"Women Have No Choice But to do the Right Thing"

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
Oh, I got that it was humor. I could hear the singsong lilt of it in my head, and I chuckled. I was really responding to twinkltoz saying:

"...But the way ballroom is structured... Beginners need the frame in order to communicate. In tango, you learn to communicate first before you learn patterns. In ballroom, you learn patterns right off."

And just sayin': not a truth universally acknowledged. Some of us female types learn to follow right off, rather than learning patterns right off. I believe this method of ballroom dance education is far more demanding for the teacher, and so it is unusual, but it exists.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
Some of us female types learn to follow right off, rather than learning patterns right off. I believe this method of ballroom dance education is far more demanding for the teacher, and so it is unusual, but it exists.
Yes, that is more demanding of the teacher in many ways (dance ability, teaching ability, effort expended during that particular lesson). Teachers are sometimes also balancing the student's desires and expectations with how they would prefer to teach. Most, though not all, students come to learning dance with the idea that "learning dance"="learning steps". Part of the teacher's task is to broaden/change that idea, but in the meantime, no point in losing all the new students who don't get that yet.

Also, I'm very impressed with teachers who manage to teach connection and lead and follow in group classes. My ballroom teachers have the luxury of doing most of their teaching in privates and can use the groups for other aspects of dance. I took WCS classes for about a year with somebody who was working with the opposite model: most of the teaching was in groups and students would occasionally take a private lesson. It helped A LOT that he had a very steady cliental, but he did a lot of work on lead and follow, musicality, and connection. Part of it was that he structured the pricing of the back-to-back classes so that there was a lot of incentive for the students in the "advanced" level class to also take the "intermediate" class, which help the lower level students learn what something should feel like. He also had a couple of very advanced students that became teaching assistants. They would rotate though the class (sometimes as a lead and sometimes as a follow), as would he on occasion, so that everybody got expert feedback.
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
I dunno. The old chestnut of 'I just follow' implies a lot, but if I were a 'follower' I would feel a little insulted. As in not being a dancer but simply a body being moved.

If your dancing consists of simply being moved from place to place, and your expectations of dance are really that small, then you will be happy simply 'following'. But all the good followers that I know are as active or more so than the 'leader'. And that is accomplished by learning how to dance...
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
sigh....we can argue that this is a recipe in which the order that you add the ingredients is critical...we can argue that...I don't know why we insist upon it, but okay......that being said, I think we can all agree that all of the ingredients are neccessary for the the thing to be a real success....
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
B: assuming your comment was addressed to me, did I say "I just follow" ever, at any time, in this discussion?

Following is much more than being moved. It requires the follower to be more of a responder, than a follower, for her to be able to, basically, read his mind by reading his body, his weight changes, his intention, how much, where, how fast, what figure) and then to carry it out to the best of her ability -- to "sell" it, for lack of a better term. And then to collect herself and wait for his next brilliant idea. Wait, read, move, sell, collect; wait, read, move, sell, collect, repeat, repeat, repeat. And do it beautifully. Some time before I die, I'll manage to do all of this.

Fasc: agreed, all the ingredients are necessary for success. I just happen to be adding them in a different order from many other people.

And now I'll shut up about it.
 

snapdancer

Well-Known Member
I find that one non-obvious aspect to leading is being able to spend part of the time following your follower. And the better the skill of the follower, the less I'm leading and the more I'm following.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
It's funny...I've been doing a lot of leading in AT lately getting ready for a comp. As it happened with timing, money, etc., I didn't do any AT social dancing for several weeks, and therefore didn't do any following. When I went back to it this last Thursday and last night, I felt like it was really hard to relinquish that control. I mentioned it to a couple of my partners, and they said it actually made me a better follower because it was more of a conversation. I found that interesting.
 
I dunno. The old chestnut of 'I just follow' implies a lot, but if I were a 'follower' I would feel a little insulted. As in not being a dancer but simply a body being moved.

If your dancing consists of simply being moved from place to place, and your expectations of dance are really that small, then you will be happy simply 'following'. But all the good followers that I know are as active or more so than the 'leader'. And that is accomplished by learning how to dance...
Unfortunately many ladies have that small of an expectation.

I have had this conversation many times:

Me: Would you like to dance?

She: Yes! (while waltz is being played)

Me: What dance do you enjoy?

She: I just follow.

Me: So, what dance would you like to do now?

She: I'll follow anything.

Me: How about waltz?

She: I dunno, but I can follow.

Me: Thanks anyway.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
well, if a dude comes up to me when a waltz is playing and asks me to dance then asks me what I like to dance, my assumption is going to be that HE isn't smart enough to know what kind of song is playing...and I might say "I just follow" to reassure him that whatever kooky thing he might try to lead, I am willing to follow.....personally, I think it is polite for the person being asked to be flexible about what the lead feels comfortable in leading...and if it isn't fairly obvious to him that he is asking me to waltz, well, why would I say something like "dude, isn't it obvious that this is a waltz?" or, " precisely what is your invite? is it for this song or one in the undetermined future?"....sadly, women are conditioned to put up with silly arrogant tests like that and to take them like ladies..I am glad that, if you can't appreciate that courtesy, you do her the favor of bypassing her
 

IndyLady

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately many ladies have that small of an expectation.


I have had this conversation many times:

Me: Would you like to dance?

She: Yes! (while waltz is being played)
WTH? Why did the conversation go any further than this?


well, if a dude comes up to me when a waltz is playing and asks me to dance then asks me what I like to dance, my assumption is going to be that HE isn't smart enough to know what kind of song is playing...and I might say "I just follow" to reassure him that whatever kooky thing he might try to lead, I am willing to follow.....personally, I think it is polite for the person being asked to be flexible about what the lead feels comfortable in leading...and if it isn't fairly obvious to him that he is asking me to waltz, well, why would I say something like "dude, isn't it obvious that this is a waltz?" or, " precisely what is your invite? is it for this song or one in the undetermined future?"....sadly, women are conditioned to put up with silly arrogant tests like that and to take them like ladies..I am glad that, if you can't appreciate that courtesy, you do her the favor of bypassing her
I already liked this post, but the truth is I love love love it.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
He could have been asking her if she minded the difference between American and International. I often get asked "which one do you want?". And if I didn't know better I would think the man a dolt because the question was so simple. When in fact he is quite knowledgable and being polite.

And I simply smile and say "Whatever you want is fine. I will just follow".
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
could be...point is, no one knows based on what he typed, including the woman he was asking...and I would still maintain that her response could be construed as vacant or as accomodating...and I think that determination says more about him than about her...if it went as written
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
Agreed. But how does a man asking what a lady prefers a problem either?

I guess we really are back to "it's not you, it's me" syndrome where a persons state of mind colors their world.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
if he asks what I prefer.....if he asks that, I think that is lovely and considerate....as typed, it doesn't seem that way....either way, I would always give the benefit of the doubt and be externally courteous....I'd NEVER walk away because someone didn't answer to my satisfaction
 

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