Social Dance Life #2: Sense of humor…

Post Views 261

The quick story below submitted by Sharon A. shows how learning to follow (or lead) can be a challenge for new dancers and takes some patience…and a sense of humor :).

“When I was new to Latin dancing, I had a tough time letting the leaders lead me.  I fought them the whole time.  During one of my classes a guy asked me how long I had been single.  Good thing I have a sense of humor lol. I still see him at socials and he never asks me to dance. I hope I have improved a lot since then.”

If you have a funny, humbling, inspiring, tragic, or otherwise interesting dance floor moment and want to share it with the Latin Dance Community please visit:  Social Dance Life!

1 Comment

  • Fred says:

    So, what I find interesting with this story is the question of leading and following. For some leads, there seems to be a bit of over-leading, while for some follows there seems to be a bit of impatient following, if one may.
    It’s normal and ok for new dancers to have challenges leading or following. We all improve with time and practice.
    However, even for experienced dancers there often seem be issues with leading or following. For leads, sometimes there seems to be too much leading as we “robot” through our “patterns” crammed from studios! And for some follows one can’t help but notice and sense a seeming impatience with following, which I think is sometimes justified and sometimes not.
    There are several well-known dancers on online clips, who, in my opinion, seem to be too eager to sort of “do their own thing” sometimes they might do something while a lead is perhaps preparing something else, and one can see the total disconnection.
    It seems like among some dancers, often follows, there seems to be like a “war” going on where they can’t wait to go solo, even when their leads don’t seem to be too controlling, and these are often experienced dancers. And for some leads it’s like the follows don’t even exist. It’s all about the lead’s “turns” and turns and turns and turns, and then more turns!
    So, for many leads, perhaps including myself, we seem to be engaged in somewhat mindless turning, probably because we are busy trying to get the turns right and impress the follows, while for some follows there seems to be an increasing impatience with being led, so that some youtube clips, including some of the better-known dancers just seem to give a sense of a war for control going on. I will not give names, obviously, but there seems to be some female “stars,” most of their clips i’ve seen to me seem to be “wars” with their leads! As soon as they’re let go for some shines, it’s as if a nuclear weapon has gone off! One can tell, they seem to feel limited by the lead, and because they’re impatiently waiting to perhaps show off, they’re not really feeling and connecting with their leads as well as they might. Perhaps, it’s the cameras!
    And then, for leads, as mentioned earlier, we are often caught up in turns, turns, turns etc etc etc, even when the music changes tempo etc etc.
    However, I also see some female “stars” who even with their popularity seem to be so good and patient with their leads, they just seem to have great connection, and even when they’re being led, they still catch the eye and stand out, due to their body motion, skill, timing etc. If I may name one, Griselle Ponce, I think, is a great example! She allows herself to follow, but she still shines! She doesn’t come off like she’s at war with her leads.
    I think this is the ultimate skill, especially for follows: to shine while still following and connecting with the lead. Otherwise, what one sees on floors and in some clips online are dance floor wars, with leads roboting through patterns, and follows compounding matters by trying to sort of force some self expression or show off, leading to disconnection on the floor.

Leave a Reply