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Cape Cod Tango weekly newsletter

Posted By: Anya on December 09, 2015

CAPE COD TANGO Weekly Newsletter, Jan. 26, 2016
This Thursday will be Marc's fourth lesson in fundamentals! Our beginners are coming along so well! We are so excited to have so many new people and such an enthusiastic group!
Our large class has caused some unexpected glitches and delays in our planned system for checking in and paying. We are trying out a new "self sign in" process that we hope will speed you all onto the dance floor so the lesson can begin on time and you do not lose lesson or practice time checking in.
If you have not prepaid and are paying for lessons on a weekly basis, bringing payment in exact change or a check made out to "Cape Cod Tango" will expedite the process. We will ask you to sign in, then put your payment in an envelope that we will provide,  put your name on the envelope and put your envelope in our jar and go practice. Should you need change or forget your wallet, etc. you will need to check in with our treasurer, Stan.
Keith and I will open the front door of Liberty Hall at 6:45. Keith will be setting up the regular speaker system for the lesson but will provide some music from his iPhone and a portable speaker as soon as he gets there. Anya will be there this week to help any beginners with class material review. I will be setting up our shoe changing area and helping you with check in until Stan arrives.
We encourage all of you at all levels of dance to come a little early, change your shoes, warm up with a partner, visit with other dancers, and be ready for an on time lesson start!
Lynn Richards

TANGO TIDBITS, Jan. 26, 2016


Once you get involved with tango, it doesn't take long before you realize there is more to it than just learning a new dance.  You are entering a fully developed culture, rich in its own traditions.  Some of these traditions are quirky, but some are quite sensible.  The way in which a man asks a woman to dance is one of the sensible ones.  It is called CABACEO,  or "nod."

For a man to walk up to a woman, ask her to dance, and be refused is hard on his ego.  It's even harder if all of his friends see a public refusal.  Early in tango's history a better way developed.  Music is played in sets, or tandas. After each tanda there is a short bit of non dancing music called a cortina, or curtain.  It is customary for everyone to leave the dance floor, sit down, and find a new partner.  To ask a woman to dance, a man looks directly at the woman and attempts to make eye contact.  If she wants to dance, she returns the eye contact.  He makes a slight nod, then walks to her table knowing the answer will be yes.  If she doesn't want to dance with him she averts eye contact.  She fiddles with her shoe, continues talking with the person next to her, or gets up to go to the ladies room.  It's clear to the man that he needs to look for someone else.  While at traditional milongas it is not considered proper for a woman to ask a man to dance, women have the MIRADA to fall back on.  They just fix their gaze on the person they want to dance with, he notices, and if he wants to dance he will ask her as above.  This fixing of gaze on one another is a powerful human trait that goes all the way back to infancy.  Tiny babies can do it.  It is a powerful bonding force between mother and infant.

CABACEO usually works well.  Sometimes it doesn't. Some followers wonder why they rarely get asked to dance.  One reason is failure to pay attention to the possibility of CABECEO.  Two followers may be sitting out a dance and having a nice conversation.  The tango music stops and the cortina music starts.  They don't notice and continue their conversation.  A leader tries to cabeceo one of them.  It is not returned because it is not noticed.  The leader, however, interprets this as a rejection.  If it happens a few times, he decides this follower doesn't ever care to dance with him, and from that time forward he never asks her to dance again.  If afollower wants to dance the next tanda, no matter how interesting the conversation, she should pause and pay attention to the dance floor.  The person she is talking with will fully understand.

I hope you will practice using CABECEO.  You will be amazed that it can work all the way across a crowded room.  And be aware that direct asking by standing in front of someone is considered rude behavior by many people.

Keith Richards

Cape Cod Tango Poster