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Our bootcamp-style social tango classes develop your musicality, connection, technique & improvisation, as well as your confidence with milonga etiquette.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Cabeceo - making it work for you

So you've tried this cabeceo thingy a few times but it somehow didn't really work for you.

Did you look in his direction and he didn't return your gaze?

Was she was too busy talking to someone to notice that you were trying to get her attention?

Did you stare at him/her without success?

Well, here are some tips.
  • First and foremost: it's about choice - for both parties - not about imposing your will.
  • If you want to dance, show it, but in a way that allows the other person some choice. (See earlier post Cabeceo: the subtle game of pursuit)
  • If possible, sit where eye contact with potential dance partners is easy. (Unfortunately, the physical conditions of some milongas can make this challenging eg. lighting, seating layout, etc.)
  • Gentlemen, if you need to wander around to achieve that eye contact, just make sure you do it from afar thus allowing ladies real choice. (Contrary to popular opinion, nodding vigorously at a potential partner after coming within a metre or so, does not constitute a cabeceo!)
  • Ladies, if you think this is all unfair and that you have little say in the process, think again. Women can have as much power in this situation. (See earlier post Buenos Aires milongas from a  woman's perspective for more details.
  • Accept that there will be ups and downs. People choose not to dance at any one time for a multitude of reasons. Be patient and stay positive - nobody would want to dance with a disgruntled-looking person.
  • Remember that it's about real choice for both parties.
    Do you want to dance with someone who is simply going through the motions because they didn't want to hurt your feelings?  Or do you want to dance with someone who really wants to dance with you?? Think quality rather than quantity.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's a man's world - fact or fiction?

We’ve been scratching our heads over a behaviour that we’ve observed with some frequency. There’s been no number-crunching but we’ll stick our necks out and call it a trend. What is of concern is that this behaviour has the potential to upset the equilibrium and halt the progress of a tango community. As to its causes, we can only speculate, and we won’t bore you too much with amateur psychology. No doubt, you’ll have your theories.

Anyway, here goes:

When we notice the disrespectful practice of a dancer giving their partner advice or doing a spot of teaching at a milonga, the perpetrator is normally not the lady. Although, to be fair, it could be argued that the lady is partly to blame for putting up with this inappropriate behaviour, rather than abandoning her partner on the dance-floor.

Have the men in question conscientiously striven to improve their own dancing, taking lots of private classes and doing countless hours of focussed practice so they can lead perfectly?

Are they experts in the woman's role, too?

If the culprits of this behaviour think they are so accomplished and their dance partners so inept, why do they invite them to dance?

Even more to the point, why do their dance partners repeatedly accept their invitations and willingly subject themselves to this?

We just don’t get it!

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