When it comes to ballroom dancing, it is much like everyday life. You will encounter many types of leads along the way, ranging from soft, or barely there, to firm or assertive.
The key is being prepared for the variety of partners available to you so that you never sit out a dance. Don't forget that the newest dance lead in the room may become one of the greatest in no time, so you want to be supportive of your fellow dancers every step of the way!
If you're new to the whole dancing and following thing, we recommend you first check out our earlier article on How to be a better follower.
Being a dance follow requires a lot of attention. It's like a full-time job. You always have to stay alert for your dance partner's signals.
You have probably experienced the frustration when unable to follow your dance partner. Every follow has experienced it at one time or another. Use these helpful tips on how to dance with every lead at any social function.
Just as in mastering the art of conversation, you want to match your partners’ energy or intention so as not to overpower or be a limp dish rag. Always give just a little more tension than you receive from them.
When following, you should always be a half step behind. You are responsible for knowing the options available to you in each dance without anticipating or unintentionally back leading. It is a fine line to follow and well worth the reward for a successful dance!
This can be one of the largest hurdles for a follower to overcome. However, it is only when you trust your lead that the magic can happen! You are believing in your partner to effectively lead you across the floor without becoming a battering ram. It's the leader's responsibility to dance on time, use a variety of figures and techniques, and give clear direction. A successful dance can come simply from the confidence you instill in your partner.
Know the varieties available to you! There are at least 18 different positions you may find yourself in. Simply knowing your options and keeping a nicely activated body will help you whether or not you know the figure you are being lead through. Being aware of the choices, will open up a world of possibility for your leads!
When you have the opportunity to go out dancing, make sure you are in the right state of mind before your hand even opens the door. If dancing is your solution for stress-relief, you want to put on that smile before you encounter anyone so that your rough day doesn’t sour theirs as well. Additionally, you will be much more approachable and soon enough you’ll be dancing around the floor and endorphins will be flying off of you!
Remember, being prepared for the many possibilities of dance partners, will ensure you never sit out a dance.
These tips are just a few ways to help make each dance more enjoyable and have a great time with every partner you meet.