Why is he staring at me

Every now and then the following happens to me.

At a milonga or a tango ball, I try to invite a lady in the traditional way with “Mirada and Cabeceo” meaning with eye contact.

But she looks away or rather, she pulls her shoulders up, and straightens her eyes toward the ground.

If I do not look away immediately, she gets even more tensed up.

Her attitude and facial expression say in big letters “WHY IS HE STARING AT ME…?”

No chance! This lady is busy and certainly does not want to dance with me now ...

No chance! This lady is busy and certainly does not want to dance with me now …

Of course it may be that this lady simply does not want to dance this tanda with me.

However, a lady who knows “Mirada and Cabeceo”, the game of inviting with eye contact, usually does not look cramped towards the floor, but just turns her head slightly, or signals by eye contact that she does not want to dance with me (at least not at the moment), – kind of a friendly, relaxed “no thanks” or “not now”.

By now, I know from experience that many dancers still do not know the reciprocal invitation to dance with “Mirada and Cabeceo”, because in their tango school it has been never told that it exists, let alone be practiced, how it works.

And as I notice again and again, unfortunately many ladies also do not have the self-confidence to seek eye contact, actively, to find their favorite dancer, to flirt a bit and to arrange to dance with him without words.

The problem with this: Hardly anybody asks them to dance, because traditionally in Argentine Tango someone who is not actively looking for a dance partner, shows that he or she does not want to dance

Only through eye contact does the lady give the gentleman the opportunity, or, if you like, the permission to ask her.

So if a lady always lowers her eyes when a man looks at her more intensely, she signals whether she wants it or not, that she does not feel like dancing.

Of course, this does not attract any dancer. The frustration is inevitable.

But maybe this lady does...

…but maybe this lady does…

So ladies, have more confidence!

Show that you do not need to hide. Fear not, but return the glances of the men (At least in the milonga, this is part of the game and is perfectly fine).

Take an active part in the game of “Mirada and Cabeceo”, instead of waiting passively and hoping (in vain) that maybe someday a dancer will come and invite you.

Your chances of getting nice dances will increase enormously.

By the way, there comes to my mind another practical obstacle that may occur. Every now and then I am told by ladies that they have not seen my invitation by eye contact without their glasses.

Well, with the rather subtle lighting in most milongas that can be a problem.

But in this case applies: Leave your glasses on. At least until you find your dance partner, and the dance begins.

You might also like be interested in these articles.

Is there a foolproof way to avoid a "no", inviting someone to dance?

Good old Mirada and good old Cabeceo


About Wolfgang Sandt

Mostly nice, patient, humorous, ecoconscious, good tango dancer and tango teacher
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