Tango Argentino > Accepting/declining dances...the Argentine way

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by MadamSamba, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    I've noticed that accepting and declining dances in Argentine Tango is done quite differently from other forms of dance where, typically, someone will physically ask you to dance.

    This approach can prove problematic at times because 1) if you're refused, you might be embarrassed and 2) if you don't want to dance, you feel obliged to say yes. The traditional Argentine way of asking for a dance _ simply to lock eyes and nod for a yes or avert your eyes for a no(or some permutation of this) _ seems the perfect solution.

    Do you prefer to be asked (or to ask) or is this nod-nod, wink-wink, way of doing things a better option?
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I don't mind asking. I always ask in a way that it is easy for a person to refuse graciously. There almost always is someoen who is willing to dance with me. As long as I have my dancing you can keep on refusing. I don't want to dance with you if you don't want to danec with me.

    I've done the nonverbal asking at times, but usually it is with those whom I've danced with before.
  3. jon

    jon Member

    I am generally anti-anything that requires me to be a mindreader, such as interpreting the eye contact behavior of people I don't know well. "No" is an acceptable answer.
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. I don't mind someone saying no. I'll just go and ask someone else. But as someone who has always been baffled by social rules like women making a polite excuse(eg I'd love to dance my leg has just broken) when they actually mean no thank you
  5. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    BTM, I agree with you, but the problem is that some men don't get it when you say "no, thank you", let alone a subtle hint.

    There's one guy who ALWAYS asks me to do the quickstep. I adore the dance and really like doing it with someone who is going to have fun doing it, but he always asks me and, lately, I've started saying I've got the dance booked.

    I don't like lying, but I don't like dancing with him either, because he doesn't protect me. He only wants to look good and, without fail, I'll be elbowed in the head, trod on or hurt in other ways whenever I quickstep with him.

    His cavalier they-should- watch-where-they're-going-attitude doesn't help, and he ploughs forward. It drives me crazy, and worse still, hurts. I know I should tell him, but I don't want to hurt him. He doesn't get many dances...three guesses why.
  6. mhgroove

    mhgroove New Member

    Madam Samba,

    I can understand your position. But as a man, I would like a woman to tell me no..it's okay if she's doesn't want to dance with me. Am I disappointed..yes, but at least...I know right upfront! Plus, most men don't get subtle hints!
  7. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Mhgroove, I understand completely, but I'm not someone to act dishonestly and would much prefer to simply say, "no, thank you" and be done with it. Unfortunately it ain't that simple.

    I did it twice, for various reasons, and both those men no longer talk to me, let alone dance with me.

    The first time was with someone who walked off the dancefloor on me. The next time he asked me to dance I said, "no, thank you". I didn't even bother making an excuse. He no longer says hello to me and, last week, we met him with a group of friends and he greeted everyone except me.

    The second instance, was that I didn't like dancing with a particular man who pulls me a little too close to bits of him that I'd rather stay far from. Last time he asked me to dance I decided honesty was the best policy and said, "No, thanks." He asked why and I told him. He immediately started ranting about how it was the "proper" way to do the dance and paid no heed to the fact that I didn't feel comfortable dancing with him in that manner. He no longer asks me to dance and, should we meet during a progressive, "begrudgingly says hello, how are you?" but no more.

    So, it's very much a case of once bitten twice shy and I'm sure many females will concur.
    Thankfully, you're obviously far more reasonable! :)
  8. JonD

    JonD New Member

    I've just received this from a friend who is in BA at the moment:

    "Well Buenos Aires is Tango Heaven. You can find dancing in the streets everyday and you can dance in a choice of over 10 clubs everyday from around 3pm in the afternoon to the early hours of the morning. I would love to write a book about the many different venues; all have such different characters from old delapidated mill houses to grand old marbled interiors and then the type of dancers differ too, from the really young alternatives to the so old you would think they would need a zimmer frame to get around the floor, but hey boy can they move. Oh and not to mention the way you ask someone to dance!! At one dance I sat next to a very vigorous old women who kept on nudging me when a bloke was trying to catch my eye. Its amazing how you can communicate with people without understanding each others language. Anyway the way of obtaining a partner is by getting eye contact with a man across the room and then a nod of the head to agree before you then both get up and walk towards each other. Not British behaviour..te he. Then in another place you just had people hovering around you then they would verbally ask you to dance."

    I've got to go to BA next year without fail. I'm so jealous!

    On the subject of being refused dances I'll go with honesty. It sounds as if some guys aren't mature enough to accept your reasons or a polite refusal and behave like spoilt 5 year-olds. I can just see them dancing - totally selfish and self-absorbed. They should give up partner dancing!

  9. mhgroove

    mhgroove New Member

    Madam Samba,

    Thank you for sharing your two stories. I can understand why you have decided to decline a dance in different manner. Unfortunately, most men (me included) don't like rejection from a woman in a direct manner..but we always complain that women don't tell us a direct answer. Confusing..eh?!?

    I must admit when I first started salsa dancing..I didn't like when I asked a woman to dance and she said no. I was disappointed and I acted like those men in the two examples you posted.

    Finally, I had to understand when you ask a woman to dance or on a date..there is that chance the woman will say no. And you will be disappointed! But, that's life...and confidence is the key for us men. I hope I'm not getting to preachy here..but Madam Samba your posts are extremely important if men and women are going to interact with each other correctly.

    Unfortunately, a lot of men can't take no for answer..but I still believe being direct is the best way whenever possible. The man can't say the woman didn't tell him no when he asked for a dance. Ahh...the mating dance..why can't it be simple. Have a good one!!!!
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    there is thr old Liverpool approach:

    man: "yer dancin?"
    woman: "yer asking?"
    man: "I'm asking".
    woman: "I'm dancing."
  11. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I have ( :?: ) to ask, do you want to dance with these guys again?

    If yes, ask them to dance with you next time. That should make up for any sore feelings (I hope).

    If a girl turns me down without any reason, I will maybe, or maybe not, ask them a second time later (dependant on who/what/where etc.) If they say no again, I will leave it up to the girls to take the initiative next time. If they turn me down, I expect they don't want to dance with me for some reason, and I respect that and don't push myself on anyone.

    But I would not go so far as the first guy who demonstrately do not say hello to you. I think that is just being plain childish. :?

    Personally I prefer honesty to lies. Especially if I understand that the girls are lying just to get out of dancing with me. :evil:

    Doing Lindy Hop, it seems that common etiquette is to always say yes and dance (at least) two dances. While it has the advantage of seldom being turned down (being turned down a two or three times early in the evening can take away the spirit for many), it is never fun dancing with someone who looks like she wants to be everywhere but on the floor dancing with me. That can be equally disheartening. :(
  12. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Sometimes I ask.
    Sometimes I use the eye contact.
    Often I just offer my hand, and lead her to the floor if she takes it.

    There are a couple of girls declining to dance with me.
    I don’t know why, but that’s ok.
    The time interval before I ask again just increases each time.

    I like the feedback from my dance partners. But I may be special.
    If they feel something is wrong with the lead, or whatever, I like to know.
    Then I can chose to try adjusting to her, adjusting in general, or continue “my way”

    Not being able to say hello, after a declined dance, or some feedback
    that’s not appreciated show he snob / @ss and satisfy a private spite. :evil:
    (Had to use the dictionary here, hope I got the right words).
    My guess is they never learn, and you don’t mind them not asking.
  13. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Usually I just offer my hand after making eye contact. Otherwise I will ask, "Are you up for dancing to this?"

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