Ever found yourself dancing with someone and regretting it? Were you unsure of what went wrong? Do you still have no idea of how to prevent a recurrence?
I'm a firm advocate of the cabeceo. However, this elegant form of invitation won't help you choose a dance partner. It's actually the last step of the process.
First of all, you have to hone your powers of discrimination. Know what you want, and shop around!
Once, in a Buenos Aires milonga, a tango friend asked how I identified the men I wanted to dance with? In other words, those men whose cabeceo I would return. What was it that I looked for? I hadn't analysed my criteria before, but it got me thinking.
When I arrive at a milonga, I sit and watch the dancers for a while. I make sure I don't look like I want to dance, until I've identified some possibilities.
Some key considerations for choosing whose cabeceo I would accept:
- Does he dance to the music? Does his response to the music make sense to me?
- How is his embrace? Does it look comfortable?
- Does he appear to dance for and with his partner? (rather than trying to impress onlookers)
- How are his navigation skills? Is he respectful of the other dancers? (rather than viewing the dance-floor as his exclusive playground)
- Has he made some effort to present himself appropriately for the occasion? Or does his dress and grooming suggest no respect for potential dance partners and the event?
When dancing in a familiar milonga, filled with familiar faces, these strategies may be unnecessary - I already have a good idea of potential dance partners. However, if you have regretted your choices in the past, you may find my tips handy.
I would be very interested to hear how other ladies identify potential dance partners.
Gentlemen! What about you? How do you choose?