Ladies Asking Leaders for a Dance

– this can be a minefield –

The unfortunate reality on the Tango scene is it’s heavily geared towards Followers.  Leaders are in short supply, and sadly the fact is that there are not so many really good leaders.  This does contribute enormously to the ladies wanting and needing to hunt for a good leader, especially if she doesn’t have a regular dance partner.

Over the years we have experienced wily Followers getting up to all sorts of tactics to ask men to dance.  This has resulted in men having to find ways to manage their energy and avoid some of the more predatory women – this can range from escaping into the kitchen or going outside to cool off.

But ladies still manage to find them!

Their only other escape then – is the Gents toilet!  Not very salubrious.  Peter quite often has met other unfortunate men who find that it’s their only means of refuge to evade some of these persistent women.

It’s good for ladies to realise that leaders cannot, and do not want to dance, every tanda.  They may even be sitting out because the next tanda isn’t their favourite music.

We were one of the first tango organisers who projected onto a large screen not only the next type of dance – Tango, Milonga, Vals – but the artist as well.  The added benefit of this was dancers, especially leaders, could plan their evening.

It’s good to see now that other communities are beginning to adopt a variety of methods to give dancers this information, even in a simpler version of putting a playlist on each table.

 When is the Wrong Time to Ask
– at the more formal Milongas or Balls, especially if you are not well known or familiar with the community and its dancers.

Some of the more humorous but nevertheless irritating tricks some ladies do is:

– ask for a dance when the man has just arrived and hasn’t even had time to change into his dance shoes

– pouncing on a leader when he has barely walked off the dance floor

– asking for a dance if the man is engaged in a conversation with someone

– when he’s clearly taking a break and sitting out the tanda

– if he doesn’t look at you – it’s a fair indication that he’s avoiding eye contact (Cabeceo)

.I’ve even had ladies asking me to get Peter to dance with them

When is the Right Time to Ask

– Any Prácticas and Práctilongas, which are far less formal

– if they are friends, or you’re at a Milonga and you know them well enough

– you may also consider asking the more recent Leaders to dance, who would otherwise be too intimidated or shy to ask you.  As a dancer you will get to know who they are, or may even know them from your own community

How to Get Noticed

There’s a great deal ladies you can do, to help increase your chances.  First and foremost is how to be seen as a dancer.  If you’re going to an event that you’re unfamiliar with, arrange to go with a male friend, or at the most two females to one leader.  You will then be able to have a dance.

Learn to ‘work the floor’.  Try to move around and not sit in the same place, especially if it’s away from the dance floor.  Be open with your energy, smile and look around.  You may catch a leader’s eye who will nod by way of asking you to dance.

Avoid being heavily engaged in a conversation with other women, the chances are that no leader will intervene.

Even after the tanda has begun, some leaders will still be looking for a follower, so continue to keep your eyes open.  This is more likely when there are 4 tracks in a tanda.  Some leaders are happier to dance to 3 tracks.

There’s more about ladies getting a dance at Milongas – here

– remember, Leaders are not taxi-dancers! –

© Tango Nomads, 2017

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