What makes a favourite lead/follow?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by salsachinita, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. salsachinita

    salsachinita Nuevo Ritmo

    In your personal experience, what kind of lead/follow makes your night....?

    Here's mine:

    My favourite kind of leader has 'light & shade', if that makes any sense . It's like acting; some people are more expressive in the way they deliver scripts than others. This, of course, can be improved by consciously practicing (ie. quality rather than quantity, knowing what you want to achieve, instead of making patterns more permenant).

    I will explain a bit more explicitly. More often than not, the guys that end up staying for the more advanced levels are the 'good' students who invest in the time to practice, thus 'drilling' whatever material learnt from classes into their systems. Competent leaders. Great start.

    However, what makes a lead stand out from the aforementioned group, would be the way they deliver their leads. This is greatly assistedby a few factors, competency aside:

    (1) Musicality. The ability to 'interpret' each song & deliver the appropriate moves/moods. Less is often more. You don't have to showcase everything you know into a 4-minute song!

    (2) Perception. This is a bit more abstract, and can only be improved by experience. The ability to 'tune-in' with your follower & knowing what/how much she needs you to lead. Focusing on getting the most/best out of each other & don't expect instant miracles.

    (3) Confidence. This makes quite a difference not only in presentation, it also reflects the way you lead. The more 'certain' you are, the more secure your partner feels. There is a fineline between confidence & being obnoxious though, and there has got to be solid knowledge/substance behind that confidence.

    (4) Attitude. Have fun! Be positive & don't take things too seriously. Followers can sense the leader's tension, big time. How many times did I end up with really sore muscles by 'absorbing' my lead's (emotional) tension?!

    Now, would you like to share yours?

    (Please feel free to contribute too, guys! We girls would like to know what you think ;) !)
    LosPollosHermanos likes this.
  2. Salsachinita! Am glad that you're in the posting mood again :) You broke it down so nicely of what makes a favourtie lead so I don't have much to add..

    On top of everything else you said, I love leads who's reliable (in that he wouldn't drop my head on the floor or force me into a spin frenzy) and who make me feel that I'm being taken care of while dancing with him that I can just close my eyes and immerse in the music...

    Also, receiving a couple of pleasant surprises here and there is nice as well :) I guess that's kinda related to what Salsachinita said - that it makes a whole lot of difference when a lead invest his time in learning.
  3. salsero

    salsero Son Montuno

  4. peachexploration

    peachexploration Maestro 'Timbalero' Puente

    That's a great article Salsero and it's pretty much on point as to what a follow doesn't like. My only thoughts and wishes are that both sides, leads and follows, come to each dance with a clean slate. Meaning, it is not a competition, you against me, us against them, don't do this, don't do that. Let's just dance. Leave out the teaching on the dancing floor, let go of your egos and just ENJOY the DANCE. Having said that, I must say because of those reasons, I prefer most times to dance with a lead who has never had classes. For them, it's about the joy of dancing and socializing. Not about moves and spins. Just the enjoyment of dance. :)
  5. salsachinita

    salsachinita Nuevo Ritmo

    while I agree with your reasoning for it, PeachE, I must point out (for the benefit of those who are considering hunting down a lead who had never had classes ;) ) that sometimes these guys can be lethal :shock: !

    I am generalizing, of course :oops: ; but in my experience (especially a fairly nasty one last week :x ), many guys out there do not know their own strength (some have attended classes and still have no clue :roll: ), and therefore are likely to cause dance floor incidents :shock: .........

    I got one last week. Yours truly copped a substantial blow under the chin (by this "I-am-latino-of-course-I-can-dance dude :roll: ) while doing my best to follow a bunch of wild moves which did not match the music/beat. Had to run for cover mid-song :cry: ..........
  6. peachexploration

    peachexploration Maestro 'Timbalero' Puente

    Right, with every situation, there are drawbacks. Classes or no classes. For me, I have had better experiences outside the classes. ;)
  7. salsachinita

    salsachinita Nuevo Ritmo

    :idea: PeachE, you've just reminded me of another really important point (for the followers especially) to keep in mind: do not assume anything!

    People are all different. Just because so & so took classes with well-known teachers, doesn't automatically make them better dancers from so one who had never set foot in a class situation, or those who learnt from less-known teachers.

    Similarly, one's cultrual identity/ethnicity also does not automatically mean that they are good or bad to dance with. Sure it gives us a bit of clue from time to time, but it is far from reliable.

    The stranger in your local scene may turn out to be a visiting salser@..... do not ever refuse a dance based on "I've never seen this person dance, maybe he/she isn't any good".......by taking the chance (in acceptance to a dance), I've opened the doors to a great numbers of amazing national/international contacts......many of whom turned out to be celebrities travelling incognito 8) .........
  8. peachexploration

    peachexploration Maestro 'Timbalero' Puente

    Totally agree, SC. This is where some (not all) make the mistake of "assumptions just because" in which I've found out first hand. You are not a good dancer just because so & so said you were or taught you in their classes. Going back to your original question. What makes a favorite lead/follow? One of the attributes: Humility. Your dancing is not the sum of Eddie Torres, Jimmy's Dance Studio or a specific area of the world. I just want to dance with YOU. I don't want to know your resume or want your correction, just enjoy the dance with me. Do I sound like I'm ranting? :? I don't mean to. :)
  9. Guarachero

    Guarachero Guest

    Good Leads


    You just hit the nail on the head.

