The cabeceo isn’t working!

That was the lament I heard last night by a South African at his first milonga in Buenos Aires.  He went to the bar to order a drink, and Celia Blanco welcomed him.  She said a few words to him in English, so he assumed she is fluent in the language.  I was nearby and offered to translate.

The cabeceo isn’t working, he said.  I pointed out that it takes time to assimilate into the milonga scene.  How long will you be in Buenos Aires, I asked.  Two months.  Fine.  Then you need to come here every Wednesday.  Four women are at your table.  That’s part of the problem.  You need to sit in the men’s section.  No one is looking at you for several reasons:  you are here for the first time, you are a foreigner, no one knows if you can dance, and you are in the wrong section of the milonga.

Believe me, the cabeceo works.

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6 Responses to “The cabeceo isn’t working!”

  1. TangoSiren Says:

    I was more than a little overwhelmed by the cabaceo at first. Now that I understand it, I refuse dances that are not cabaceo. It is both terrifying and liberating.
    Kind of you to take the time to explain both online as well as in person that patience is the best remedy for what ails us here in BsAs.

  2. jantango Says:

    Many travel at great expense to Buenos Aires to dance in the milongas. Then they feel invisible at the milongas and wonder how long it will take before they get results with the cabeceo.

    We need to remember that it’s not the end of the world if we sit out the tanda of our favorite orchestra or didn’t dance every tanda we wanted. We are in the moment listening to the music and enjoying the dancing.

  3. b Says:

    And yet most women who are not on the floor wear an expression that makes one think they are dying inside….

  4. jantango Says:

    They’re listening to the music.

  5. Daniel R. Says:

    yeah, sure, they’re not doing la plancha, they “listen to the music” 🙂

  6. jantango Says:

    Yes, and watch the dancing. Everyone can’t be on the floor at the same time.

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