Salsa > "I can follow anything you can lead"

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by DanceMentor, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I had a lady tell me this the other night, and the problem was here arms were so tight and her rhythm so non-existent, that I wasn't going to be leading too much. To make matters worse, they played an extra long 5-6 minute song. After a while I suggested we just dance in slow motion, as my arms were getting real tired "leading", and of course it shouldn't take muscle. Sorry, ranting a little, but when someone tells me this, I am skeptical.
  2. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    People need to learn to follow, know what each lead signal means. I don't think anyone can say truthfully, "I can follow anything you can lead."
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member's the Dancer Law. If you have to tell me you can dance, you can't, and if you tell me you can follow anything I lead, you can't.

    IME, followers tend to be more misguided about their own ability than leaders are. The hardest private lessons for me to teach are the ones where the girl is supposedly already a great dancer and the guy has to catch up. She is never as good as either of them thinks, and I spend an inordinate amount of time reining her in so she follows instead of doing her own thing so the poor guy can do her job.

    Oy...that was a rant. :)
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I haven't heard that line in an awful long time. When I hear anyone talk up their own abilities, I'm immediately thinking Dunning-Kruger.
  5. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I never tell a social dance leader that I can follow anything he can lead. For one thing, I can't; for another, I don't know if he can actually lead. So, I pay massive attention to what the lead is asking me to do.

    (Side note: Why I have a problem with salsa group classes: they teach figures and patterns at the expense of teaching me to follow. The few times in recent memory I've gone to a salsa class, I've made it a point to arrive after the gentlemen already had a grip on the pattern, and so they were actually leading me. Works OK, for the most part.)

    Oddly, this is a timely thread, for me, because today's Smooth lesson was all about following.


    Just in case I thought I had some kind of grip on following, I have been soundly disabused of that fantasy. Silly me. I thought I could follow. Mwahahahahaaaaaa apparently not.

    Teach is big on lead-and-follow, rather than routines, in competition. We do have groups or chunks of stuff -- apart work/sidebyside/shadow work in Smooth is difficult without it -- but the chunks get strung together with whatever he feels like, in between. So I seldom know what's coming next. Or so I thought.

    Today, he was leading me with his fingertips. Not hands, not body connection, not arms, fingertips. And I screwed up left, right, and center. Trying to read his intention, his direction, his weight changes, with that small a surface area for connection was, um, er, challenging. He took the groups I am comfortable with, changed them again and again, and made me follow the modified groups with just that fingertip lead. I'm not sure my ego will survive; I haven't felt this crap-ola about my following skilz in ages.:headwall:

    Maybe I should just go take salsa group classes, and know what comes next. And backlead... :twisted:
  6. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    did you try leading her to a chair? ;)
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    LOL :uplaugh:
  8. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

  9. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

  10. mike_nosd

    mike_nosd New Member

    I think we as leaders have all been here before. Best thing to do is be polite and keep it really basic. Especially, if you are a leader in the scene and people look to you for inspiration. The last thing you want to do is hurt someone, lol.
  11. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    That's funny. I wonder if there ever really is a polite way to tell them that they could benefit from some lessons?
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    hmmm...I would consider over 6 minutes an extra long song. 5-6 minutes just long. ;) Thats when djing and when dancing.
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Tried tickling her?
  14. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    Lots of ladies say that and I hate it. Too often they are establishing blame if the dance doesn't go bad.

    Other ladies mean no harm by saying it because they are just trying to be polite and establish that they are willing to follow my lead. Of course it's a rather silly statement because when they step out on the floor with me they have already granted me permission to lead.
  15. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I am irked when my fellow ladies say they can dance well only when they have a good leader. Sorry, but we all have the responsibility to learn how to dance. Yes, I can dance better with a good leader..but I can still dance to the best of my own abilities no matter who is my partner.
  16. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    IME, most ladies that would say such a thing don't give me enough connection to lead them anywhere. :rolleyes: My response to such a statement is "That's great" and then, if the dance turns out as I fear, I don't go out of my way to dance with her again. If she's observant, she figures out soon enough that I'm leading other ladies to do things she can't follow yet.
  17. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Do those ladies sit out a lot?
  18. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    Whether they sit a lot depends on how cute they are. The real good lookers seem to have no problem finding good leads so many of them never learn to dance.
  19. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    It probably works both ways. I definitely dance better if I am with an advanced follower who can improvise and style and follow my leads even when they are ambiguous. Some guys fool themselves into thinking they are good dancers if they manage to dance with these women.
  20. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    I used to think I could follow anything, and that was partially because my Arthur Murray instructor told me I could. *cough*

    On a mid tempo song, with a really good, smooth leader, I can follow anything he does. I've surprised myself by following some crazy patterns with guys I've never danced with before. That speaks to what a good lead he is. A follower who follows anything, even if its wrong, is not a good follower, imho. A good follower dances well on her own so that leading her is effortless.

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