    Just because someone is out of town, does not mean he/she cannot dance. I experienced that type of rejection about three years ago in Bermuda in Miami. None of the girls I asked wanted to dance with me.

    But I got bold and danced alone while walking across the open floor to a girl. She smiled, got up and met me half way. After that, I danced all night.

  10. vin

    vin Sonero

    Timing, my favourite follows have a good sense of timing

    Styling, My favourite follows style but they never let there styling get in the way of the lead/follow connection

    Flirtation, They also like to flirt a little bit, not too much and not in a trashy way as some girls do, but in a more subdued way. There are moments dancing with some of them that I want to proclaim my undying affection for them.

    Humility, my favourite follows never get that dissapointed look when we make a mistake, at first they always apologize, until they realize that I am not concerned with "getting it right" and instead concerned with "getting it good".

    Sense of humor, they always are ready to laugh. Dancing with them does not feel like I am being scrutinized with every cross body lead or spin. I can do something silly and they laugh rather than get embarrased.

    Edit: I forgot the most important element,
    Trust, when dancing with a woman I can tell when she trusts me, and when I have gained trust in a woman the dance is much better. She has to trust me to showcase her, not hurt her, and not run her into other dancers. I have to trust her to not create extra space, not try and force extra spins into a movement, and to trust me.
    LarsM likes this.
  11. Salsamakossa

    Salsamakossa Shine Officer

    Not sure which folks you are refering to when you talk of leads that have never had classes. One needs some tuition at least, no? You need some fundamentals...

  12. Salsamakossa

    Salsamakossa Shine Officer

    Re: Good Leads

    Damn, across the floor is a new one for me... lol.

  13. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Re: Good Leads

    Girls can smell the fear! If you are not relaxed, she detects it, but she doesn't know if you are nervous because because you are a dancer visiting from another town or because you are a serial killer... And it doesn't help to be too brave either because then you just come across like an *******! You just have to wait to catch that break! Took me about 3 nights of clubbing before I looked familiar to the local girls when I went to santa barbara.

    Congratulations Sweavo! This is Post #30000!!! :banana: :D
  14. peachexploration

    peachexploration Maestro 'Timbalero' Puente

  15. chr

    chr Shine Officer

    Last night I had a dance with a pretty girl who was a really excellent danacer, way above my lavel. When my lead was OK, her face was neutral, if something went wrong she made a face like saying "When is this song going to end?"

    Later on, I danced with a worse dancer, but who was still OK. Whe was smiling all the time and had an ancouragaing look every time a glitch happened.

    Guess: with whom it was nicer to dance with?
  16. lolita

    lolita Capitán Del Estilo

    My fav type of leaders is the one who can change my mood each and every song we dance to !
    as i always say..i am a new person every dance, my mood has to fit my charachter .
    theyre so hard to find :S but i'm still searching
  17. Terremoto

    Terremoto Pattern Police

    So how does a lead go about doing that?
  18. pr

    pr Capitán Del Estilo

    I have experienced this too... A smiling follower is MUCH better... :)
  19. Flujo

    Flujo Sabor Ambassador

    What makes a favourite follower?
    These aren't in order of preference.

    1. Understanding that you are still learning
    2. Encouraging you to release yourself by being playful
    3. Smiling to put you at ease but more importantly because she loves to dance
    4. Lets you know when she likes something
    5. She is creative with her movement
    6. She has affectionate eyes (cold glances and smiles aren't nice and tell you she'd rather be dancing with someone else)
    7. She let's you fall for her during the dance ;)
    8. She falls for you during the dance 8)
    9. She let's you know off the dance floor when you are doing something wrong or if something is missing (i.e. weak lead, needs more challenging dance etc) - perhaps something that develops over time
    9. You are confident that if you lead something correctly she can follow it and if she can't she'll do something to cover it up that makes you glad it didn't work :) (see no.5)
    10. You can compliment her style with yours
    11. She motivates you to keep improving (by being a pleasure to dance with) because you want her to continue to enjoy dancing with you and you'd like to grow with her as a dancer
    12. You dance with her maybe once a month but always remember your last dance with her

    That's it for now.
  20. salsaonline

    salsaonline Guest

    You know, I love dancing with women who know the basic steps, but are still at the beginning stages. I can just relax and have fun, without worrying about whether my moves are sufficiently entertaining.

    Anyway, Peach said something that intrigued me: Essentially something along the lines of "I don't want your dance resume, I just want to dance with you."

    I must be in a totally different dance environment than most of the people here, because I can't quite figure out what the guy would be doing to elicit that complaint. Are people asking you to dance and then describing their dance training on the dance floor? That's so weird and anti-social on their part.

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