Tango Argentino > Advices For Milonga Participants

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by wadpro, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Not as much as you might think... most of us have figured out ways of getting out of dancing with people we don't wish to dance with.
  2. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Good to know. And BTW, that's not me being snarky, that's me being frivolous. You'll know if I get snarky.

    I and others have written extensively on my site about the cabeceo in our area (London-based). Here's a small selection:

    I think it's fair to say I and other contributors have thought a little about this topic.

    And I wouldn't assume that any of the regular posters here are unaware of either the traditional cabeceo or the problems with it, especially in other cultures.

    Putting it simply, it only works well, when everyone uses it.
  3. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    Alternatively, just wait for the next song of the tanda and make use of the 15-second time where couples chat on the dancefloor before they go into the embrace. A tango is three min long, if you're in the middle of a song it is just one min or so of waiting, still much simpler than trying to enter a crowded flow. Plus, the off-the-floor and the on-the-floor separation is often just the fact that you're sitting or not on you chair.
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yup. Given that the way to "get out of" dancing with someone is to say "No, thank you." it's really not that hard, or that awkward of a situation. Personally, given that I find eye contact to be a rather difficult thing, I find the cabeceo to be more awkward and uncomfortable. Nor do I think it's any less classy for a guy to walk up and ask than it is to use eye contact. Shrug.
  5. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    If you reject a dance from one guy, do you feel obligated to sit out the tanda or would you accept a dance from another guy during the same tanda ?
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    It depends.

    If I've declined an invitation with a reason--like, "I'm taking a break" or, "My feet hurt"--then I will decline all further invitations during the tanda. I don't use them as excuses--I use those reasons when they're true.

    If I've declined with just a simple, "No, thank you" then it's because I don't want to dance with that leader, and I will accept other invitations. I use this very rarely. I don't decline invitations lightly (although I've thought plenty of times that perhaps I should decline more)
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    I don't know about you specifically, but there are a great many women who view the first situation as being relative, not absolute. For example, Leader A walks up and invites you to dance — he isn't too bad, but you've been dancing a fair amount that night, so your feet really are hurting a little. You refuse the dance on those grounds. Leader B, an excellent leader, approaches you a minute later — your feet haven't stopped hurting, but for him you are willing to endure the pain (and demolish the feelings of Leader A) because you know it will be the best dance of the night for you. I've been on both ends of this, so I'm not judging those who think this way or complaining about it, but it would be much more straightforward if things always went just as you described! ;)
  8. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Sometimes I do want to refuse a dance just because I would like to give a chance to the leader I would like to dance with.

    For example, the other night, I agreed to dance a particular tanda with a leader. It becomes awkward when other leaders come up at the beginning of the cortina.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm quite content to be responsible for doing the initial asking. OTOH, I have partners who I've danced with a lot, who know that I enjoy dancing with them, and who never ask me to dance. If a woman knows that a I enjoy dancing with her, I think it would be fine for her to ask me to dance.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I know you directed this to Peaches, but I thought I'd chime in too.

    Usually, if I've turned someone down with a reason that (as far as he knows) has nothing to do with the leader, then I feel obligated to turn down anyone else for a bit too, especially that song and if the person I refused is still not dancing with someone else. There are only 2 people in our general community that I try very hard to get out of ever dancing with, but it's a small place (and one of those guys is a friend) so it's awkward to let it be obvious that I am refusing THEM specifically. Both of them have physically hurt me in the past and they have continued to dance the same way for years, which means there is a good chance of me getting hurt again.

    Recently I had to turn down one of my favorite leaders because he asked me IMMEDIATELY after I had just refused to dance with one of my "no go's" and the first guy was still standing there talking to me. I had told the first guy that I was done for the night. :( I actually had intended to be done for the night because I had danced with everyone I wanted to dance with except that one leader, and I figured I wouldn't get asked by him since the evening was almost over and his favorite partner has only recently arrived. I WAS hurting and there was no one else left that was worth additional soreness.

    I have refused both of the "no go's" either by avoiding eye contact (or socializing) or flat out refusal (when cabeceo methods didn't work) for quite awhile now hoping they would get the point and stop asking me, but it hasn't worked. I'm probably going to have to approach the problem directly soon. In both cases, it's a personal injury issue that creates the pain.. what they do may not cause anyone else a problem at all, but because of my specific physical problem, I get hurt by them.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I understand your post... if you mean you have already agreed to dance an upcoming tanda with someone, but a different leader comes to ask at the beginning of that cortina, then it is perfectly acceptable to say that you have already agreed to dance this next tanda with someone else.

