Salsa > Effects of Dancing with an Excellent Follow

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

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    BF always says the same thing... he's after the smile... :D
  2. noobster

    noobster Member

    I suspect the definition of "excellent follow" will differ from leader to leader.

    By way of example, I got the most wonderful compliment recently. It came from a guy who (I later found out) has been dancing over ten years and who has the most incredible, velvet lead imaginable. So I am definitely a beginner for him.

    He was leading a lot of things that were unfamiliar to me, pulling in some rumba and samba moves and occasionally saying stuff like, "Whoa, where'd that come from?" and "I just made that up."

    Finally he turned to me and said, "You know, I feel very free with you. Some follows are very rigid. With you I can experiment and invent things because I know you will follow." Well, that just made my night. :D

    So for this guy, it sounds like what he wanted was someone who didn't necessarily know all the moves. I have definitely had other leaders who told me that I was not following correctly; so I think this may come down to a combo of the specific expectations of the leader and a little bit of chemistry, more than having danced for X number of years or reached any given salsa benchmark.
  3. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Do you mean verbal feedback? Do you ask for it? Or do you mean feedback through moves not working etc.? I ask because I'd expect that advanced salseras are better at covering up weaknesses in the lead so they are not shown up. I'd imagine you'd get more feedback on the clarity of your lead from less experienced followers. And when I dance with less experienced leads, I wouldn't comment on negatives (unless they ask very specific questions, perhaps).

    Agreed -- and the same goes for "excellent leads".
  4. azzey

    azzey Member

    Advanced followers almost never give verbal feedback. If you did ask them they'd usually say they'd need to dance with you again to focus on technique because at the time they were focused on enjoying the dance with you.

    About all I learn when I dance with an advanced follower is whether we click and whether things are working or not, not why. Could be many reasons as stated or just lack of chemistry and give and take.

    Like other's said, advanced is a relative term and for me that means a teacher or pro.

    As I understand it and have observed through the years it's a different for ball game for followers and they can learn much during just one dance with a truely advanced leader (without the leader saying a word). That's one of the reasons why followers progress much more quickly than leaders.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i've had that experience as well, noob... it always makes my night... the same way that an awkward lead-and-follow experience really challenges my warm fuzzies. ;)
  6. azzey

    azzey Member

    It's not necessary that they know all the possible moves out there, just that they follow regardless of whether they know it.

    Gave that exact compliment you quoted last night and it's always nice to see that beaming smile you get back.
  7. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    This is, for me, the biggest motivator when I dance. There is nothing quite like getting the smile that tells you she is having the time of her life.

    I would consider myself to be an intermediate lead (compared to where I'd like to be) but I suppose the salsa crowd here would consider me to be one of the advanced group. The way I have been learning so far has been rather non-standard because there is a distinct lack of trained instructors who can show me what I need to know so I end up buying lots of DVDs and watching lots and lots of web clips. I'm an engineer so it's easy for me to break the moves into base components. I also spend a lot of time just thinking about the mechanics of the moves and how they can be modified or how they can be linked up with other moves. I think the next stage for me is workshops and congresses.

    Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that I spend a lot of time dancing with beginners and intermediates because I would like to make sure that whatever I have learnt is being done properly. I figure that if it works with beginners, then it will definitely work with advanced salseras. It did take me a long time to work up the courage to dance with the advanced salseras but it seems to be paying off since they now actively seek me out for dances. There are a couple of them who rarely smile when they dance so it too even longer to ask them to dance because I figured I would have little to offer them. However, when I do dance with them, my aim is to put that smile on their face at least once during the dance because this tells me that I must be doing something right :D

    Dancing with advanced salseras really does help me in the sense that I am forced to step up my dancing level and when I do this on a consistent basis, my "average" dance level goes up. I know it's helped a lot because of certain recent clues:

    1) I show up at the salsa venues and there is already a line of salseras waiting to dance. Once two of them got into an argument as to who would be next!
    2) I end up dancing so many songs in a row with different people that I have to go hide in a corner to rest
    3) Random people stop me in the streets and say that they saw me dancing
    4) Random people in the clubs ask me to dance with their friends/wives/etc
    5) I've even been getting several requests to start teaching but I don't feel qualified
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    hey, pretty cool, salsamaniac... you must feel good about the feedback you've been getting...
  9. yippee1999

    yippee1999 Member

    Noobster: well put. Which almost make me think the following.... regardless of your level of dance, perhaps there are generally two types of dancers... those who like to do things by the book (or exactly how they were trained), and those who are more experimental or interpretive. And I don't think beginners would necessarily be one way versus advanced people. I suspect it has more to do with one's personality.

    So it would stand to reason that if you have an advanced guy who's the by-the-book type, that he would want a woman who will respond by-the-book. Whereas an interpretive advanced guy will appreciate a woman who can accept whatever he gives her and respond as she sees fit, as opposed to her giving him a weird look because he's doing something "wrong" according to her 10+ years of training.

    So perhaps this is what could make one guy consider a woman a great follow, and another guy not?
  10. salsamale

    salsamale New Member

    Verbal, non-verbal, solicited, unsolicited - all kinds of feedback.
  11. salsamale

    salsamale New Member

    There is this one very excellent follow, who also has ballroom training, and she will follow just about anything, and she has the most amazing attitude. It is kind of ironic, because with her, I lead mostly basic stuff. It is a pure luxury to dance with her, and in these dances, there is nothing to learn, it is all about enjoyment :).
  12. terremoto

    terremoto New Member

    I absolutely love dancing with follows that are more advanced than I am. The ladies are so very smooth and I can lead my patterns fairly effortlessly. Its a wonderful feeling. I only worry about them getting bored. So I do my best to keep it entertaining to them.
  13. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    One thing I always worry about with this is if being as good as they are, might they not be compensating for some flaw on my end. That's why I usually try and get feedback from them after the dance
  14. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    that sounds heavenly, SM... :)
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    me too. a nutreal...nothing face turns me of.
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Cool. It also is the vibes ones puts out...sometimes...there are times when I've attracted a lot of attention. Now quite a few people tend to stay away from me. I'm going through a phase. ;-)
  17. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I danced with this advanced swing dancer on Tuesday and yowzee! I could feel my salsa just going up and up and up and UP! Amazing follower, and she reacted and smiled and I just kept on giving more and more. I forced myself to stop as thought it was important that she meet/dance with some others...BUT if the connection is there some amazing dancing comes from me.
  18. terremoto

    terremoto New Member

    Sounds like a good idea - but I don't ask, cus I may not like the answer :D
  19. Big10

    Big10 Member

    You worry about that? :confused:

    Heck, I always hope they're compensating for all of my flaws! ;)
  20. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    Yeah, that's perfectionist in me trying to always make sure that everything is in place :(

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