Part II… If you read my previous article on the different kind of followers, you would know that while I was carrying out some research on what makes a good lead and follow, I inadvertently discovered that leaders tend to categorise followers into different categories and followers do the same.
Now before you read on, I would just like to clarify – this is an opinion piece that highlights views that was distilled from my own personal research. It in no way reflects the views of the LDC.
When you read this article, don’t read it and be discouraged or disappointed for any reason. Ultimately you need to remember 2 things –
First – Why do you dance? Whatever that reason, don’t let anyone take that joy away from you even when you disagree with what they have to say.
Second – if you think you fall into one of the categories that is not very flattering, remember that you have the power to change and the first step toward change is awareness.
Now these categories mentioned here are not ‘boxes’ that people are born into and they have nothing to do with a persons dance level. As a matter of fact, it usually boils down to skill, social ettiquete, confidence and awareness. Remember that leading can be taught, it can be learned and it can be fixed. Now here we go….
The 5 different kind of Salseros:-
The Extremist – This is actually 2 different types of extreme leads that I have separated into A and B.
A – The extreme shy guy – The lead who is so timid and shy he barely leads the lady at all. He just sort of stands there for the entire dance and forces the lady to have an ‘interpretive dance’.
B – Mr. Rough rider – the lead who is so aggressive the lady feels like her arms are being pulled out of her socket joints whenever she dances with him.
Extreme’s are rarely a good thing and usually you should always try and aim for a bit of balance.
The Man’s man – This is the kind of Lead who has a firm yet gentle lead and is very clear on the dance floor as to what he wants the follower to do while still allowing her enough space & independence to do her own thing when she wants or needs to.
He takes care of the follower, learns how she moves and leads in a way that she finds easy to follow. He takes notice of dance levels and pushes just beyond limits so that the follower always feel challenged yet good about the dance. Lastly he inspires and encourages the follower to play with the music and to express themselves.
The Showoff – This leader usually has a tonne of fancy moves and is actually a very good dancer. Yet they ALWAYS dance for the themselves and they never adjust their dancing to suit the lady they are dancing with. Showoffs dance flashy for the audience as they are trying to make themselves look good. Now when the follower he is dancing with is not up to his level, she will usually find herself looking and feeling very silly throughout the dance.
The Wannabe – This is the type of Lead who tries to execute an endless number of complex moves and turn patterns at the expense of a decent lead and timing. They basically want to be a Showoff without the Skill level that is required to be one. My only advice to you, in the words of a World Class Salsera – ‘Rather lead & execute 6 moves perfectly than do 60 moves terribly.’
Mr. Inappropriate – We all know one of these guys whose hands wander to places they should not. To this lead, a word of advice – a follower allows you to enter into her personal space and she is placing her trust in you to lead and take care of her. Don’t abuse that trust by doing anything inappropriate to her on the dance floor. This is NOT COOL! Respect her boundaries and ultimately respect her.
Ok, this wraps up this 2 part series. Let me know what you think? Did I miss a category? Do you disagree with the categories mentioned? Drop me a comment and lets get the dialogue going.
Always keep dancing!