Salsa > Overly aggressive dancers

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by danceguy, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    MLS & salsachinita, no, no date has been set yet... I've been to busy to find a backer to sponsor the event. If either of you (or anyone else) has any leads however... :lol:
  2. sadie

    sadie New Member

    Sometimes people tell me my lead is too strong, but others will tell me it's nice to be led by somebody who knows what they want. I certainly don't think i'm an aggressive leader as you've all described - and i'm not especially large or strong - but apparently, they didn't think they were too aggressive either. So tell me - how do i know if i'm being too forceful?
  3. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Welcome welcome welcome to Dance Forums. Happy to have you aboard. :D :D

    Look at her eyes. The eyes and the mouth usually tell everything. If you are being too forceful her eyes will be open big, her mouth tight, or a frozen smile. She will also look like she is playing catch up. Ask a friend to tell you what she looks like when you guys dance. Her facial expressions as well as her body mannerism. If he thinks she looks tense, and she an intermidiate/advanced dancer then your lead might be too strong.

    If that doesn't do it, then try leading her as soft as possible yet having her do exactly what you want. If you find yourself being a lot softer on her than you usually are, it probably means that you were being a bit too forceful. With beginners you usually have to make them do things, hence, they really like a bit stronger lead, however, stronger doesn't mean forceful. Always think of how to get exactly what you want using the least amount of necessary force. At times you need more force, at others very minimal.

    And last, ask all the girls you dance with. Beginners, intermediate, and advanced. See what they all say, you should be adjusting to all of them, and if at the end of the night you see that one group thinks you are forceful while others don't, then your lead just isn't adjusting from girl to girl and basically you are forcing the girls to adjust to you, instead of just allowing them to settle down in your lead. It is kind of hard to really tell without watching you dance, best bet is to ask someone who you feel is in a position to tell you for sure.
  4. Tasek

    Tasek New Member

    Doesn't sound like your an agressive leader.

    What your asking though is one of the more difficult things of leading, knowing what is required for a particular follow; simply put you should lead with the exact minimal force required for the follower to understand what you mean and do what you intended. However that's a whole lot easier said than done, how much force is required can vary wildly depending on the follower's background, preference, experience, even the particular feel of a song.

    One of the things you'll often hear mentioned with regard to is a concept called frame, this means that as you hold each other there should be a certain amount of tension in your arms so, with the follow matching the leads given tension, and the lead choosing the tension just right; not too soft so it's clear what he wants, and not too strong as that will be uncomfortable or even painful for the follow. If you have a proper frame you'll be connected to each other, though you're both keeping your own balance and posture you should be able to slightly lean into each other, and through that tension you can communicate what you want to do, without that tension (the infamous 'spaghetti arms') the lead can't lead, and the follow can't tell what's going on.
    Also keep in mind that leading should come from the body, not the arms, the lead will shift his body(weight), the resulting force is transmitted through the arms and the resulting impulse should put the follow in the right direction, whether it's movement or rotation wise.

    Hope this makes sense, (and if anyone spots any errors, please correct me), in a practical sense; practice, practice, practice, and whenever you dance with a new follow start simple and soft, if she doesn't do what you had intended, provided you're leading in the proper direction, up the force until she gets the message, if she does something different but does do something you'll have to change the lead (direction, timing) rather then the force. And then as you get attuned to a certain follow you can slowly try and lower the force again, trying to get a close to that cutoff point where you're as smooth as possible while still communication your intentions properly. And keep in mind that this is a lifelong endeavour, you'll never be perfect for all follows at all times.
  5. Tasek

    Tasek New Member

    Almost forgot, welcome to DF.

    And i'll second what boriken said, focus on your partner, try to read them, see how they're doing.
  6. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    The fact that you're asking and concerned tells me that you're not aggressive. Most aggressive dancers (so I can observe) don't care if they're leading too forcefully or not. But strong leading does not mean you're aggressive because your follower may be inexperienced and cannot understand what you want her to do without a forceful lead. I agree that if you are incapable of adjusting your lead based on how well your follower understands what you want her (him?) to do, then you might be an aggressive dancer.

