How To Become A Better Follower

Following is truly an art and just as difficult as leading. If you have been salsa dancing for a while, you probably have been upset at a bad lead. And it’s true; there are a lot of guys out there that don’t have a clue what leading is all about. But do not forget that in order to lead well and to get through a salsa dance smoothly, a leader needs a good follower. It is very hard to lead a girl that does not follow well.

Following is really an attitude, a mindset. Better to say, you have to be “out of your mind” to be a good follower. While following we never know what comes next, so we have to be completely open and responsive to be able to follow well. Do not try to anticipate his next move. And do not move before he does.

Most importantly, do not fill your mind with thoughts like “this didn’t work”, “help, what does he want from me?” or “shit, wrong again, I just can’t do that”... Keep your mind and body relaxed, even and especially when things go wrong. You will have to learn to suppress the reflex of tensing up when you’re stressed. Remember; you’re not on the dancefloor to deliver a stunning performance; you’re there to have fun!

The most important thing in following is trust. In your partner and in yourself. You have to be willing to let him lead, to give up control, as scary as that may be. The thing is, you cannot do it all alone. Salsa dancing is teamwork and both partners have a specific role. In order for a salsa dance to flow both partners must respect their roles. This way as a couple it is possible to do things that you cannot do alone. That’s the beauty of partner dancing.


Following Technique Tips

Think Rhythm

Instead of trying to to figure out where you're supposed to step, keep your feet moving in the basic rhythm, right-left-right-hold/left-right-left-hold. Whatever you do, don't stop moving your feet and don't step faster or slower. Keep your timing and make sure you change weight with every step.

Become Movable

Even though you're mainly connected to your partner through your hands, that doesn't mean he wants to move your arms when he pushes or pulls - he wants to move all of you. Your whole body needs to respond to a lead transferred via your hands. Think of your hands being connected to your center, your arms create a bridge for a lead to reach your center and be able to move you.

Your Balance Is Your Business

It's not the guys part to keep you balanced. You need to stand on your own two feet. Although admittedly it often is the guy who yanks you out of your axis, you should never rely on him to keep you from falling over. That means no hanging onto his hands or hoping he'll catch you after that wobbly spin. Learn how to balance your body and to control your own momentum. And if it's your high heels that make you unstable, dance on flats or lower heels until you gain more control.


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