I was starting to write this in the other thread, but it got a bit rambly, so i thought it would be better to start a new thread. I think an important point to remember is that we are dealing with a symmetrical problem: both leaders and followers want to have "successful" dances - what criterion makes a dance "successful" varies from person to person, and leaders and followers know that their partner plays a crucial role in that. There are no differences between leaders and follower there. This is somewhat obscured only because a lot of us seem not to be in a "cabeceoning" environment (where looking for a partner is again symmetrical (which is one of the reasons i like it), but in a "leader asks, follower accepts/rejects" environment. So we get threads about "why am i not asked by leaders" and "why do followers not say yes", and the recommendations interestingly very different (i am especially fond of the suggestion that followers who do not get asked should ask themselves - i.e. short circuiting this matching process by exploiting the asymmetry of the expectations - leaders are not usually condemmed by the community for not asking people they don't want to dance with in the same extent that followers are for rejecting dances from people they don't want to dance with) (one could argue that is a question of statistics - in the average milonga (4 hours of dancing, 5 tandas an hour) a leader can ask/dance with a maximum of 20 followers, so they naturally can't ask everybody, while a follwer in theory can agree to dance with everybody who is fast enough to be the one who asks first - so this is active rejection - but this view obscures the fact that the leader _PICKS_ the 20 people he asks, while the follower doesn't get to pick the 20 people who ask them - i.e. the leader implicitly rejects 99% of the room when they ask somebody). Any discussion that does not offer symmetrical advice that applies to followers and leaders equally is not addressing the underlying question, but hacking/exploiting the conventions around asking/accepting. So what is symmetrical advice? First i think one has to realize that different people have different criteria for successful dances. These criteria are all valid, just not shared - if dancer is at a milonga to have a romantic date night with their partner they will not want to dance with other people. If they want to dance a specific style they will want partners who dance that style. If they want to hang out and dance with their friends they are not going to be interested in dancing with people who are not part of their circle of friends, and so on, and so on. And similarly every milonga is a shared, layered space where multiple different events go on at the same time, and everybody takes part in a subset of them. There will be people who are just at a different event than i am. BA milongas solve at least part of this problem by having assigned seating that identifies if you are there primarily for dancing, or for a date/spending time with friends/having dinner/getting drunk, and each milonga is supporting a specific crowd dancing a specific style. But most of us dance at places where it is not so easy to figure out why people are there. The only thing one can do is to try to communicate why we are at the milonga. That is one of the reasons i tend to start my nights at milognas i don't know by cabeceoing, even if the rest of the place does not do it. It marks me as "old fashioned, probably CE dancer", and whatever local dancer wants to dance with me after that identification will probably enjoy what they are getting. After people have seen me dance and got some idea how i dance then they can base their impression if i am there for the same thing as they are on something more substantial. Dressing up/down, the time one arrives, and so on fall in the same category. It is admittedly shallow, but until everbody learns telepathy we have to throw out signifiers to communicate.