May is the month you will dance more! We’ve made it our mission for the month of May to help people dance more in milongas, and with the people they’ve been secretly dying to dance with!
In this series of 4 blog posts, we are sharing two tips a week to help you dance more, and with partners that you love. And at the end we’ll be sharing a video with Pablo and Naomi showing and explaining all of them. We focus on the more hidden aspect of dancing socially, which teachers often don’t have time to teach in classes. We know, as milonga organisers, that they will make your time in milongas more enjoyable!
Today, let’s discuss about what you can do before and when the music starts…
Tip 3: being active in the pre-cabeceo
During the cortina, in-between the tandas, the dancers look for the next partner. Traditionnally, leaders don’t invite during the cortina. They wait for the music to start: they want to recognise the orchestra, make sure that they like what the DJ is playing, and then invite someone to dance.
So, the cortina is an important moment for the followers, where you can be active and do what we call the ‘pre-cabeceo’. It means getting up, walking around the room and clocking where your favourite dancers, the ones you really want to dance with, are. They are preparing for the next tanda, and so should you! You don’t need to wait for them to come to you.
Just make sure that they have seen you and recognise where you are positioned in the room so they can easily cabeceo you when the music starts.
Tip 4: Cabeceo your way onto the dance floor
Let’s talk about how to enter the dance floor when the tanda has started and there are people dancing, especially in a busy milonga.
The first thing we want to do is to make eye contact with the leader of the couple that is coming towards us, to ask for permission to enter the dance floor. Experienced dancers never get into the dance floor without asking for permission, cutting the flow of the people dancing. As a mark of respect, we need to make a sign and use what is often referred to as ‘the cabeceo between men’. Once it is done, then the dancers will give us the space to enter the dance floor.
We call this cabeceoing your way onto the dance floor. Not all leaders know and do this, so followers can also do it. We love it here because it makes us feel connected to the people who are dancing behind us. It brings a real sense of camaraderie to the dance floor.
So, make sure that you are active during the pre-cabeceo phase. And, especially if you are a leader, use the cabeceo to get onto the dance floor.
Now we’d love to hear from you: does being active in the pre-cabeceo phase make you feel empowered? Is using the cabeceo to enter the dance floor commonly used in your local milongas? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Next week, we’ll talk more about starting the dance, connecting and approaching your partner…
In the meantime, we wish you a lot of wonderful tandas with partners that you love!