Social Dancing: The Follow is the Norm
The Lead, poor fellow, never ever experiences any other dance than his own. The Follow on the other hand dances a new dance with each and every single Lead she dances with.
If we want to define a social dance like Cuban Salsa, just ask the Follows. Cuban Salsa can be defined as the collective experience of the Follows, of all the dances they have had. The Follows know the norm, what is outside the norm, what is the main stream and what is minority positions.
What each single Follow has experienced of dances become the norm for how to dance when you dance with that Follow.
As long as she is all in
You are welcome to explore the corners of the experience of the Follow or to introduce something new, and you are welcome to dance outside of the norm or to broaden the experience of the Follow as long as it works and she enjoy’s it.
But as soon as you leave the downtrodden paths of the experience of the Follow you run the risk of undermining the chances of a successful dance.
If your handhold is strange, if your posture is odd, if you do for her unknown steps, if your leading is not exactly as she expects, or your moves are out of the ordinary, you draw the Follow’s attention to those facts, and her dance experience with you becomes partly those facts, and could even end up being those facts mostly.
If your dance is not solidly anchored inside the experience and comfort zone of the Follow, you run the risk of loosing her. You might undermine her confidence and trust in you to the point that she might not be able to relax, to enjoy the dance. She might fast run out of the necessary surplus to do her styling and play along to the music.
The more you brake her perceived rules of how to dance, and move into for her uncharted territory and away from what she is used to as the norm for the dance, in her experience, the more it is likely that the dance miss the heavens on the rocks of distractions.
The Follow is the Judge
So the Follow is not just the Queen of the social dance but also the Judge. If you want to be successful, if you want the best dance possible with that Follow, you can only give her one dance, her dance.
The challenge is to be so firmly rooted inside her experience, that you can take her further and even beyond her limits because it just feels natural and the right thing to do.
I really like this. Very elegantly put. Thanks, Barbara, Dance Safari
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