What Makes a Great Leader in Dance?
What Makes a Great Follower in Dance?
And What Can They Create Together?
Leaders have total control in deciding the pattern, the direction, and the rhythms within the dance.
Mmmm…this could be fun!
Yet, that means I have to be totally focused ready to react at any moment for a critical change of direction because of the immediate environment. Mmmm…not so easy.
Yes. It takes a little getting used to. You drive a car, don’t you? It took a little time to get used to driving the car too. But then…just like dance….sheer freedom like flying, hovering, floating or… a race car weaving in and out of traffic…pure exhilaration!
Followers have to follow.
Followers have to follow? Give up control? You are asking us to relinquish the choices of where we are going? You have got to be kidding! We have been walking around this planet all by ourselves for many years without any help. Thank you.
Of course, I realize the hardest thing for a follower to do is actually follow. Yet, if you do just that, you will have an experience that transcends what you could possibly experience on your own. It is not about relinquishing who you are. Dancing with another person is a partnership.
What makes a Great Leader?
A great leader is one who leads effortlessly through one’s own body movement. Pushing and physically putting the follower where you want her to be, does not make a great leader. Yes, you are leading, but not in the best way. A great leader directs the follower from his physical energy, not his physical body, be it a fast or slow dance.
A great leader implements the patterns with precision and flow. Yet, the secret is expressing the emotions of the dance through the very core of his being. This will heighten the woman’s experience of the dance, as well as the emotional connection to the leader. This energy directs the woman effortlessly. The end result is: the woman is where you want her to be. Yet, she does not have any idea how she got there.
What makes a Great Follower?
A great follower is someone who responds to the lead with effortlessness, who is not worried about what is next but is totally in the moment enjoying her own expression of the dance.
A great follower is sharing her energy and interpretation of the rhythms with her partner. This creates interplay between the leader and follower, escalating the experience from just sharing a dance, to exploration. This, of course, breathes confidence into both parties.
As much as the leader is directing what pattern both parties are about to do, as well as, where both parties are going, it is a sharing of energy. Both parties come to the table with their own surge of energy to express through the dance. It is synchronizing with another through dance that brings both dance partners to a higher level of expression. As much as the follower allows the other to drive, this does not mean they relinquish their own presence. The more the follower stands in their own expression while dancing, the more fun and exhilarating is the experience for both.
Leading and following through dancing is a partnering of two individuals who agree to share, play, and interpret together by physically expressing the passionate emotions found in music.