Salsa > beginner-follower

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by vey, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Julili

    Julili New Member


    Hello from Belarus!! great that I've found this forum and i can learn more about salsa and salsa dancers, because in Belarus it is only becoming popular, and we make only few steps in this direction...I am sure it will become popular and there will be many salsa clubs :D
    I love salsa, great and beautiful dance!
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Welcome Julili! :D If it's salsa lovers you want, you've come to the right place! :D
  3. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Welcome to the forum Julili!!!
  4. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    :twisted: MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!! Soon we will rule the WORLD!
  5. Julili

    Julili New Member

    I see that you are a great team :lol:
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks Julili . . . and we're happy to have you with us! :D
  7. David

    David New Member

    Just thought I'd throw in my $0.02 here... as a biginner follower. Had my second ever dance as a follower on the weekend, was also only the second ever dance as a leader for the girl who was leading me.

    Was a barrel of laughs and very educational, not to mention a bit of entertainment for half the people in the place :)

    In some respects it was a real eye opener too, although, since we're both "beginners" in this case, I'll wait a while before drawing too many conclusions. But one thing I can say with certainty is that I did find it hard not to anticipate at times. This in no small part would be due to both of our lack of relative experience.

    One thing she made a point of doing was leading me through a couple of my regular moves. While the moves themselves are not that complex for the follower to execute, it was very interesting to note how fine the line is between a followable lead and one which leaves you standing in the middle of the dance floor wondering just what the hell you were supposed to be doing.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That sounds like so much fun, David. And it is really enlightening to see how the other half lives, so to speak. I, for one, am glad that I usually don't have to lead. 8)
  9. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You know I want to do more dances as a follower. I agree that it is an eye-opener, but it is fun too!! It is rare that such an opportunity presents itself!! How does one get more opportunities to do this. And I'm not talking of back leading here!! :)
  10. David

    David New Member

    Guess it depends. In my case I knew that the girl in question had a vague interest in trying out leading. She used to joke about swapping roles in the middle of a dance and seeing if anybody would notice :lol: So when I felt comfortable enough to give it a try I just asked... well actually I got her up for a dance, reversed the hand hold, and said "OK, you lead". :wink:

    Alternatively if you see a girl leading another girl, ask her for a dance and once she gets to know that you can dance mention that you'd like to give following a try.

    Finally, if you and some of your (male) friends are comfortable enough, you could try bringing up the idea of getting them to lead you through a few moves. You want to make sure that the guys in question have enough experience behind them, and are close enough friends, not to get the wrong idea about this one though :shock: Basically means guys who have already "been there, done that" as far as following is concerned.
  11. suek

    suek New Member

    Chiming in late here...Welcome Vey. (Every time I read your handle I want to add "Oy!")

    As a relative newcomer to all of this, and as a dedicated student of following, I can relate all too well to the agonies of learning to follow and of breaking into the social dance scene. Some thoughts:
    • I have only one job to do on the dance floor: follow. Go where I'm led, at the speed and direction I'm given, and stop when I'm stopped
    • Jenn (Pygmalion) mentioned going to class where a series of moves are taught and following very consciously. Another approach that has been very useful in reducing my anticipation has been to close my eyes and cover my ears when the choreography is given to the leads and then just follow, without knowing what's coming. Alternatively I will ask my teacher to have the leads mix it up, to bury the move du jour in some freestyle; once again so that I can work on my responsiveness and following as well as on the footwork
    • Early on I took some lead/follow classes that were invaluable to my foundation: Who knew there was up/down, front/back, right/left connection points? Learning how to feel all those directions in my lead's hands helped big in reducing my anticipation/backleading
    • Social dancing: I paid some big dues there. I had no friends in the dance world I wanted to enter (lindy hop in my case). I went to the Wednesday night swing dance over and over and over again for months and danced with almost no one except the teachers. It was so HARD and took a very long time to get comfortable. I am very grateful to the folks who danced with me and encouraged me and answered my questions. Now I go every week and feel so much at home. And love it.

    Hope some of this helps
  12. Marvellous

    Marvellous New Member

    I am lucky where I am. If a guy wants to follow it is not problem. Often, the women at my lessons outnumber the men about 3:1 so some of the better women lead during lessons, and lead for the women after the lessons. Thus, I have access to women who can lead. Also, a few of us guys have no problem with dancing with each other for fun/education. I feel sorry for guys who are too uptight to be seen dancing with another guy. I've heard that it is related to how comfortable a guy is with his own sexuality....whatever that means exactly.....I have noticed one thing interesting though; guys that I take lessons with are apt to ask me rather than any other male to dance with them if they want to practice following. I don't think it is my skill level, because I am certainly not their best option in that department. One theory I have is that they choose me because it am very "masculine", really alpha. I don't know whether it is relavant or not, but it might be. I am thinking that dancing with me relieves them of the fear of anyone questioning their sexual orientation???
    Most of the guys on my dance scene are pretty much effeminate in my opinion, and these guys NEVER dance with each other. It seems that only the "real" men dance together where I am.
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    So I AM A REAL MANNN!!! :) I couldn't help that!! I'm in a great mood tonight. I'm just back from latin dance night at Commonground and it was loads of fun.

    I can relate. For me it wasn't the issue of asking people to dance so much. I could dance all night, or try too, as I'm merely a bumbling newbie!! :) It does take a while for you to get to know the regulars and hang out. Brings back the thought that Pygmalion had a while back on how can one obtain a unique style of salsa dancing and salsachnita's response that it actually is a way of life. Very true!!! :)
  14. vey

    vey New Member

    Thanks for your welcome Suek and feel free to add "oy" whenever you feel like :)
    Thanks for your thoughts and advice on following!
    That's a great idea, I'll try that. Although I've noticed that I have almost no problems following the leaders who are taking the same classes as me, may be because I KNOW all the moves they know and it's easy for me to recognize them. It's the outside leaders and more advanced guys that I have problems with... and I think there's also a psychological component to it - I feel intimidated by advanced leaders and afraid that I won't be able to follow, I'm actually much more relaxed dancing with people who are at my level.

    Thanks for your story about your beginnings in social dancing, it makes me feel better about my own uncomfortable efforts.
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I actually have to work at this. I've noticed this a lot as a leader introducing people to salsa for the first time. RELAXING. I find myself distracting the follow so that they aren't so tense. Dancing comes easier that way!! :) Same actually applies to me, in a way, as I'm just starting out dancing. If I get tensed up, I don't hear the music, don't feel my partner -- it's awful!! :(

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