    I have even done this when it wasn't specific which tanda we might dance, but we'd promised each other the next tanda of a certain music. That would mean that I'm on hold until the tanda starts. If the leader who just asked me wants to wait while we determine that, I will dance with him if it is not the music the other leader and I are waiting for. If he does not want to wait and it turns out to be the "wrong" music and I end up sitting out, no hard feelings... I totally understand his reluctance to be "on hold" while I determine if I'm dancing with someone else.
  12. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Your second paragraph described my situation. I did just like you would have done, explaining to him that if the music be ..., I would dance with another leader because I have agreed... That worked, but after using this a few times (that tanda, didn't show up until much later), I feel very bad myself. At that time, I wish that the cabeceo is used. Because then I can stare at the floor until music start.

  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    If it's a certain piece of music, you run the risk of it not even being in the playlist! If it's a certain style, the DJ can probably give you an idea of how long before it gets played. If you are running a risk of having to look at the floor for several tandas, it would be better for you and the person you want to dance with to just ask the DJ roughly how long before that tanda is on. I don't know any DJ's who would be upset to have someone approach them with a question along the lines of "Is there a tanda of vals coming up soon?" (or milonga, or D'Arienzo, or Gotan, or whatever)
  14. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    According to the tradition, the music comes first, and the partner's pick happens after, based on music. Good dancers care about music a great deal. All people I regularly dance with follow that rule.
    If someone asks me during a cortina, I usually say "Lets see what's playing next".
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I've had situations like that happen. The way I usually deal with it is just to tell the second (good) leader that I'm taking a break, but that I really Really REALLY would LOVE to dance with him, just not at the moment, and can I come find him when I'm ready (or will he come find me in a little bit). If I know the person reasonably well, I'll sometimes lean in and explain that I just turned someone else down, and even though I'd make an exception to dance with *them* right now, that I don't want to be that rude.

    The only time I have not dealt with the situation like this I had turned someone down because I was tired and ready to go home. I was in the process of taking my shoes off when a favorite leader and friend asked me. I made an exception and put my shoes back on. I probably should not have done it, but sometimes...well...the situation warrants an exception.
  16. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    If I turn down one leader, and right after that accept another, usually that means: I do not want the first leader ask me again, ever.
    If I turn down a leader and hope to dance with him in the future, or do not care much to dance with him but still care about his feelings, I will usually say "I am sorry, but I have to dance this tanda with someone else".

    And yes, it is relative. How many times I heard from a guy "How insensitive! She said she was too tired, and then went to dance with another guy!" Well yes, she was too tired for dancing with you, because dancing with you is hard work for her, and with that other guy it may be just the opposite, relaxing, energizing. But of course, most of the time people do not say it that way in order not to hurt anyone's feelings.
  17. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    :rolleyes: Those the breaks ...

    Yes there's tired and there's "I really am taking my shoes off and going" tired .. :p
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    Just tell them that, for whatever reason, it hurts you when you dance with them. If they care at all about your well-being, they will stop asking you (and if they don't care, why bother being polite to them at all?). As long as you don't say it in an accusatory way, I can't see how they would be offended. Sure, it's not a very pleasant conversation to have, but it's better than living the rest of your tango life wondering how many good dances you'll have to sacrifice to maintain the cluelessness of these two guys!
  19. 'round Midnight

    'round Midnight New Member

    This concept is being touted at some US festivals and by a few traveling teachers. I think it's a great idea, and I use it often (but perhaps not as often as I should...).

    However, I am amused by the fact that on my last trip to BA, over the course of three weeks of dancing nightly, it happened to me exactly once, and that was by an American expat teacher. Once I even had the woman of an entering couple physically push me out of the way to get onto the dance floor. Go figure.
  20. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    Great demonstration that some ideas are worth pushing because of their own merit, not because it's customary in BsAs!

    Also, getting pushed by a dancing couple entering the floor can be mentally overcome. But once I had a guy bump into me because he wanted to walk across the dancefloor; I guess he just didn't feel like walking the extra 10 steps behind the tables :) A minute later, after I moved half way around the ronda, the same guy was there, on the floor chatting with his friends who were sitting at table. I tapped him on the shoulder and nodded to him to get off the floor. Justified move on my part?

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