926  art of the cabeceo

ARTICLE INDEX


Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 22:52:11 -0300
From: Janis Kenyon <jantango@FEEDBACK.NET.AR>
Subject: art of the cabeceo

Cabeceo (nod of the head) is how one invites and acknowledges a partner for
a tanda in the milongas of Buenos Aires. It's not as easy as a verbal
request at a table, but a man doesn't have time for this. By the time he
has walked across the floor to invite a woman, she could already be dancing.
Or worse yet, she could refuse him.

My favorite milonga is on Saturday afternoon. This milonga usually has at
least a few milongueros, because Daniel provides the best music in BsAs.
The regulars all have a reserved table. I arrived too late last Saturday to
get a front row table. In fact, there were almost no chairs left when I
arrived at 7:00. I was seated with a couple I know; he's a milonguero. It
was a hot afternoon, and the air conditioners and fans couldn't compete with
the 200+ dancers who were keeping the temperature up.

I had my first dances with Alito for the salsa/merengue tanda. While we
were on the floor, I happened to notice another milonguero Jose Alberto
seated at a table. I was hoping he would look in my direction for the next
tanda, and he did. However, when he nodded to me, the woman seated in front
of me thought he was looking at her. She got up and walked towards him on
the floor, and there was nothing I could do about it. I stayed in my chair,
knowing that he would dance with her. Why? Because milongueros are
gentlemen. He gave me an indication that we would dance later. This wasn't
the first time I had a tanda taken from me by another woman. And it won't
be the last. I know there will always be another tanda to dance. I hadn't
danced with Jose Alberto for months. When the next tanda began, we made eye
contact through a maze of people, and we danced.

A few minutes later while we were chatting during the tanda, I noticed a
younger man in his 30s (possibly a foreigner since I had never seen him
before) approach a woman who was already waiting on the edge of the dance
floor. She was expecting to dance with him, but he explained to her that he
had invited another woman to dance and pointed her out. Then the woman
returned to her table, and the man danced with the other woman. This is an
uncomfortable situation for a woman, but I have seen it happen regularly.
When there are two or three times as many women as men, there is stiff
competition to dance. And besides you are certain that he was looking at
you.

The cabeceo takes practice. It takes right timing and a sharp eye. One can
avoid an awkward situation by learning patience. Give the man time walk
across the floor. He will make eye contact with you to confirm his signal.
The cabeceo isn't fool-proof, but ladies, it's the only way you can get to
dance with the best of Buenos Aires.

Pichi de Buenos Aires




Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 19:02:51 -0800
From: robin thomas <niborsamoht@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: the cabeceo

--- robin thomas <niborsamoht@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 19:00:20 -0800 (PST)
> From: robin thomas <niborsamoht@yahoo.com>
> Subject: the cabeceo
> To: Tango-L Commands <listserv@mitvma.mit.edu>
>
> huck wrote
>
> "It saves embarrassment
> for the man who would otherwise have to walk over to
> a woman and point-blank ask her to dance to her face
> and get turned down in front of the entire milonga,
> and it saves embarrassment for the woman who might
> feel undue pressure to accept a dance she might not
> want just to spare embarrassment to the man standing
> before her."
>
> people always told me that the women don't ask the
> men
> in argentina. as far as i can tell it's completely
> untrue. if a woman is looking in a man's direction
> or
> simply allowing her eyes to be available to him
> she's
> definately saying, "you may invite me to dance."
> so it saves the women getting turned down in front
> of
> everyone else too. the men do the actual "asking"
> but
> the women make it possible or not that he asks at
> all.
>
>
> robin thomas
>
> now.
>






Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 13:46:45 -0800
From: Elemer Dubrovay <dubrovay@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Cabeceo

luda_r1 luda_r1@YAHOO.COM Wrote:

The cabeceo isn't foolproof, but ladies, it's the
only way you can get to
dance with the best of Buenos Aires."

I've personally never liked this practice and hope it
never takes solid root in this country. It seems
childish and silly somehow. At least in this culture.
There are other, much more effective ways, of inviting
someone to dance. I suppose it can be fun to play this
game if you're so inclined, but most of the time I
hear women complaining that they find it demoralizing
and embarrassing.




