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Thursday, 1 November 2007

Making the most of BsAs milongas

It´s every foreigner´s desire to "dance with the locals", but if you´re a couple, there are some adjustments to make. Here are some tips that worked for me (& therefore, for Pat):
  • we enter the milonga separately, which means that I´ll be seated at a table with other men; I also make a quick trip to the toilet to change my shoes
  • I watch the dancers for a while - maybe 2 tandas - to get the feel of the milonga and to identify potential dance partners
  • it´s been a good idea to dance with Pat early in the milonga, so that others can assess our ability, style, and musicality - important if my use of the cabeceo is to be successful
  • the cabeceo is my only means of inviting women to dance - a direct approach can mean an embarassing refusal! In the larger milongas, I´m able to walk around a bit in order to catch the eye of a woman I wanted to dance with
  • at each milonga, it takes a while to become known, and I simply have to be patient and build up my reputation in order for women to, in reality, invite me to dance via the cabeceo
  • once my invitation had been accepted, it´s time to put into action some more of the codes that Gustavo Benzecry Saba wrote about in his book "La pista del abrazo". I walk around the perimeter of the dance space until I reached my partner - and only then will she stand up. This also means it´s clear to the woman that it is her that I´m approaching, and not someone near her
  • after a brief "hola", my next move is crucial in givng my partner confidence in my ability to dance well with her. The embrace is a complete story in itself - and it´s a defining moment in this tanda for us
  • I´ll take time to absorb the music before my first step; from here, my navigation around the floor is of immense importance. I´m dancing with the other couples around me, and it´s important to protect my partner & my space in the milonga, as well as respect the space of others
  • at the first cortina, my Spanish is barely adequate for a conversation, but it´s good enough to continue the connection begun with the dance .... and at the end of the tanda, accompanying the lady back to her table is an appropriate final touch

Bob

2 comments:

Roger said...

OK Bob, so lets have Pat's side?
Roger

Tango Salon said...

Coming soon .... Pat

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