Salsa > Effects of Dancing with an Excellent Follow

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by aimerrouge, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. azzey

    azzey Member


    Really try to connect with them. Also, even if you limit some of the styling, try to dance with them to the music as much as you can, without interfering with his lead.

    At the same time follow smoothly whatever they lead, even if you think its wrong. This will show them more than anything that you respect their effort in their dancing and shows them how to dance well by *example* and how you would like them to dance with you. They will quickly work out what they're doing wrong or ask you because you seem so friendly.

    Don't criticise or correct them unless they ask you. If you do give advise when requested, do it off the dance floor. It's for dancing and having fun!

    The above advice will help more than anything for you to become a very appreciated dancer and at the same time help leaders in their growth.
  2. azzey

    azzey Member

    Firstly, remember that words like intermediate and advanced mean different things to different people and we have different ways of measuring them.

    When I dance with any partner I adjust to their skill level and individual style (I can do multiple Salsa styles - Cuban, LA, NY and make a style from this that suits the salsera). However the lesser the ability of the follower the more I need to give them a solid framework within which for us both to dance and have fun. i.e. not changing things so often as I would with more advanced partners so that they become familiar with my style of dancing.

    When I dance with a salsera of similar or more advanced level I can use many more changes, in technique, in moves, in dancing to the music etc. So although I still adapt to each partner, to combine our strengths to dance well, I would in your terms be less accomodating because she is more advanced. Regarding attitude, I am also more accomodating with lesser dancers, because simply advanced dancers should know better.

    Some, but not all of this goes out the window if I fancy her of course. :lol: :wink:
  3. HF

    HF New Member

    @ azzey

    Good comments, they are welcome!
  4. Leah

    Leah New Member

    I really like TJ's suggestion....

    ... and think that this is a GREAT way to (begin) going about it...

    Great advice guys!

    When I was starting out in a fairly limited salsa scene, a friend (also a teacher of one of the classes I took) "took me under his wing" in this way. He'd dance with me everywhere - in the clubs, in the kitchen, on the lawn - and for a newbie, repeating all those "advanced" moves over and over was a huge benefit. He just smiled it off, saying it was helping him to try new moves, or improve his lead. Now he's one of my best friends and I *definitely* won't forget all he did!

    Anyone else have something similar? This thread got me thinking that some day when I am in the position to return the favor to someone, I will. Perhaps a few others would like to take on this mission too. :)
  5. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Dizzyness, heart palpitations, fever, lightheadedness,...
  6. tj

    tj New Member

    About dancing with Intermediate level Follows.... I probably spend more time dancing with them than any other level.
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I would guess those and beginners might be in greatest number..
  8. tj

    tj New Member

    This is true.
  9. El guru

    El guru New Member

    I'm sorry if I couldn't read all the posts, and if someone already wrote what I'm going to tell...

    I'm no more a beginner, nor intermediate...
    IN any case I'm still studyong, improving and taking lessons... so I have the same problems...

    In our course there are a lot of assistants that already knows the patterns... and often I dance with them.. but I learn much more less then when I take a beginner and I try to show her what to do (altough I'm still learning it...)
    When I dance with an assistant, she's dancing for the 3rd hour consecutively, she's bored, she anticipate and do everything alone, I cannot learn if my lead is correct or not...
    If I study the pattern with someone else like me.. she's much concentrated, and if the lead is wrong... she do it worng... and I can correct my lead immediately...
  10. azzey

    azzey Member


    I agree with TJ in that its much more common for more experienced followers to give feedback on the lead rather than teaching how to lead.

    The reason is that most followers, even advanced ones don't know the details of leading a specific pattern. They know the details of following any pattern and when it feels right but not usually the leading details.

    Even if they have gone through all the classes again and learnt everything from a leaders perspective most female leaders are not up to the standard of a male leader of equal level. The same goes for professional male dancers who also learn to follow (except for Seaon Bristol).

    Now if the male leader is already at the intermediate level then it would require a truly advanced salsera (probably a teacher) to teach him correctly. In the area of styling it would require a male teacher.

    It's not that nothing can be learnt from any salsera but how would you know what was right and what was wrong?

    Also the reason that most follows don't go about teaching intermediate leads is because they've already learnt that its harder to do than you might think and fraught with pit-falls that might affect your already good dance partnership.
  11. Paou

    Paou New Member

    Didn't Seaon learn to follow first, then to lead later?... so your exception isn't er.. an exception :D
  12. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Seaon Bristol rocks! I saw him dance as a follow and all I can say is "WOW! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: "... I would probably not have the guts to dance near him, when he follows! :(
  13. azzey

    azzey Member

    Yes he was following for a year and a half before he started leading! I almost wish I'd been able to do that first, would have helped a lot in my leading. :)
  14. Paou

    Paou New Member

    Me too, but then I guess even if the option was there I doubt I would have taken it back then... When I first started salsa it took enough guts to turn up and dance with *women* I didn't know... let alone men :shock: :lol:
  15. salsamale

    salsamale New Member

    For me, the benefits of dancing with an intermediate/ advanced salsera include:
    - building confidence in asking intermediate/ advanced salseras
    - brutally honest feedback on any weaknesses, e.g. connection, noisy arm motion, timing, unclear leads, etc.
    - challenging and expanding my comfort zone
    - chance to improve my basics (my open cbl still needs work)
    - chance to experiment with solo-dancing/ shines
    - reality-check/ humble pill
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    and... enjoyment, perhaps? ;)
  17. devane

    devane New Member

    Yes it is a great exercise.
    I never learned to lead until I danced/joined in on a class of girls who were beginners or less experienced. It's too much to expect the guy to lead when they're struggling with the basics, so i truely learned to lead with helping beginners. Even in the next level up (improvers or intermediate) it's easy to get by in the class, performing the moves without actual lead/following.

    Dance with advanced people when you can. They are easier to dance with.
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I do that sometimes for those reasons. But I also feel that a beginner follow will more easily adapt to my style of not so much into moves...other reasons too you know.
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    On ther other hand...continuingfrom my previous is sometimes easier to try out something new with a more advanced follow.

    It also is enjoyable. It's nice to flow from one move to another easily without trying to teach someone who really doesn't know how to dance to do so.

    To conclude..benefits to that is why I dance with all levels. Where my focus is, however, may differ on different evenings.
  20. salsamale

    salsamale New Member

    My enjoyment comes from making a salsera smile. Sometimes this happens, so, yes, enjoyment too :).

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