Back in the 50's I found the cabeceo the most natural and practical way
of inviting a lady to dance, now living in Norteamerica for many years,
when i visit my country (Argentina) I find it difficult to handle; in my
last visit (Last year) I made some research, many ladies will not dance
with somebody who will walk to where they are and ask them to dance, the
reason is that they figure that they are beginners, other reason is that
puts them in the spot, some are nice and not wanting to embarrass him
they dance and feel frustrated,if they say no the poor guy walks back and
his friends want to know what happen so is very embarrassing for him.

I don't think the cabeceo is something that will work in this country,
the same way that dancing between ladies like in this country is
something that the Argentineans are interested in.

Also in Argentina you can find the foreigners in a milonga, they are the
ones that dress in black.

Elemer... in Redmond





Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 15:43:28 -0800
From: Marisa Holmes <mariholmes@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

OK, the cabaceo is messy. As infrequently as it's
done in N.A. I've seen it and I've done it. If I want
to dance with some (but not all) of the Argentines
around here, I look for a way to make eye contact. Of
course it does mean that someone else periodically
stands up between the two of you and you're out a
dance - or engaged in an embarrassing conversation.
And using only the cabaceo would mean you can't watch
the dancing if you want to dance at all, even if it's
clear the sex ratio is so unbalanced that your chances
of dancing are less than one in three or four for any
given tanda. And if you wear glasses but you want to
dance without them, you have to take them off _after_
you've accepted a dance - awkward to say the least.

And asking for a dance is messy - regardless of your
sex, Huck. You worry about your invitation being
rejected and you worry about it being accepted. If it
is rejected, it's not easy to figure out what to say -
or what to say to the person next time you see them.
And it's true, people around you might have noticed
you were rejected. They probably actually didn't
because they're busy with their own concerns, but it
sure feels like they were all watching, doesn't it?

Both these systems are messy because they're both
about people trying to deal with other people. The
person who is used to one of them and is successful
with it, feels that it must be right. The person who
has trouble with one of them feels that it must be
wrong. The truth is, they will both work, as long as
enough people in your community are willing to use one
or the other - or both. And you will get your
feelings hurt, no matter which, because that's how
people are.

As for the niceties of asking people to dance, I don't
mind the casual outstretched hand. To me it says that
my friend is looking forward to relaxing by dancing
with me - and that we will put our creative effort
into the dance itself. And I don't mind the
enthusiastic outstretched hand accompanied by a happy
bounce. To me it says that my friend is looking
forward to dancing with me and that we will be doing
something peppy. I suppose there may be snobs in the
world who walk down a line of ladies and let their
hand lay out like a dead fish, as Huck suggests, but
most of the guys who stick their hand out are
communicating a level of familiarity and comfort that
is far from insulting.

And as for not dancing with guys you don't know, as
Luda prefers, I'm against it. You know I suggested
that everyone on this list dance once per milonga with
someone they don't know, as a way to build community.
It's not necessarily a bad deal in any case - I have
just danced the best tanda of my life with a man no
one at the milonga had ever seen before.

Give the other guy a break. Dance with everybody.
Don't imagine insult where none was intended. Ask 'em
onto the floor - no matter how you do it.

Marisa






Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 15:49:18 -0800
From: Marisa Holmes <mariholmes@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

I see I can't spell in Spanish: cabeceo.

Sorry!
m






Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 09:42:15 -0500
From: Dario Mendiguren <C21DARI@AOL.COM>
Subject: cabeceo

Dear list I know sounds a little harsh toinvite a lady to dance doing cabeceo, but that's the way we, men have to do to invite somebody to dance if we are in BA it took some time to me, when I visited BA as a Tango dancer several years ago, but now is easy for me when I go to a Milonga Porte~a to get ladies to dance using the cabeceo other wise you wouldn't dance at all and that would hapen to you Luda as we say por lobo............ when you visit BA go for the cabeceo here in USA we just ask and we dance!!!