    Also, if you're proud in auditing the number of shoulder sockets you've popped, you might be an aggressive dancer.
  7. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    SG when were you here in San Antonio at Arjon's nightclub? I mean you just describe one of their regulars. A guy who has literally scared some of his partners half to death. I think sometimes dancers can get a little to self indulgent, hey its great if you into the much and all that that, but for the length of the dance you have a certain responsibilty to your partner. That goes for lady's too. Remember you can see behind us.
  8. africana

    africana New Member

    wow :lol: :lol: :lol:
    thanks for the great great laughs!! I was pretty close to rolling on the floor from boriken/SG's stories :lol:

    I actually danced with this "advanced" lead a couple weeks ago who was EXTRA aggressive and rough. but since he was about the same height as me (5"10) and much heavier I couldn't slow him down by resisting, and I got soo tired from being thrown around that I commented to him "this dance feels like a fight", and he goes "yeah, a love fight" :shock: and he just continued the same, it felt awful
    I haven't noticed him being so rough before, so I'm thinking other intentions/forces where at work that night :?
  9. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    :) I have a student (he'a also a friend)... he is one rough leader! I mean, he's 1.80m tall and weighs about 100 kg. He's also trained to fight, as he works for the special troops.

    Now, when dancing with him, it's like a roller-coaster! :) But he takes greatr care of the lady... after spinning her wildly he immediately catches her! :)

    Lately his lead softened a bit, but if a fast song comes... :shock: :shock:

    Everybody told him he is too rough and he still doesn't believe it! His usual line is "You haven't seen rough!"... :) He is probably unaware of his own strenght!
  10. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    There's a fine line between a 'strong' lead and a 'rough' lead. I'd say a lead is too rough when it causes the follower physical discomfort or pain.

    But the whole thing is subjective. I like a strong lead, but I know other women who prefer a more gentle lead.

    So, it's understandable that if a guy is dancing with a woman for the first time, his lead might not match up to her expectations of what a lead should be.

    BUT, if both partners are used to dancing together (in a club or perhaps they're partners or in class together) then there's no excuse for a man leading so roughly as to hurt a woman.

    Rosa :)
  11. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    You mean after spinning her wildly till she flies into a wall, he catches her on the way down? :shock:
  12. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    I think many men are very unaware of how strong they actually are. Not quite dance related, but a friend of mine who has more than just friendly feelings for me recently got annoyed that I said I wasn't going to a particular dance. My reasoning was that I hadn't had a weekend to myself in such a long time that I needed to unwind. He jokingly pinched me on the arm and then told me to quit bing such a wimp when I told him it hurt.

    Way to my heart buddy! I'm a tiny girl and now have this huge black and blue on my arm. I know it wasn't intentional, but guys need to be aware that girls just aren't built like men and can't always physically handly that kind of touch.
  13. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    Some girls can handle it, some girls can't. Whether it's acceptable to use with any girl is another matter entirely.

    I try to be a lady but any man who won't treat me like one might just find out how unladylike I can be.

    On this subject, I was at salsa class last night (Cuban style) and we were learning a wee sequence of moves, as you do. This guy missed his timing to lead me into a reverse arm turn and tried to force me into it too late. I had to practically wrestle with him. Hello! I can't turn that way when I'm on the other foot! What's wrong with just waiting a bar and trying again? :evil:
  14. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i wouldn't be so sure that it's innocent, but i hope i'm wrong for your sake. anyone who doesn't accept that their actions can make someone uncomfortable are a big flashing red light in my book. if he tries that again, kick him in the groin and tell him not to be such a wimp if he dares to complain.
  15. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    if u need 'strength' to dance .. then take me out of consideration .. i strongly dislike force .. i can understand relatively firm tho.. yet it has nothing to do with strength..
    altho i could go thru a wall if i need to.. but thats a totally different matter.. A VERY VITAL ASPECT of dance is tuning your physical energy to execute water smooth motion .. it is integral for the lead/follow to reach 'floatation status' .. as i'm sure the smooth dancers would agree after experiencing it.. as u advance u should get better at it.. but if u dont pay attention to it and just hack it out .. maybe wrestling is the way to go..

    sorry, but i just cringe when i see force taking effect and i dont think its as much to do with being a beginner or advanced (altho they improve on it for sure) dancer, but more of a natural sense and sensuality of perception that any dance-interested party should posses or be taught first off along with etiquette..

    but again, just my opinion
  16. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    I know some teachers (ballroom, mind you) who are extra forceful because they're used to beginners and have to lead them around. But I can't say much about strictly salsa dancers, as the only one I know is my salsa teacher and he's an amazingly soft and yet very stable lead.

    Twilight Elena
  17. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Oh my! This thread still cracks me up to no end. Too funny! :lol: :lol:
    Word to the wise: Avoid 5ft Blue Fish, Tasmania Devils with toothpicks, blenders and friends with 6'4 girlfriends who like to lead!
  18. tacad

    tacad New Member

  19. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    And the raised eyebrow is for?
  20. tacad

    tacad New Member

    :wink: Just kidding.

Share This Page