Cabaceo - comments from Facebook

This blog feeds into a Facebook page so I have taken the liberty of copying the comments on the cabaceo across for those who would like to read more about what people think...
I think this is a good idea. I hope it catches on. I find it rude to interupt a conversation to ask for a dance. It may be that is dancers were a little more observant during the cortinas that everyone would dance more often... I know there are lots of guys who will just interupt a conversation but there may be others (like me) who will not. I think that, if you want to dance, conversations are while you sit through a tanda. You can still talk and let your eyes wander...
As long as the lights are on as they normally are in BsAs! Not these dark bear caves we seem to have in Oz
One issue often mentioned against cabeceo is that people cant's see because of poor light or short sightedness etc. In BA the men don't always stay in one spot, they move around and position themselves closer to the woman they'd like to dance with, when necessary, but still use the cabeceo.
Also, those well versed in the Cabeceo don't spend the ... Read Morewhole tanda trying to give or accept dance invitations, they watch the dancers on the floor to get an idea of who they'd like to dance with and then as the tanda ends their attention turns to potential dance partners and the signalling happens once the first few bars start of the new tanda confirming what type of music will be played which also helps decide who they'd most like to dance with to that music.
Perhaps I don't frequent dark bear caves much. I have not had a problem seeing the people I would like to dance with. On Sunday I went to Freeway intending to dance a lot. I found two or three groups of three and four women all chatting and self engaged. Perhaps they did not want to dance, but seemed readily to accept a request from someone "bold" enough to interrupt their conversation.
I agree with Gary that the best dances coming from cabeceo, whether placebo or not they are the best, it's like the dance starts from the invitation not from the first step in the embrace.
Another thing is that a milonga is different from a bar where you go to chat and drink, but I think many people in Australia are so used to pub culture that they continue to behave as if they are in a pub not a milonga, hence the behavour that make it difficult for a man to know whether a woman wants to dance a lot. The irony is that many of these women then complain that nobody asked them to dance!
As for the cabeceo, Frank, I think you're a rare gentleman and personally, I don't like it all when someone interrupts a conversation to ask me to dance - I feel really stuck between being rude to the girl/guy that I was just talking to ... Read Moreand being rude to the person who asked me to dance. The other awkward situation, which could possibly be avoided by cabeceo, is when someone asks me to dance but my feet are tired, I'm not dancing well or for other reason, I say no - and the gentleman turns to the girl sitting next to me and asks her instead. I always feel so bad for that girl!
But for me generally, it makes no difference whether its the cabeceo, a gesture or a verbal invite :)
There's a poll on at the moment about the use of cabaceo!
Always use a cabaceo and morada... What better way to get in first?
i have witnessed occasions when 2 women get up to an invitation using the cabeceo or a woman awkwardly looks around thinking it may be a woman behind her being invited. Not very flattering and for one who is shy or doesn't have many male dance 'friends', quite demoralising. Women who don't get invited to dance often do chat and none of the women i know would think it rude to be interrupted for a dance. The cabeceo can be a very nice gesture but it doesn't work for everyone. There is a place for all forms of approach

I think that this tradition is a functional one developed over time to save embarrassment from verbally asking someone to dance and them refusing, as well as a way to ask a woman to dance without her feeling pressured to respond in the affirmative. It is most useful when everyone is agreement to use this form of communication. Like everything in tango it requires some practice. Lets use it!
More points of view in the comments...


Unknown said…
From what I can tell all these comments are from people who have not experienced any of the problems associated with sitting at the edge of the dance floor and trying to work the cabaceo.
In face it appears that most the female respondents above are spoiled for dance invitations and actually turn them down!
As an over-40 average dancer who has spent nights waiting for an invitation, and who never asks a man to dance - even by standing next to him and talking for more than a few minutes - I would never turn down an invitation - be it by cabaceo, polite invitation - or even a gentle tap on the shoulder.
Is tango, like love, wasted on the young?

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