If you go to Roma........................

Regards Dario




Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 09:14:54 -0800
From: Mark Rector <rmarkrector@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Cabeceo

I continue to be surprised to learn that Americans are
resistant to and threatened by something as simple and
charming as the "cabeceo".

What could be more natural at a Milonga (and in life!)
than to be engaged with other people by making eye
contact?

What could be more gracious than expressing an
invitation to dance and accepting or declining through
the simple expedient of a look?

What could be more mortifying to a man than to cross a
crowded room to invite somebody to dance, only to be
turned down? What could be more embarassing to both
parties than to turn somebody down who had made that
trek?

What could be more brusque than a man walking up to a
woman and peremptorily extending his hand to her, as
if demanding a dance...often without even looking at
her at all?!

Are Americans resistant to the cabeceo because they
fear and misunderstand the "intimacy" of eye-contact?

Cheers! -Mark






Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 20:32:37 +0100
From: Chris Luethen <christian.luethen@GMX.NET>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

On 13 Jan 2003 at 9:14, Mark Rector wrote:

> I continue to be surprised to learn that Americans are
> resistant to and threatened by something as simple and
> charming as the "cabeceo".

Not only americans.

> What could be more natural at a Milonga (and in life!)
> than to be engaged with other people by making eye
> contact?

Perhaps even with a smile? :-)

> What could be more gracious than expressing an
> invitation to dance and accepting or declining through
> the simple expedient of a look?

Esp. accepting.


I remember being turned down (after walking up to the lady/girl -
when I was even much more unexperienced than now) a couple of times
in a row some time ago in Berlin (for non-obvious reasons, the scene
is sort of reknown for this "quality"): Declining with a glimpse of
an eye would have been nicer for me.
Then, last time being there, on my first night in the first Milonga I
got I contact with a young dancer seemingly willing to dance: After
walking up during socialising before the first steps she immediately
pointed out "you're not from Berlin". How do you know I asked. To my
surprise she said "locals don't know how to ask for a dance with just
looking at someone ... and definitely won't smile".


Friends: Dancing should be enjoyment (imho) - no idea why some people
think they have to look super-serious ("angry", "arrogant") while
danicng ... not very inviting actually. Keep in mind that citation of
Jules Renard: "Nous sommes ici-bas pur rire." Smile!

Christian




christian@eTanguero.net
http://www.eTanguero.net/




Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 20:33:57 +0000
From: Jay Rabe <jayrabe@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

I agree with Mark that it's surprising that so many people have such
stong feelings against the cabeceo. OTOH I certainly agree that when it's
done as a command or a demand, as was described in another post, then it
does completely lose it's charm.

I think part of the problem is that in the US, women don't usually make
sustained eye contact, even when they're interested in a man. To do so could
brand them as "forward" or (worse) "easy." Instead there's a
look-for-a-moment-then-look-away coquetishness. A woman friend told me the
only time she makes sustained eye contact with a strange man is when she's
angry and being confrontational, ie. "getting in his face."
In Latin countries the women are more bold and perhaps more
self-assured (recall the comments about being more comfortable with their
bodies) so eye contact is not a threat.

It's true that dim lighting and poor eyesight make it difficult across
a room. A technique I learned (by watching a local) and subsequently used
successfully was to walk around the room, and as I approached a woman I
wanted to dance with, I just looked at her (now from close range), and if
she looked up and met my gaze, I would nod towards the floor in invitation.
If she didn't notice or look at me, I just kept walking. It IS an elegant
method, IMO.

J in Portland


----Original Message Follows----



From: Mark Rector <rmarkrector@YAHOO.COM>
Reply-To: Mark Rector <rmarkrector@YAHOO.COM>
To: TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: [TANGO-L] Cabeceo



Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 22:53:51 +0100
From: Capella <MissyLaMotte@GMX.DE>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

There is one aspect of the cabeceo that has not been mentioned in the
discussion of the subject so far. The cabeceo is just _the_ way for a
woman to "ask" for a dance without breaking with any formal rules or
traditions. Even though I personally think there is nothing wrong with a
woman walking up to a man and just plainly ask. But to be honest, when I
do that, I always feel a little awkward (yes, gentlemen, I know, you do
too, sometimes). And even if the man accepts, there always remains a
slightly uneasy feeling ("Well, if he really would have danced with me,
he would have been the one to ask, wouldn't he?")

