General Dance Discussion > Women who like to drag men around when dancing patterns

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by morgrob, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. morgrob

    morgrob New Member

    I have a question. I am taking social group ballroom lessons. In the spring class rotation, they offer a repeat a class for free if you sign up for another class, so inevitably we get people in our classes who think they are masters of the steps. I am a lead, and sometimes when I dance with the people who are repeating the class they like to drag me through it....and don't wait for me to lead anything. They like to be one second ahead; however, I don't think I am leading anything late. There are several others I dance with who always enjoy our short time together. I am not sure if I am explaining this right, but I was just wondering how to deal with those types when we rotate partners.

    I can understand this if the man has no frame, or is just a pile of mush, but I don't think that is the case. Maybe I am a little more timid with women I have never danced with compared to my wife, but it is kind of annoying to me.

    FYI this is not a bash on women, I am sure women feel this way about men too, lol.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    might be possible that they need to start their action before you are actually leading it...or they are simply type A over-achievers who are about getting it done rather than doing it with which case, I wouldn't really bother trying to do anything about it but ignoring it...if however, you thing it might be the first issue, you could simply ask; " are you backleading because my lead is too late?"...but beware the consequences ...
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi morgrob, that´s not your fault. Learning to dance very often degenerates to a teaching of steps. So unexperienced women (though repeating a class) confuse following with snatching what the lead is going to do next. But there are different ways to react.

    a) talk about that fact (dancing is conversation in a wider sense),
    b) try to break up learned sequences, make pauses between single steps, or lead unusual transitions (she will stop anticipating because it makes no sense any more),
    c) let the woman run away, make an unexpected move into a different direction (the hard and nasty way).
  4. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    So wrong. After all, it should be men dragging the women around when doing patterns.
  5. drejenpha

    drejenpha Member

    If the pull/push is coming mid-figure they might be doing it with different technique and thinking about shaping or simply giving you more power than you're used to... for something like a natural spin turn in waltz that power can feel overwhelming but it's what enables you to decide if you're going to underturn or overturn it, with minimal power your only option is underturning.

    If they're just going with no lead to do so I would assume that they're the latter group in fasc's explanation... for them stay right on with what the instructor is saying or slow the figure down while doing it on your own and refuse to be pulled.

    With either set I wouldn't be afraid to ask something like "I noticed we weren't together, is there any way that I can change my lead to make it work better?" The answer you get will be a good indicator to which of the two groups they fall into and might just improve your dancing.

    ETA (with sarcasm intended):

    My sentiments exactly. Women have no business trying to do the man's job.
  6. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    There’s not a whole lot that you can do during group classes without upsetting either your partner or the class itself. Sometimes when the rotations are slow and we are doing a sequence then I’ll throw in an extra step at the end to keep my partners on their toes. Nothing mean of course; maybe just a second position break or something. If it’s done playfully with a mischievous smile then most often you get a giggle for the "extra little dose of challenge" while subtly reminding her that you’re leading.

    In parties, if we learned sequence A B C during group classes then I’ll purposely jumble it up and add stuff in between in order to be as unpredictable as I can be. Most people that I dance with focus more on following than anticipating if I do that.

    At the end of the day, however, you can only control yourself and offer the best lead that you can. The women are the ones deciding whether they follow or not.​
  7. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I agree with Fascination. I have been in that situation as the lead. It looks like they anticipate the next step, and for whatever reason they are in a hurry to get there. I usually don't say anthing. I just let them do it.
  8. morgrob

