5 things that will help to make you a better partner dance follow…
1. To truly follow, one must choose to surrender completely to the lead.
This does not mean that the lead is superior, more important or better in any way to the follow. But the two skills are massively different and both are essential in the quest to achieve the perfect dance.
2. To follow well, one must give to the dance but not at the expense of the dance.
Styling and flourishes can really make a difference to the dance. But these should be music driven and not opportunistic seizures.
When we start adding styling to the dance, it is inevitable that we begin by copying, or by adding learned movements. These are fabulous ways of gaining confidence and learning skills that will enhance your abilities.
Eventually the YOU in you will start to shine through – embrace this.
3. Some things are fundamental.
Posture, poise and precision of movement are all things we should be focusing on.Pre-empting the lead is a no-no.
Being secure, yet prepared within stillness for impending movement is your aim.
4. Connection is your responsibility.
Whether in close-hold or at extension, creating and maintaining connection will ensure a better dance.
Stopping short and not reaching the completion of a movement, rebounding as a habit, not giving or maintaining a good frame and not committing fully or correctly in hold are all ways that you could be sabotaging your physical dance connection.
Connection is more than just physical however.
Both partners in the dance also have a responsibility to connect with the music.
If dancing is considered to be movement to music, then if we are just going to go through the motions and complete a series of moves, irrespective of what the music might be suggesting – can we truly call this dancing?
5. Give good dance.
This should be your mantra.
Too many times we get hung up on whether we are getting a good dance, forgetting our responsibility towards making that happen.
Giving good dance is about making each dance the best that we can.
It is not about ‘out-dancing’ your partner, and highlighting their lack of experience or ability.
It is not all about you, you, you. Over-styling and over-flourishing without regard to the music or your partner can be hugely demoralising.
Giving good dance should be a fundamental. For in the process of the giving, we usually find that what we get back is an awful lot better.