All this can be avoided using the cabeceo. Ladies, you do not have to
nod your head or anything. This is and remains the man's (or better: the
leader's) part. Just look at the man you want to dance with. Look openly
and smile. Gaze at him. Stare if you have to! After a while he will have
to react somehow. Maybe he will actively look away, in which case you
can take this as a "no" (but one easier to swallow than a direct
rejection of a verbal approach). But most times he will not be able to
resist and finally return that eye contact and give the famous little
nod towards the dance floor. Now it's your turn to broaden your smile
even wider and accept the invitation, nod a small "yes" or just get up
towards the dance floor, after all, you have just been asked for the
dance by the man you wanted to ask you ;-)

I remember one time especially when I actively used this method to ask a
man for a dance. He was a total stranger to me, I had not seen him at
that milonga or anywhere else before, but as soon as I had seen him
dancing, I knew that I really wanted to dance with him before the night
was over. The place was crowded, so I did not want to rely on pure luck.
I did not want to approach him directly, either, for I was (and still
am) only a beginner and he seemed very experienced and self confident.
So I caught his eye and looked at him. He looked back, then away. I kept
looking. He looked back. No reaction. I kept staring. He kept staring
back. It went on for a minute or so. My friend, who was sitting next to
me, whispered: "What on earth are you doing?" I grew a little annoyed
and thought he was making fun of me. What was he thinking, staring back
like that! He was supposed to nod or look away or to come over and say
something. After a short while longer I could stand it no longer and
broke the contact. But I could not resist, so after a while, I started
looking at him again. This time, he nodded and we met on the dance floor.

We danced for over half an hour after that and then again even longer
later in the night. He told me that he had never asked a woman using the
cabeceo before (and seemed rather proud to have mastered that) and I
smiled, because I knew who had asked whom to dance, of course :-)

There are limitations of course. I remember when I heard a female tango
friend sigh beside me at a milonga. I turned towards her and asked what
was the matter. She said that she was trying to get one of the men there
to dance with her by looking at him, but it was no use at all. "Why?" I
asked. "Well, he is reading a magazine, he won't even look up!" (In
which case going towards him and bring your smiling face between his
eyes and the pages of the magazine might still bring the desired effect,
but I think I would not dare that with a man I did not know :-) )

Have a lot of fun and wonderful dances,

Capella

--
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Jutta Jordans (Capella)
capella@jutta-jordans.de
http://www.jutta-jordans.de
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 08:21:57 +0900
From: astrid <astrid@RUBY.PLALA.OR.JP>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

Oscar Mandagaran (Forever Tango) is here in Tokyo, and recently, at one
point of his class, he uses me to demonstrate the cabeceo. He stands at the
head of the row of men, I stand in the row of women at the other side of the
floor (the floor is not that big), and a twinkle appears in his eye, when he
looks at me. It meets a twinkle in my eye, and both our faces slowly start
showing a flirtatious grin. Then he points with his head at the floor, which
I answer with a wink, or another slight move of the head. Latest by this
point a number of students are emitting pearls of laughter, and the whole
group is smiling with amusement, some comments are heard like: "Look at
those two !" "Did you see that ?"
Always great fun.
Esp. in Japan, where it is "polite" NOT to make eye contact !

Astrid




Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 01:13:11 -0800
From: luda_r1 <luda_r1@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: The cabeceo

Mark wrote:

"Are Americans resistant to the cabeceo because they
fear and misunderstand the "intimacy" of eye-contact?"

You hit the nail right on the head, Mark. We're just a
bunch of hypocritical prudes. (I'm just listening to
Fresedo's "Vida Mia", which I simply adore.) But
eye-contact can also be very intrusive, you know. So
where do you draw the line? Also, we've just not been
educated to use this practice very well. We're just
plain clumsy at it, not like the Argentinians, who've
used it all their lives. NOT that I approve of all the
ways Argentinian men pursue women! They can be a
little scary with their attentions sometimes, without
meaning it, I'm sure!

