beginning and haven't reached the end yet, but wanted to ask this so I didn't forget later.

~One of the big reasons for using the "cabeceo" is to avoid complications like this.
:???:What is "the cabeceo":???:
Hi TB (the bear); welcome to DF. I have to admit I have no idea what the cabeceo is - I just wanted to say hi! However, I will stick around to find out the answer!
A woman tango dancer recently came back from BsAs saying: "I've been to a lot of milongas and never got an invitation! Guys looked at me, but they never invited me!"

Mirada (the glance) is the first part of an invitation to dance; then you should reply with a cabeceo (the head move) if you want to dance.

I can imagine the dancers talking about that lady: "We are all trying to invite her, but she never accepts!!!"

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