You may be wondering, what is the ‘cabeceo’? You may think that it’s just the way a milonguero asks a lady to dance by doing a subtle “head nod’… and IT IS! But there is so much more to it than that. It’s romantic, secretive and yes, very subtle. You see, in Buenos Aires back in the day, if a milonguero approached a lady to dance and was rejected, his ego would be hurt and possibly his entire night of dancing as everyone in the room would have seen his rejection, including other tangueras. Instead, a milonguero would be slick as a hawk, scouting the room to meet the eyes of a beautiful tanguera and a chance for a “cabeceo’. If the tanguera accepted, she would simply gesture acceptance and off they went to the dance floor. If the tanguera looked away, no one’s feelings would be hurt and the tanguero would continue his search.
One of the most amazing things we love about Buenos Aires is sitting at a Milonga and watching how this happens on almost every request for a dance.
Although it’s not widely used in the United States, and we think it should, the ‘cabeceo’ is a great way of inviting a tanguera to dance. You should try it guys!
Ladies, the power of the cabeceo really lies with you! A milonguero can ‘cabeceo’ all he wants, but it’s you who accepts!
Check out this fun youtube video!