Tag Archives: Ballroom Dance Classes

The Secret To Leading And Following In Dance

Dance- EnergyWhat Makes a Great Leader in Dance?
What Makes a Great Follower in Dance?
And What Can They Create Together?


Leaders have total control 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 getting used to it.   But then… just like dance…sheer freedom like flying, hovering, floating, or… a race car dodging in and out of traffic…pure exhileration!

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 doesn’t 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 exhilerating 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.

Tips for Your Wedding Dance
Check out The Tango

Your Wedding Dance

Your Wedding Dance – It’s your music, your expression, your day.

dancing wedding coupleIn today’s wedding celebration, the wedding dance of the day is no longer always a Waltz.  It depends on the bride and groom’s love of music. It can be any song that expresses how you feel about each other.  As long as it is music, we can find the right dance to fit it.   Your wedding dance could be a Tango, Swing, Salsa or a romantic Waltz, Foxtrot, or Rumba.  It doesn’t have to be a typical 3/4 or 4/4 count. It is about how the song makes you feel.  Your wedding dance could actually be a combination of two dances, a slow and then a fast beat. I often choreograph a wedding dance that begins with a slow Foxtrot and then when the music switches its tempo we turn it into a lively Swing and back to a Foxtrot for a romantic ending. Your wedding dance can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be.  It can have lifts to accentuate the emotion of the music or not.  It’s amazing how your special song will allow you to create a beautiful wedding dance that most expresses your love and your relationship together.

Beyond your wedding dance…

You may want to add a special father – daughter dance,  a mother – son dance, or a special wedding party dance to the mix.    Or, have a simple lesson to give everyone in the wedding party a few basic steps.

What would make your day special?  It is your day!

Wedding Dance Tips

  1. You would be smart to experience your wedding dance at the beginning of the reception.  The perfect time to do this is when you are introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs…  From then on, it’s party time.  No more nervous energy or worries.  The rest of the night is yours to enjoy and remember forever!
  2. It helps to know the size of the dance floor as soon as possible.  This makes it easier for your choreographer to create a beautiful dance fit for the room.
  3. The bride should be aware of the movement of the dress.  If she has sleeves, can she lift her arm straight up?  There will possibly be under arm turns in the routine.
  4. Do you have a form fitting dress?  Can you move in it?  Many of  my brides have the seamstress put in small hooks going down the side of the form fitting dress which is unhooked when the wedding dance is performed.  You would never know there were hooks until you unhook them for the wedding dance.
  5. When it is getting closer to the wedding I have the bride bring in a skirt or slip similar to the wedding gown.  During practice the groom can get used to his feet coming in contact with it.  He begins to realize he is not going to step on it.
  6. Once you feel you are comfortable with the wedding dance routine and the music:  It is important to practice with the actual shoes you will be wearing. ( bride and groom.)  Scuff the bottom of the shoes so you will not slip.
  7. If you have a wood floor where you will be performing your wedding dance, it is optimal to not wash the floor the day of the wedding.  It may stop your flowing movement because your shoes are sticking.
  8. If you are going to have the dance video taped, have the videographer see you dance the routine once.  This helps him/her be in the right position for special moves.
  9. Most important tip… enjoy!  This is your day!  You will remember it for the rest of your life…
How about The Tango!