LEAD and FOLLOW
Lead is all about communication and it becomes a conversation of the physical between two dancers.
Good lead is an art form that requires sensitivity. A good leader is sensitive to the partner's level of dance. As a leader you must make your intentions clear by committing to the movement and following through to the end. There is no room for mixed messages, which my be confusing to the follower and lead to awkward moments. A clear understanding of the movement is necessary so that it can be communicated easily and on time to the follower.
The follower has an equally important role, which is to follow. This, in essence, means that the follower has to be sensitive, aware and respond using good tone in the arms (no spaghetti arms). The follower should not anticipate the movement but wait to be lead. Staying connected to your partner at all times is critical in order to obtain good lead and follow.
In all forms of dance, rhythm is 'key' whether it is Salsa, Cha Cha or Merengue. Rhythm distinguishes the dances and gives them their unique personalities. Staying 'on the beat' or on rhythm allows for better partnering and the ability to progress to more interesting and intricate movements. In essence, keeping good rhythm is 'key' without it dancing becomes laboured and a chore especially for the person following. Dancing will then become a wrestling match, pushing and pulling each other around the dance floor.
All You Ever Need to Know About Relationships Can be Learned in a Salsa Class - By Skippy Blair © 3/95, 8/98
- Lead her Gently and she'll follow you anywhere. For every ACTION there is an equal and opposite REACTION.
- Never CRITICIZE a Partner. The only person you can FIX is YOU. (The person who is responsible for making an ADJUSTMENT is the one who knows that an adjustment needs to be made).
- A Lead is an INDICATION of direction (a suggestion - not a DEMAND).
- A modern-day PARTNERSHIP is 50/50. BOTH partners are equally responsible for the outcome of the partnership.
- If either of us insists on deciding who is right and who is wrong, we BOTH lose.
- The FIRST Rule in learning something new is: Don't Hurt Anybody.
- Be sensitive to your partner. Never Blame or Ridicule. You can make it right (don't adjust the partner - adjust YOU).
- Always concentrate on WHAT is right rather than WHO is right.
- TEAMWORK gets the most points. YOU are judged by how good you make your partner look.
- A good Partnership requires Patience, Understanding and an awareness of the needs of the partner. Stay focused.
- The way to help a partner improve is to do YOUR part so well that you know that you are not part of the PROBLEM.
- Life is a JOY when we're both in step to the same beat.
- Praise works wonders. Applaud little accomplishments and bigger accomplishments will follow.
- Every dance is a "Three-Minute Relationship." If someone can't complete one whole dance without criticism, it is highly probable that when the music stops the criticism won't. RUN!
- A successful "Partnership" maintains the separate uniqueness of each individual, without disrupting the connection of the partnership.