Luda






Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 08:31:58 -0800
From: Robert Dodier <robert_dodier@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: cabeceo

I'm not really such a big fan of the cabeceo.
I can go either way on it, I guess. Statements
such as the following bring out the negative
side of my opinion...

> What could be more mortifying to a man than
> to cross a crowded room to invite somebody to
> dance, only to be turned down?

This is the "protection of the fragile male ego"
theory of the cabeceo. I don't buy this at all.
We're all grown-ups here, we can deal with minor
setbacks. What's more, to the extent that
disappointment hurts, the cabeceo doesn't help
any; when I get turned down, whether two people
or twenty have knowledge of it doesn't make any
difference.

> Are Americans resistant to the cabeceo because
> they fear and misunderstand the "intimacy"
> of eye-contact?

Well, in some way that would be a very satisfying
explanation, if only it were true. It's just not
so -- Americans are more accustomed to verbal
communication. I can't see anything fearful about
that.

Maybe it's the lack of subtlety on the part of
Americans that gets to me. One aspect of this
is that Americans who adopt it seem to act as
though any nonverbal communication must be an
invitation to dance. This leads to absurdities,
such as people who literally will not give
each other the time of day; it makes for a cold,
rude milonga scene.

For what it's worth,

Robert "Fragile Male Egos R Us" Dodier







Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 18:59:40 +0200
From: andy Ungureanu <andy.ungureanu@T-ONLINE.DE>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

Nicole Dowell schrieb:

> As for cabaceo... This is something I still have a hard time with. I guess I never make good enough eye contact with people. I've had many times people have told me...."so-and-so" was signalling you to dance! They were? I always miss it!!! I need someone to be more obvious I guess.

Just a thought..
Have you considered to check your eyes? Many people need glasses and are
not aware of that.
For using the cabeceo you have to see as sharp as possible, otherwise
you cannot make a difference if a person sitting on the other side of
the dance floor is looking at you or 1 meter beside you.
In BA many women wear glasses while sitting at the table, take them off
to dance, and put them on again when sitting. I did the same, I have
only 0.5 /1.00 and I had no chance without glasses.

Andy





Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 13:12:27 -0500
From: "Frank G. Williams" <frankw@MAIL.AHC.UMN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Cabeceo

> For using the cabeceo you have to see as sharp as possible ...


Besides acute vision, don't forget the corollary requirement:

There must be enough light in the room so that, with normal vision, you can
actually see each other's faces. Many No. Am. milonga organizers manage the
lights poorly, apparently because they want to promote a feeling of intimacy
on the dance floor.

Frank - Mpls.





Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 12:35:49 +0000
From: Sergio Vandekier <sergiovandekier990@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Cabeceo

Dear friends,
The same way as we prevent "bad habits" from taking
hold as we teach tango I respectfully wish to say that it is not "cabeseo"
but "cabeceo" with "c".

The word derives from "cabeza" (head). Any derivative word will transform
the "Z" into "C" in Spanish.

cabecear. intr. Mover la cabeza a uno u otro lado o hacia adelante. Inclinar
la cabeza hacia adelante cuando se duerme sentado. Moverse la embarcacisn
de proa a popa y un carruaje de adelante atras.

Cabecear : To move your head to one or the other side or towards the front.
To nod or move your head forward when you fall asleep in sitting position.
The movement of a ship ( from stern to bow)or of a carriage the same way.

Cabeceo is a must in Buenos Aires but it coexists with other forms of
invitation (going to the table and asking like it is done abroad ) in the
other Argentine cities.

Have a good weekend, Sergio






Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 13:25:27 +0000
From: Lucia <curvasreales@YAHOO.COM.AR>
Subject: cabeceo

A few recent postings re cabeceo seem to express
posters' gratification at their success of inviting,
or being invited to a dance using eye contact.

