What can we do about women who won't use cabeceo?

#1
We have several women who routinely flaunt the rules of cabeceo and pester men for dances. We have women who come right up and ask, some who stand in front of men and "make eyes" at them, some who say "the next dance is mine, OK?", even after they have been explained the purpose of cabeceo over and over. This "cutting in line" (because, of course, they are stealing the dance from the woman the man really wanted to dance with) is making both men and women in the community crazy. Men have to resort to hiding to get away from them. Last night a woman came up to a visiting teacher, stood in front of him, and "made eyes" at him. He refused, saying that he needed to leave. Later he told me he didn't want to leave so early but she forced him to. We don't want to be rude, but what is an alternative? I've tried explaining cabeceo to them, and one actually said "Yeah, I'm not going to do that."
 

LadyLeader

Active Member
#2
I think the both groups need to change their ways! The ladies need to understand where the limits are and leaders need to learn that a soft but FIRM no is totally ok.
Is there a possibility that the leaders can come together and talk about new ways to handle this situation. How to say no respectfully. With respect to themselves and to the ladies.
 
#3
I'm a little surprised leaders haven't figured out how to politely decline by explaining they've either already got someone lined up for the next tanda or are in the process of trying to cabeceo someone? :rolleyes:
 

LadyLeader

Active Member
#6
One strange thing was that the distance has impact. It is easy to say no at distance by cabeceo and it is easy when you are very near. When she came so near that i could whisper my no to her ear the closeness made it so soft and intimate that we both could accept it.
The hardest distance is about the armlength - the no can be such a rude rejection and it feels awkward for both of us.
 
#7
We have several women who routinely flaunt the rules of cabeceo and pester men for dances. We have women who come right up and ask, some who stand in front of men and "make eyes" at them, some who say "the next dance is mine, OK?", even after they have been explained the purpose of cabeceo over and over. This "cutting in line" (because, of course, they are stealing the dance from the woman the man really wanted to dance with) is making both men and women in the community crazy. Men have to resort to hiding to get away from them. Last night a woman came up to a visiting teacher, stood in front of him, and "made eyes" at him. He refused, saying that he needed to leave. Later he told me he didn't want to leave so early but she forced him to. We don't want to be rude, but what is an alternative? I've tried explaining cabeceo to them, and one actually said "Yeah, I'm not going to do that."
Just a question: are these women decent dancers? Or truly awful ones?

In one of my first practica (I am a beginning lead), I invited a woman who was sitting all the time. Bad idea! She tried to lead all the time! Not just backlead, simply lead as if that was normal. And to be clear: she isn’t a Lady Leader. She simply doesn’t understand the dance. After the tanda, I understood why nobody invited her ...
 
#8
I think rude people should have a taste of their own medicine. I always advocate civility, but when a woman (or a man for that matter) behave in a manner that is not consistent with social customs, they should hear the word "no" perhaps along with "thank you"...
 
#9
I think also the most important point is to instruct everybody - leader and follower - not to use excuses, not to defer something. Who goes frontal should expect to get the truth.

And maybe it's an option to declare a separated area for those dancer who don't want to use mirada and cabeceo? ;)
 
#10
They do that, but...Why should they have to lie?
I agree - they shouldn't have to lie... and in an ideal world they wouldn't...:rolleyes:

I'm not even sure why the non-use of cabeceo by followers should be considered any different to the non-use of cabeceo by leaders? Perhaps there's something in our cultural norms that makes refusing/declining an invitation to dance by a follower somehow less 'acceptable' than refusing/declining one from a leader?

Nonetheless, I think this issue actually highlights a broader principle: how do you modify the behaviour of tango dancers (leaders and followers alike)?

It's not uncommon for organisers to 'enforce' their local rules or codigos by simply having a quiet word with the 'offender'. For many, this would be enough; they would be embarrassed at being singled out in the first place. In my opinion it tends to be dancers with less experience who fail to appreciate the reasons for the etiquette in tango. That woman who said 'I'm not going to do that', does she really not care if she's effectively forced a leader to dance with her and is highly unlikely to be enjoying being put into that situation?

Unfortunately, the only effective and practical sanction is being banned from the milonga, which is not the outcome that anyone ever really wants :oops:
 
#12
[QUOTE="LadyLeader, post: 1110306, member: 49898"The gender imbalance makes the trick. Some determined of frustrated followers can go far.[/QUOTE]
Funny thing-we don't have a gender imbalance. We have plenty of male leads, plus great female leads. Some claim that they are "beginners", although they have been told how to ask multiple times. They are usually not good dancers, but ask good dancers. Not the best (except for the lady who asked the visiting pro last night) because those men will tell them no. Other ladies, with better manners, get frustrated, Some start to act badly too, out of desperation.
 
#14
Plenty of leads is great, very good job, there I would not assume need to empower them more!
Stays the question why some follower are so intractable?
Apply of mirada and cabeceo can also be means for separation. Maybe there are some dancers that do not want to get disturbed? Look to the seats - are there some tables more or less reserved for an inner circle?
 
#15
I'm not even sure why the non-use of cabeceo by followers should be considered any different to the non-use of cabeceo by leaders? Perhaps there's something in our cultural norms that makes refusing/declining an invitation to dance by a follower somehow less 'acceptable' than refusing/declining one from a leader?
I think the "norm" here in Germany is still that the man is the leader and that the leader invites. (And of course has nobody to obey such a norm, quite like with mirade/cabeceo.)
On the other hand is there something like a "gentleman(!) rule" for sporadic(!) asking followers(!). I would assume that she(!) is looking for a first dance and never take her down ... not the first time.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#16
They are usually not good dancers, but ask good dancers. Not the best (except for the lady who asked the visiting pro last night) because those men will tell them no. Other ladies, with better manners, get frustrated, Some start to act badly too, out of desperation.
Leaders need to learn how to say no directly or indirectly (if the follower doesn't enjoy dancing she won't come again).
You see what is continuous and detrimental behaviour. I would make an announcement that as organizer I will send people home or restrict the entrance next time.

But also mention that leaders are entitled to say no with that kind of invitation.
This is manipulative behaviour. I learned a lot about human interaction dancing tango.
Being polite is nice, but not always useful.
 
#17
But also mention that leaders are entitled to say no with that kind of invitation.
This is manipulative behaviour. I learned a lot about human interaction dancing tango.
Yes, of course, that's manipulative behaviour.
A good host should set his manipulative behaviour against that.
A community might develop better with some kind of intervention.
 
#19
I like to go to places where women invite men. It's a lot of fun.

When I approach a woman, I have to be careful with her. She may not like my dancing completely.
If a woman approaches me, I know that she likes my style of dancing.

Cabeceo only works with close friends.
 

TomTango

Active Member
#20
The "Just say no" approach is best, but far easier said than done. A few more ideas:

"Sure, let's dance. But I'm trying to promote cabeceo in the community. Could you go over there and cabeceo me?"

Hold a social where men and women get together separately to talk about issues in tango. I've been to one and they're great. You send out a survey beforehand with three questions: "What are some topics you want to discuss with others of your role/gender," "What are some things you'd like to celebrate about the other role." "What are some frustrations/requests you'd like the other role to know."

Of course, this only works if you can get the offenders to come.
 

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