    morgrob New Member

    Yeah. Thanks for the advice. I am pretty timid, and doubt I would bring it up unless somehow we start totally messing up the steps. As of right now, things work well, its just an annoyance.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    that's the pesky thing about partner dance...the partner :)
  10. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yeah, I have to say I'm sooooo much better at doing stuff when I don't have my partner in the way. :)
  11. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    It could cause more trouble than it's worth to say anything to individual partners, though some of the wording that others have suggested would be a good place to start if you decided to. But if it's a continuing issue with a number of follows, you might consider mentioning it to the teacher privately at some point. Then, depending on his/her judgment and priorities for the class, s/he might address it for the class as a whole now and then. For example, I could imagine a teacher saying something like, "OK, now that everyone's familiar with the steps, let's work on lead/follow for them. Follows, this time around, don't do anything unless/until your partner leads it." If they need the ego-boost, the teacher can frame it as helping the leaders diagnose their leads. In any case, how or whether to do anything about it is up to the teacher, but I don't see a problem in your privately pointing it out as something you've noticed in class.
  12. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Waiting for the lead is a learned skill just as much as leading is. (Try it some time if you don't believe me.) I'm STILL working on it even though I've been dancing for years.

    That being said, when the teacher asks if anyone has questions, an effective technique is to ask for information about how to lead the move. A good teacher will take the opportunity to remind the followers to respond to the lead rather than anticipating.
  13. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    It sounds like they're backleading/anticipating (is there a difference? :shrug: ). That's a pretty common occurrence in classes where the follower already knows what pattern is next.

    Classes can often be tough on followers, forcing them to choose between dancing correctly and following (how should a follower behave in a group class?). Not saying that you're leading incorrectly, but it's just something to be aware and empathetic of. I think what you're experiencing can be a symptom of that.

    You said that there are some women who are doing it and some who aren't. In this case, I would highly recommend that you follow the backleaders. Go where they are taking you. Listen to and match their timing. Ultimately, it will make you a better dancer, a more sensitive leader. Followers (real ones, not the FINOs :razz:) will find you much more comfortable to dance with.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Well said. Besides that anticipating there is the concept of step projecting. It means that the follower holds the leg as long in suspense as it is possible, somehow. Only in the last moment the weight is definitely shifted, though it looks as if it was already done before. On the other hand there is the need for a delayed lead, kind of a forerun, in the sense that the leader may not fall hastily into the next step, but prepares it carefully.

    @morgrob: The lead has two parts, first the intentionally one, finally the physical one.
  15. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Me too! Viennese line dance, anyone?


    It was suggested that I try to maintain my frame but keep a very loose connection so a backleading follow can just do her thing.

    I've taken technique classes in which the leads had to follow. It was enlightening to see a little of what a follow must do, so there can be value in following a backlead.
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    For a lead who's lost in class while we're trying to learn a pattern, I will sometimes backlead to help him until he can pull it together himself. I will also at times backlead a vague or overly soft lead, whose dance communication I simply can't hear, because, well, it's either that or amble about aimlessly. :)

    But if you think neither is the case, you could say, "I've noticed you are usually anticipating my lead, and I wonder if my lead is coming too late or is too vague for you? If so, I'd certainly like to improve it."

    Might be that, or might simply be that she has to work on her following or waiting skills. She may not be comfortable in her personality with giving up that control. And waiting sensitively can remain a developing skill for even a good follow.
  17. foxtrot

    foxtrot New Member

    I don't think it is because women 'like' to drag their partners around. It is because they are tense and trying to do their best and so they find themselves anticipating. There are lots of things I do, not deliberately, and if someone mentions it to me I am horrified (I haven't even realised). The important thing is not to see it as a necessarily conscious decision on the part of the partner (although in some situations it may be).

    Ideally, if there is a problem then it should be brought up tactfully, and I think Samina's suggestions for addressing this particular problem are really good. Everyone has problems with their dancing and the way those problems are addressed is really important in ensuring that people are not discouraged but instead get something positive out of the experience.
  18. Jim Chad

    Jim Chad New Member

    FWIW I am VERY slow to learn a pattern and a woman backleading is a big help to me until I "get it". Mind you, I dislike it a lot. But I know it is a big help to me.

    One side benefit is that I have learned to take advantage of a woman's musical talent. Last Tuesday, I was trying to dance a Rumba to a song where I could here no beat. My DP was a pro and had no trouble hearing the beat. She back lead on the beat, I lead on everything else and it worked out great.
  19. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    DP sometimes resorts to backleading in group classes if the leader is totally lost. She doesn't like it either.
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


Share This Page