Salsa > What makes a good follower/partner?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salsachinita, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    This is an issue I have been focusing on for sometime. I am aiming to be able to follow EVERYONE regardless of style/level/nationalities (bad leads & off beats aside).
    To get there, I need to do a lot of work on myself & your contributions would be extremely helpful :wink: !
    Here is your chance guys! I wanna see that wish list for your ideal follower/partner......... :D
  2. brujo

    brujo New Member

    Is it Christmas already?

    A bright, sparkly smile.
    Tons of eye contact.
    A great sense of play, where I can feel comfortable leading the dumbest and most bizarre patterns that I can come up with.
    The kind of connection where you both know what move is coming up based on the music and the subtle hints you give each other.
    The ability to laugh at our mistakes and not be condescending.
    The willingness to improvise and hijack the lead.
    Creative styling.

    :shock: Nice boobies :shock:
  3. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    1. Relaxed
    2. Sufficient resistance (a 5 on 1-10)
    3. Playful (no I don't mean flirting :lol: I mean she plays with the music. If I put us into a position where we're kind of hanging out during a break in the music she will play with the music. I like to do that a lot, the music usually forces me)
    4. In Control (Specifically dealing with her balance)
    5. A little bit of Ham in her personality :wink:
  4. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I have been thinking about this alot. For me it has to do with willingness. If I am dancing with someone new and I try something new for her and we get it great, if we don't but she whispers, try that again, then even better, I know I am dealing with someone flexible to learning something new. If we don't get it and she starts complaining that the lead wasn't right than I know that I will not likely want to dance with her too much.
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Well said Vin :!:
  6. David

    David New Member

    A heart-felt second from me too. Even if the whisper is something along the lines of "don't worry about it", all is good.

    Add in a strong sense of fun, a big smile, eye contact, and a good "frame". If the girl I'm dancing with has these then as a lead I'll happily laugh off mistakes and take the time to show them the moves, should they so wish (and circumstances permit). Show me the same courtesy and I'll dance with just about anybody as much as they wish.
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I'll third that. Yesterday night had quite a few follows who were happy to learn something as we danced, or even learn the basic step if they knew it, or just dance to the music if both of us didn't know the basic. When I did something the first time and they didn't get it they said try it again.

    There were a couple follows, however, who didn't want to do any more then the basic step that they knew! And the other half of the times when I asked them they dcelined as they didn't know the basic!
  8. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Thanks, guys :eek: for all your infos!
    Further more, what makes you want to dance (regularly) with THAT particular girl in the social scene....? Apart from openess, eye contact etc. does she have to be good at your style/timing....? Does she have to possess anything else, other then sound techniques, & good sense of rhythm.....?

    ....I want to know....... 8)
  9. David

    David New Member

    Aside / in addition to that little lot, one word (for me)... fun. If she's a fun person to dance with.

    There's one girl who is a good friend and a _very_ good dancer, but I don't like dancing with her too much. Why? Because she never seems to be having any fun. While I know I'm not even vaguely close to her level she complains if we don't have a dance, but always looks bored while doing so.

    A few other girls I know, who are perhaps not quite at my level, are great fun and I love dancing with them.

    And if I see 2 girls I've never danced with, both at least capable, but one who is obviously having a blast and the other who is significantly better but seemingly not enjoying herself, I'll be drawn to the one who is having fun.
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I like to think of things in terms of pictures, vivid images. This is my take on the question of style in terms of leader/follower partnering ....

    A follower who is fun is a big plus, but....dancing is like...walking with someone with your arms around each others waist. First step or two may not be exactly in sync, but pretty soon we are matching steps, moving as one unit, and enjoying it. If we are not matched in terms of natural step size when walking alone, when we start walking together we need to find some sort of middle ground. Similiarly, in terms of dance style there is some sort of compromise that is naturally reached between the two players in the game of dance. It is this blending of two personalities/styles that helps make each dance a little different, an adventure. However, if the compromise reached is not an acceptable one, such as the follower forcing the leader to completely adapt to her style throughout the dance then I probably won't have a good time and not ask the person to dance again.
  11. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Ok, here I am reviving my old thread after a great week of dancing with one of the best instructors I was hosting from interstate. This guy has got to be one of the BEST leads I've ever had :notworth: !

    There is this one particular girl who everyone said was the best follower/most comfortable to dance with (I heard this from dancers of all levels, but all studio-trained). Because, as this instructor explained to me, she feels like a Ferarri to lead :shock: !

    Here are the points:

    1. She's light on her feet, moves at the slightest lead.
    2. Good sense of rhythm, always on beat no matter what.
    3. Her arms are relaxed (but needs to be firmer in fingers).
    4. Being petite, you can do lots of flips, lifts & dips with her even if her techniques are not quite there.
    5. Personality. She's one of the few ego-free, warm & friendly characters (rare amongst the cliquey studio mobs).
    6. Willing to do moves she's not familiar with (she's been trained in L.A. style, but this instructor is mainly Cuban Rueda)

    I thought I'd share this with my DF family.... hope the newbies are reading :wink: !

    *mind you, I can benefit a lot from the above too, as many of us can*
    (I'm sure I feel like a second-hand Toyota :roll: :cry: :p :wink: )
  12. Marvellous

    Marvellous New Member

    A used Toyota is not that bad; could be worse. My dancing has really been taking off(improving) lately, so I have started moving up the food chain and dancing with some women that I know who are really good dancers. I have always avoided it before, because I have this "complex" that the really good women do not enjoy dancing with guys who are "below" them. Lately, I have started to do so, partly because of my increased confidence and partly because some evenings in this season there is a lack of good leads around the place. I figure these amazing women aren't getting anything else, so they should be happy enough to get what I have to offer....but I digress a bit. I had a dance that was pure bliss last night, with a woman from my lessons. What made it pure bliss? Of course many things that have been mentioned. Obviously, light on feet, timing, proper tension, etc. are what a lead wants. Many have mentioned the "fun" factor. I find this important when I am dealing with learners/intermediate people. If she doesn't have a fun attitude and a willingness to learn or make mistakes, I don't want to dance with her. Back to my "dance from heaven" though, she is not really the "fun" type; quite serious and narcissistic actually, which ususally makes me run! BUT, she has all the "skills", and she "follows" like a follow should. I can do anything with her. practically leading with fingertips, AND a final key ingredient.....she has PASSION, which is really, really lacking in my dance evironment(a cultural thing). She's almost the only woman I know who exhibits any passion, especially when it comes dip sorts of things.

    Anyway, what spawned this long tract was Salsachinita's comment of being a used Toyoto. Coincidentally, after my dance from heaven last night, I was telling my best friend that comparing this woman to about 95% of women that I have been dancing with for months, would be like comparing driving a cement truck or Sherman tank, to driving a Ferrari. Seriously, I am finally feeling that I am experiencing "what it is all about". The hundreds of hours I have put in learning, are definitely worth it, if I can now dance with follows like this.

    So, there is your advice Salsachinita....strive to become a Ferrari, because though used Toyotas are preferable to cement trucks, it's that Ferrari that really rocks the lead. 8)

    Just let me know if you need more description about what makes a follow a Ferrari. :D

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