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July 25, 2016 by Oren Pardes

FOLLOWING a partner requires doing what the LEADER does – EVEN when it is NOT what the follower expects, desires, or is used to – and MUCH of the problem many people have dancing together is really the fault of the FOLLOWER (who often really does NOT know how to follow – especially anyone trying to lead what they have not done before). At most social dance events there are usually only a very small percentage of followers able to follow almost anyone doing almost anything and thus make every dance look and feel good for both partners.

Even the very best leaders cannot lead without the help of the follower. WORSE than people who have NEVER taken any dance instruction/training are those who have been taught – badly.

What the follower can or should do during social dancing – both when together and when apart – often does not (need to) match what the leader does – and there is no need to watch or copy the leader’s feet. Most leads are felt and naturally result in the follower’s steps and movements.

The “BASICS” of any partner dance is NOT any stepping pattern but how the partners connect – with the music and with each other. Keeping elbows in front of the body is the key to ANY frame – and it is important for followers to NOT reach, or grab, or hang on, or let go, and to allow their partner to be able to see (and be seen) and step and move without getting in the way.

Leading is mostly moving oneself rather than trying to make the follower do anything at all. Following requires waiting to be LED; responding without anticipating, initiating, or resisting. Following does NOT require knowing what will be led – but does require doing one’s own part. The follower is not a puppet. Following is an equal yet often more challenging role than leading.

IF followers focus on the BASICS of social partner dancing, they will MUCH more easily follow almost anyone (dancing any style to any music) – no matter what movement patterns are led.

© 2016 – 2018, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

Oren Pardes

Oren Pardes has written 24 post in this blog.

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