That's fine, and we are happy at their success but the
true role of the cabeceo, by common aggreement on the
list, is to avoid humiliation for a man publicly
refused, or for a woman to avoid "mercy dancing" with
a man she would rather not, out of her kindness to
avoid him embarassment.

Therefore the success of cabeceo for a man, in the
right environment, may be calculated as a %ratio of (1
- refusal/acceptance) X 100. This figure may also
indicate the measure of the man as a Man and/or as a
Dancer, but this is another story.

A more complex formula could be used by polling the
women and arrive at a general figure reflecting men's
seductiveness at the milonga as judged by the women,
but enough statistics for milongas ;->

Lucia


Correo Yahoo!
Espacio para todos tus mensajes, antivirus y antispam !gratis!




Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 16:48:45 -0700
From: musette fan <musettefan@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: cabeceo

Thank you for making this point. In relating my experiences, I was mostly addressing the concern that North Americans would be reluctant or have difficulty with the eye contact part. Obviously I can't speak for the others.... : )

However, my reasons for preferring it, and for posting a resonse in support of it, run deep at the moment so I feel compelled to clarify: I don't want to see the cabeceo adopted in my community because it is a quaint custom or a fun game. I would like to see it--or some version of it--adopted precisely because of its function in its "true role."

The issue of the cabeceo, and women declining verbal invitations (or not) may be an old one on this list indeed, but I was excited enough about the prospect of it in the US to say/do something positive, and I'm frustrated enough by the lack of a similar mechanism at the milongas in my area that I don't go dancing as often as I'd like.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of phase? I would be grateful if you'd let me know. Feel free to email me privately.

Thank you,

Terri


Lucia <curvasreales@YAHOO.COM.AR> wrote: A few recent postings re cabeceo seem to express
posters' gratification at their success of inviting,
or being invited to a dance using eye contact.

That's fine, and we are happy at their success but the
true role of the cabeceo, by common aggreement on the
list, is to avoid humiliation for a man publicly
refused, or for a woman to avoid "mercy dancing" with
a man she would rather not, out of her kindness to
avoid him embarassment.

Therefore the success of cabeceo for a man, in the
right environment, may be calculated as a %ratio of (1
- refusal/acceptance) X 100. This figure may also
indicate the measure of the man as a Man and/or as a
Dancer, but this is another story.

A more complex formula could be used by polling the
women and arrive at a general figure reflecting men's
seductiveness at the milonga as judged by the women,
but enough statistics for milongas ;->

Lucia


Correo Yahoo!
Espacio para todos tus mensajes, antivirus y antispam !gratis!








Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 17:29:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Razor Girl <dilettante666@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Cabeceo
To: tango-l@mit.edu

Your experience is interesting to me because I didn't
realize that the cabeceo was something that had to be
taught. Acknowledging someone's glance is quite
common social practice.

Some examples I can think of take place at any
restaurant in the US:

1. You walk into a crowded place looking for your
friends. You spot them and from across the room they
lock eyes with you, smile, and wave.

2. You are seated and need the assistance of your
waiter, you find them with your eyes and they
acknowledge that you need assistance and come over to
your table.

Perhaps the problem you are having is that you are not
using this method naturally. Are you smiling at the
woman when you look at her? Do you have the request in
your eye and your posture? Do you confirm that you are
looking at her when she looks back? I find it hard to
believe that all eyes are averted.

Before I had even learned about the cabeceo I
recognized as a female that the key to being asked to
dance was in body language. How one sits is very
important, it's similar to flirting. A woman has the
choice with her body language in whether or not to
look available. It's not an overt thing, more of a
open body language sort of thing. Arms should not be
crossed, attention shouldn't be focused on any one
thing, she should not be frowning, she should sit up
straight and be attentive but not overly eager.
Conversly, if she is not interested in dancing she can
easily say so with her body language.

Regards,
Rose
Portland, OR

> There were many follows there that I kept
> looking at and trying to catch their eye, but to no
> avail.
> They either glue their eyes to the floor or when
> they see you looking
> >toward them, quickly look the other way.







Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 18:23:48 -0400
From: "Caroline Polack" <runcarolinerun@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Cabeceo
To: tango-l@mit.edu

Like Deby Novitz was saying, more or less, "When in Rome, do as the Romans
do."

She was basically referring to cultural customs or perhaps just regional
customs. For example, in Buenos Aires, no one puts their shoes on at the
table.

In Montreal, we do if only because we have snow, slush, freezing rain, ice
six months out of the year so wearing our shoes to Milongas is, simply put,
a very unhealthy idea.

When I drive to Milongas, I never wear my tango shoes (well, not my good
ones) because the back of my right shoe gets scraped from pressing the
pedals. So I bring them in a bag and put them on when I get there. Most
places have coat rooms with benches specifically for that purpose. What I
especially don't like is when I sit down at a table and have no room to put
my feet because of all the shoes piled up. They should have been put away in
the coatroom.

And lastly, since we don't do the art of the cabeceo (sp?), we simply
stretch out a hand and smile by way of invitation. If we get rejected, we
smile anyways and move onto the next person without taking any of it
personally. I have never been asked if I do close or open embrace, and if I
was, frankly, I would have been turned off. If you really want to know what
style a woman dances, just watch her, then you would know. If two people
are dancing well together and are comfortable, close embrace will happen.
You can't force those kinds of things. If you are shy, you need to learn to
deal with it instead of expecting an entire community to change their social
norms according to your insecurities.

And if you are in Buenos Aires, respect the local customs. If you are in
Tokyo, likewise. And if you are in Montreal, likewise again. Just look
around and see what the locals do. If they don't do cabeceo, then don't
expect them to. Not even the art of cabeceo is going to guarantee you a
dance. And by the way, you shy guy asking about cabeceo, you've mentioned
you got asked more than you have asked. You should be flattered instead of
complaining, for it's not easy for women to ask either.


Caroline







Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 12:08:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Glenn <kiaora50@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Cabeceo
To: tango-l@mit.edu, Tango Mail <tango@springssauna.com>


I agree that the cabeceo is preferable, but I disagree that it should be enforced. And women are just as bad as men when it comes to using the cabeceo, "it takes two to cabeceo" ;-) and I think most people (men or woemen) would rather dance than sit on the side as a martyr to the cabeceo.

There are many reasons the cabeceo is not used often:

The biggest problem is the instructors don't spend enough time teaching it.

Dark venues could be a problem, but I haven't been to many that were too dark for people with normal eyesight. (Many newer cameras have low light settings, if you must take pictures)

Eyesight is a problem for some who cannot see another person initiating a cabeceo from more than a few feet.

Venue layout can be a big problem. It is sometimes impossible to get within the other persons field of cabavision.

etc.

Then there are the times when you see someone leaving the dance floor who is obviously distressed from their last partner (most often a newer dancer who may be ready to throw in the towel on tango) and may be oblivious to any cabeceo but would benefit from a considerate verbal request to dance from a caring individual.

Again, to be clear, the cabeceo should be the preferred method of asking for and accepting a dance, but there are valid exceptions.

Glenn


> I wish more people would abandon asking to dance verbally;
> above
> conversation should never take place and if it does it
> should
> be after the couple has started dancing (and at that time
> in a changed
> way). Cabeceo needs to practiced more and enforced, too.
> My friend D from the next town up North has said that women
> should
> decline verbal invitations and only accept those made by
> using cabeceo (she is a she herself). Since the men are
> inherently
> incapable of complying with the old rules the women should
> do the policing for the good of us all, IMHO. Surely
> doesn't help,
> though, that the milongas are kept darker than my bedroom.
> One can hardly make out who is sitting on the other side of
> the room.
>
> Question: WHY are the milongas in the US kept so
> friggin' dark,
> anyway? Isn't the motion and the dance itself
> 'romantic' enough?
> I don't understand why one needs to have a flashlight
> with them to the
> milongas.. and this is happening from coast-to-coast in the
> US.,
> even during festivals when one would like to take video and
> photos, but
> alas, can not.
>
> Ta.







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