Ever reached a cortina (short break at a milonga between tandas – which are sections with four dances) and needed a break from the dance floor, a chance to recharge your batteries; but you’ve never gotten the chance to, as you find it impossible to say no? Is it just too hard to turn a guy away, a guy who’s built up the confidence to ask you to dance – so you end up dancing the whole night long?

If your answer is yes, then we may have the answer to all of your problems, one of these tips (at least!) is bound to work for you. Use these and men will never even approach you. There are of course alternatives, depending on how desperate you are to be left alone, however these tips have been carefully constructed to be as realistic and feminine as possible, allowing you to hold onto any dignity you may have 😉

1. Have a deep and meaningful conversation… (or fake one!)

Have (or fake) a really interesting conversation with a group of friends, the more of you there are; the better. If you’re just talking to one other girl you’re both less intimidating to approach and invite to dance, a guy may even bring a friend with him and you’ll both end up on the dance floor! Keep the group tight and appear oblivious to anything other than your conversation.

2. Stuff your face!

What better way is there to avoid male attention than to sit down and stuff your face? Real men will admire your openness and confidence when tucking into something yummy – in public especially, yet they won’t want to disturb you by asking you to dance as the answer will obviously be no – you’re a bit preoccupied!

3. DO NOT, under any circumstances, look at him!

You make eye contact and it’s game over. You need to play it right though; reading posters, examining your shoes closely or watching other people dancing can all give off the impression that you’re bored and would like to dance. You need to be as blunt and obvious and possible. If you have the feeling that the guy to the right of the room is about to come over: look left. If he’s in front of you, why not turn around. If he’s next to you, turn to the other side. You get the idea. When you’re told not to do something, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to do it, but do NOT, for the love of tango, look at him!

4. Go to the little girls’ room

A reliable enough technique, however imagine how many times you’re going to need to visit the bathroom to avoid being asked to dance. People will think you have problems… and yeah guys will steer clear of you as a result, but is that really what you want? Think it through is all I’m saying! Using this method once is enough in this scenario.

5. Fake an injury “Ow my… ankle?”

Okay firstly, if you’re not a good actress or liar, don’t even attempt it – stick to one of the first four tips. If you are, perhaps have a little limp going on – or hold the ‘injured’ body part. If anyone says anything, it’s better to say an ‘old injury’ is playing up, rather than faking a brand new one. This will cut out any falling to the floor in agony; you want to avoid dancing for a while, not cause a scene.

These tips are all perfect for letting you rest your feet for a tanda every now and then… but do it too often and you’ll get a reputation! Dancing at Milongas is an enjoyable experience, so why sit and watch other people having all the fun? Get up and dance the night away! You can rest all you like after :)

For more advice, see what Arthur, our friend the milonguero from the 1930’s, had to say about it all.

By Emma Langschied