Cabeceo– Old school OR a handy Social Skill?

You think cabeceo is uncomfortable? Then you better stay away from this style of speed dating… Shhhh Dating!

Shhh Dating–Bizarre new way of love

No small talk, no jokes to break the ice, not even asking the other person’s name…Silence!

I only recently found out about this but it looks like it hit New York hard back in 2008…

Are you thinking: Why on earth would anyone voluntarily put themselves in such a tough spot?
Well, this what founder, Adam Taffler says in the article: “When you can’t small talk to someone, you connect with them on a much deeper level. It’s very intimate

Does that remind you of something?!?!
The cabeceo of course!

Cabeceo– Old School or a TRUE Tango tradition?

The cabeceo is indeed a Tango tradition… It is also though a red flag for many dancers all around the Tango world.

Haters roll their eyes saying: “Seriously..? This is 2017” while
Lovers, roll their eyes wondering: “Why do I have to go through the very unpleasant process of saying NO when I am not even looking for a dance?”

Hhhmmm… Now both sides do have a strong point..!

Haters are you ready for the path of SHAME?

Haters of cabeceo strongly push forward the fact that we are fast approaching 2018 and therefore we don’t need to ask for permission to get a dance.

You are absolutely right! 2017 is indeed almost over, and that naturally makes you wonder if we still need such an old school approach to our social interaction?

The REAL question though is: Are you ready to hear NO and walk the PATH OF SHAME back to your seat?

I am asking because interestingly enough in this very same group you find people who along with cabeceo they hate small talk, they can’t handle rejection… AND they are wondering: “Can’t we just dance?”


If you are in this last category, please, prepare an honesty bath, for Christmas!

Cabeceo is not the problem, and you have to admit to yourselves what the real problem is here!

I get it, I was shy too! But shyness, social anxiety, low self- esteem or low confidence will not just go away on their own.
They are social skills and like any other skill if you practice on them, you can get better, and enjoy your milongas way more.

Plus the milonga environment is much safer than a business environment and therefore perfect for working on social skills and confidence

Cabeceo can actually help you, if you want to avoid unwanted interactions or if you want to approach someone if you can’t handle rejection, if you can’t make small talk, and if you feel uncomfortable making the first move.
And eye contact is a skill you use in your everyday life, in your romantic and business relationships

Start your training here, now with me:

For those of you who have really no problems chatting with people or hearing NO, then go ahead, take the cabeceo out, just be civil.
Meaning you might think it is stupid but for other people it is psychological cushion, and you need to allow them that comfort.

Lovers, are you sure you are doing the cabeceo..?

It is funny because one of the most common chat, in the followers’ circles, is on:
“None of the good dancers are asking me to dance, I am always dancing with beginners…” or “I am dancing with the same people all the time”

Can you see what the root of the problem is here?
1 word and 1 phrase are causing the problem: ALWAYS and ALL THE TIME!

I am not joking here, I am dead serious!

If you are spending the biggest part of your night on the dance floor with people you DON’T want to be dancing with, when on earth are you going to make a connection with the people you DO want to be dancing with?

 Cabeceo strategies #1: Stop mindlessly looking around.

That only attracts your friends and others with whom you usually dance OR people who don’t use the cabeceo so they don’t even care whether you are looking around or not

What to do instead:

Laser focus on the people you want to dance with.
If you can’t do that from where are sitting… Change spots!

Find a spot that you can easily make eye contact with the people you want to dance with. Try in every way to be closer to the people you actually want to be dancing with, no matter what your role is in the dance

Cabeceo Strategies #2: Don’t just dance with anybody. Use your time in the milonga to connect and dance with the people you want!

You need to switch your mindset about the milonga if you want richer dance experiences.

More dances DON’T make up for the entrance fee.
BETTER dances, good chats and music appreciation-time on the other hand DO!

Think about it this way, if you paid 15$ as an entrance fee, and you danced all night BUT you HATED half of those dances… Then I am sorry but that is crappy night.
If on the other hand, you paid 15$ and you danced 5 GREAT tandas, you chatted with friends, you met 1 new person, and you relaxed to the beautiful rhythms of Tango… THAT is what you call an awesome night.

Preparation and strategic planning won’t spoil spontaneity

As Phil Cousineau has pointed out in The Art of Pilgrimage: “preparation no more spoils the chance for spontaneity and serendipity than discipline ruins the opportunity for genuine self-expression in sports, acting or the tea ceremony”

You need to find the balance between setting up your options and being optimistically ignorant!

The goal here is not to plan everything to a T, trying to avoid all uncertainty and every surprise, quite the opposite..!
Become aware of your options of milongas in your community and of your options in those milongas–in terms of seating, partners etc. And then let the dance itself take over!

Plan for gaining the confidence that no matter what you will have a good time!

So for example: check out the milonga space–if you haven’t been there before.
Notice the people you want to dance with… where are they sitting, who are they dancing with, are they using the cabeceo–remember there are quite a few haters out there– etc.

Based on all that choose strategically where to sit, who to cabeceo, if/ when you need to go to the bar to chat with a potential partner and then OFF YOU GO!

Every milonga, every tanda, every dance is something special….no 2 are alike!
Use the comfort of a plan to be able to walk in the milonga and go with the flow

Join our community here at Bautanz, get that confidence back!

One thought on “Cabeceo– Old school OR a handy Social Skill?”

  1. “you danced 5 GREAT tandas .. THAT is what you call an awesome night”

    May be what you call an awesome night: if I only danced 5 tandas I would NEVER go to that venue again.

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