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Cabeceo Conundrums: Balancing Respect and Tradition on the Dance Floor, 08/23/2023

Updated: Dec 23, 2023


Cabeceo Conundrums: Balancing Respect and Tradition on the Dance Floor


Hello friends,

Hope you're all gliding and embracing the tango rhythm!


I recently experienced a unique situation at Milonga El Rodriguez, Lo de Marta Famá, and I'm turning to you all for some advice.


Now, Milonga El Rodriguez holds a special place in my heart. From the cozy ambiance to Marta's impeccable organizing skills and warm welcome, not to mention the many wonderful dance partners, it's a haven for tango enthusiasts like myself.


However, last Wednesday took an unexpected twist. Generally, I embrace accepting dance invitations, always seeking to keep the floor filled with vibrant, positive energy. If there's a harmonious rhythm between a partner and me, it’s a dance connection I deeply appreciate.

Here's the twist:


On August 2, Lady X, going against the usual código, approached and invited me to dance. We shared a dance, but I felt our rhythms were slightly out of sync. On August 9, she again took the initiative, and to ensure clarity and mutual respect, I conveyed my preference for the cabeceo.


But come August 16, Lady X approached for the third consecutive time. This time, I gently declined, leading to her asking the reason for my refusal. With utmost respect to the tango traditions, I responded, "The código guides us. No means no."

This leads me to ponder:


Was Lady X's repeated approach, sidestepping the código, within bounds? - Or am I perhaps being a bit oversensitive about our revered código?


If you were in my dancing shoes, how would you respond? My thoughts wander to:

1. Gracefully dance on, focusing on other partners;

2. Consider leaving the milonga for the evening;

3. Discuss the situation with the organizer;

4. Kindly, yet firmly, explain boundaries to Lady X.


If you've ever faced a similar dance dilemma or have thoughtful advice to share, I’d love to hear your take in the comments.


Until our next tango in November!


Clip: Dance with Marité Carrillo at Milonga El Rodriguez, recorded by Juan Cruz Varela

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