Tango Argentino > Milonga codes of Buenos Aires accepted in Hong Kong milonga

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Well being the kind of guy who dances anything, anywhere with anyone. . . . . .there are general patterns that apply to all kinds of dance.

    If you want a dance stand up a position yourself at the exit of the dance floor at the end of a dance and seek eye contact with someone coming off the floor. If you are seated, get a seat near one of the exits and do the same.

    Anyone standing up looking at the floor is looking for a dance. Make eye contact and you're on. Similar if they are looking intently into the floor sitting down

    If you are guy, try and sit apart from a social group - ladies will make eye contact or even walk right up to you.

    The age thing - well we all want to dance with skilled attractive young dancers. . . . . but that is not much of an issue once folks assess you ability level.

    If you are completely new to a venue, do a little display on the walk to the bar, or at the bar, feather step or a sort of slow gancho as if you are scratching yourself (I've done that outside of dance setting (boredom) and picked up people for dancing, usually waiting at airport or railway platform, women zero in on you from a 1,000 yards. 'you're a dancer') .

    Old people (and I'm old) who dance are either very good or very bad, not so much with technique as with balance, timing and rhythm. There doesn't seem to be much in between. It's that much more difficult to pick up basic skills when you are older, on the flip side your partner might have been dancing for 40 years + in which case you'll the silkyest smoothest dance ever.

    I'm an old guy and can fairly bounce about the floor in various forms of dance - I get far more than my fair share of young, and even very young (teenagers) partners. I think that's because I'm nice to dance with and got past the stage of wanting to get their knickers off. (though sometimes the thought does go there). I'm there for dancing not anything else.
  2. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Forgive me, I've been been dreaming of an ideal world and reading too much about the Levellers :D But seriously, it probably boils down to the fact that I'm very sensitive to anything that smacks of rejection even if I analyse it objectively that it wasn't. Also, someone asked me for a dance last week and the way he asked wasn't 'unassertive' yet still he couched it in a tone which implied the answer could've been 'no' - that's a shock to me as I'm so open it never occurs to me to refuse.

    'losers sitting out' - hmm, comes back to my idea of 'being available' having almost negative connotations?

    Re the men who are good followers - yes, but they're terrible leaders. And often the lady is a rubbish follower but a good leader.
  3. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    True, but I think I'd actually rather try and master the art of asking than try and look attentive but be ignored. Hmm, anyway..

    Any sensible feminist would tell you that there ARE differences (undoubtedly) but that it's the politics that are attached to those differences that are the problem. So - little research done - and yet often things are reported in the pop press re adult sex differences - usually highlighting women's strengths over men which is disgraceful.

    I always think of you as kindly and avuncular and with a surname like 'Pastor', although I don't imagine you with bit mutton chop sideburns and a startched collar, I get the impression you are older than I at least ;):friend: But you are right re 'cultural truths'. Now I come to think of it - I find a lot of them are rubbish!

    True, but I think my feeling was that it's not consistent amongst all dancers... maybe a woman gets in a 'he's going to ask me verbally' mode instead of picking up on, or exuding non-verbal signals.

    True, true. Why do we find that so hard!
  4. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Ha ha, wise words, Albanaich - you've put it all into perspective. :D

    But as for doing a little solo slow gancho display by the bar, people just might think you're desperate for the loo! ;)

    Way to go, picking up dance partners at an airport! :cool:
  5. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    Cabaceo isn't restricted to AT. It's used in other dancing as well, especially in places with loud music, where you would have to shout to be heard. I use it in ballroom in our small group when I want to beat someone else to a partner I know likes to dance to whichever music is coming up. It's so much faster than dashing across the floor only to have someone else beat you by seconds.

    However I will say, if you are waiting to be "cabaceod" rather than actively looking for a partner yourself, it can be just as intimidating, demoralizing, and/or boring as waiting to be asked to dance in our culture.

    You have to actively be looking even if you are talking with someone else.
  6. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    I would say 90% of my dance partners are selected through eye contact - and that applies to all forms of dance.

    I only formally ask when there is some kind of social barrier, ie the person is in a large group, they do a different style of dancing.

    Occasionally I line up the next partner when I'm on the floor dancing, you see someone standing at the exits, watching you dance, you give them a brief nod and you know you are fixed up. You can do it from 50 yards.

    It gets quite amusing when it takes a minute or two to disaengage from one partner on to the next as the new partner often has a few guys come up to her in the interim then you stride across the floor and sweep into the dance like Prince Charming :)
  7. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    the Prince Charming Codigo

    The Prince Charming Codigo?
    This must be a long lost British codigo I’ve never heard anyone mention it before now.
    It must make the lady your dancing with feel pretty special. Next milonga I’m gonna try it. I’ve always wanted to pay more attention to the exits then to my dance partner.
  8. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    I said occasionally. . . . . . . it just happens. If you're in the right time at the right place.

    You've never noticed anyone watching you dance?

    I take it you've never watched Shrek. . . .
  9. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Man, that's nothing. Once I arranged the next dance, got a different girl's phone number, and ordered a pizza all in the last song of the tanda.
  10. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member


    Pah, that's nothing.

