The Art of Connection | Lead & Follow in Partner Dancing
Lead & Follow in Partner Dancing.
Whose job is it anyway?
What an amazing feeling! To glide across the floor with grace and fluidity with your partner as one, seamlessly moving to the beautiful dance music, feeling like there’s truly no one else there but you.
One of the greatest pleasures of partner dancing is being able to connect with your partner, taking your dance experience from just fun to simply amazing. Sometimes you hit the sweet spot, sometimes you don’t. That’s when you know you need to develop those skills that make sure you hit the sweet spot every time.
When you first started taking dance lessons, you probably focused on the steps, the patterns, your frame, footwork and all the detail your instructor was plying you with. You practice to get all that down pat and start to feel really good about your moves. But then when you add a partner into the equation, everything changes – your point of balance, timing, moving in sync. On top of all that, if you’re the leader, you’re expected to anticipate the next few moves ahead of where you are AND somehow magically manage to get your partner to go along with you!
I often describe it to my dance students akin to a practice swing in golf. The practice swing is always perfect, but put that little white ball in front of you and something else happens. Just like dance, you can perfect your steps but now you have to dance with a partner. Are you leading? Is she following? Perhaps the right question to ask is “Are we connecting?”
The art of connection is probably the single most important thing a dancer can learn in partner dancing. To the one percenters, it is simply intuitive. To the rest of us, it is a skill to be learned. Partner dancing is a wonderful exercise in communication. It’s like learning a whole new language, only it’s nonverbal skill.
At Blueheel Dance Studio, you have the chance to not just learn the steps, technique and the motions to dance to the rhythm but to learn to lead and follow - for the leader to graciously invite the follower to joyously go in step. Dancers begin to understand lead and follow through the frame and three basic cues - weight change, physical lead and visual lead. You will not only learn to use these cues to develop lead and follow skills but also the art of connection to take your partner dancing to a whole new level.
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