    I did all that, and ate the pizza whilst dancing. So nerr... :p
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Eeeh bah, gum; You were lucky! In my day I would dance to the bar, dance back again with a round of my drinks for me mates, without spilling a drop, mind you, or they'd be reet flathered, flick up the two bob I'd dropped with my right foot and catch it in my breast pocket and there were no Cifs in those days, we were wearing clogs and if you so much as touched a lady's foot, the bouncers would chuck you out.
  12. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Wow! That seems like a lot of effort though. I prefer to use the cabeceo to get another follower to order my food for me. It's pretty easy to do, once you get the trick of it.

    She just has to feel the hunger in your eyes.
  13. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    So... was at a tango event this weekend. Room was divided into 2 parts : the "stage" and the main floor.

    I realise I have a thing about events like this. I will ask people to dance if :
    a) they sit on the seats around the main floor and
    b) they are available for the cabaceo

    That to me is "playing the game".

    Of course the "best" dancers dont want to do this. They either sit on the stage or they sit behind the DJ desk. They expect people to cross the floor to ask them to dance.

    Now I know on one level Im depriving myself of a dance "experience" by not walking over to the stage. But really - how do I know these people actually want to dance? They may be "hiding" from the dance floor or having a rest. Even when I suspect all they're doing is being a part of a clique how am I to know what's in their minds?

    All I know is that if Im prepared to play the game they should too. And if that means "missing out" hey thats how its going to be.

    How do other people cope with this situation?
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Ah yes.

    The good old "No Row", we used to call it in Modern Jive - or ""Don't Be Avenue" occasionally.

    Two things:

    Firstly, if you get good enough, in any dance form, you can do whatever the hell you want. Stand where you want, ask however you want, and dance with whoever you want. At least, I found that in MJ and salsa, at least, and I suspect the same is true in AT. Ability works.

    Secondly, some people are simply snooty. Typically, these are the ones who are at the "reasonably good" level - but not the ones at the "really good" level. These are the exceptions to the rule above - frankly, if they don't like the look of you they'll never dance with you, no matter how good you are. Ignore them.
  15. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    I try. And mostly succeed. I guess what gets me is at a typical AT weekender I would expect eventually to dance with everybody. So part of me wants to dance with these people. But they make it so hard that I just give up in the end.

    I think in AT we admire humility. The humility to always work on your basics, to dance with both beginners and experienced alike, the humility to open yourself to another person. So there's something especially annoying about those who dont do this.

    Anyway, enough whinging. Their loss. I was perfectly happy to dance with the "reasonably good" at this particular event. "Reasonably good" there was better than most of the people who I meet at some other venues I could mention :cool:
  16. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member


    Wonder how this humour translates into American?
  17. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    Gosh. Would you? At a typical AT weekender I'd be surprised if I danced with more than 50% of the men there and they would usually be people I'd danced with before. I can up this by asking carefully selected "new" leaders to dance - directly & verbally. I don't ask top-flighters or anyone who looks like they'd turn me down. If I relied on the cabeceo I would probably spend my time dancing with about 15% of the men there. But then, with familiar partners, there's no need for elaborate etiquette.

    Give up on them but don't give up on yourself or your dancing, is what I say. And in fact, need to take that advice myself!
  18. vade mecum

    vade mecum New Member

    Captain Jep said: <Of course the "best" dancers dont want to do this. They either sit on the stage or they sit behind the DJ desk. They expect people to cross the floor to ask them to dance.

    All I know is that if Im prepared to play the game they should too. And if that means "missing out" hey thats how its going to be.>
    Exactly the same thing here--sitting around the DJ desk or on the stage every week are the main lights of the pista. It shouldn't vex me but it does. I like the "No Row" designation. I also like Captain Jeps interpretation about humility and opening yourself up. So that's where I'm at most of the time. Walking up and down the Vista of Vulnerability trying to catch the eyes of those who make them selves approachable.
  19. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Well I can only speak for myself. But yes I would expect to be able to dance with most people eventually. There are some women I dont dance with because of height issues (Im 6 foot tall) but otherwise I am always happy to go for a "road test".

    I think women have to remember how desparate men are for "clues". The men dont want to be turned down either. So my advice is this : from the moment you walk into an event start to give out clues. Chat with people as you're putting on your shoes. Talk to the person you're sitting next to. Heavens, even a random smile at someone early in the evening can be enough. If a guy knows that a) you do smile and b) that you have a SOH then chances are he will remember. And will ask you later.

    Another surefire way of getting a dance is to attend the afternoon sessions. In my experience there's always a surplus of men over women then. If you make yourself at all available then you're guaranteed a dance. And you'll probably get one later (a dance that is!). Sundays are also good days - especially the evening event if you can make it.

    Dont get me wrong by the way. Im pretty sure I could dance with the "gods". That's to say - Ive had the odd speculative glance from some of them :rolleyes:. But I do expect them to play the game. And if they wont sit in the "cheap seats" then I dont (generally) dance with them :cool:
  20. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Im glad it's not just me :rolleyes:. Heh it's a good thing we have an ego isnt it? It allows us to function at a milonga and come back from the rejections. Of course on the other hand we're trying to get rid of it once we actually get to dance ;)

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