In social dancing, the BIGGEST secret to success is to make your partner(s) happy. Dancing is an exciting and special relationship between you, your partner and the music. But there are other factors involved, especially in social dancing, like being mindful of the other dancers around you. Once you are able to successfully navigate the dance floor, your popularity as an awesome social dancer will greatly increase! Here are a few, VERY important tips to remember when leading your lovely lady out on a social dance floor:
1. Create a comfortable lead: A follower doesn’t appreciate having her arm cranked or jolted out of her socket in order to make her turns. Pushing and pulling to bring her where you want (as well as other forceful leads) are not appreciated. Here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona we teach how to create an inviting space for the follower that is both comfortable and communicative. We teach you how to execute moves well on the dance floor and help you to become confident so, when you go dancing, you will be able to WOW your partner.
Ladies, when you ask or accept to follow someone in a dance, you are agreeing to let THEM lead. This doesn’t mean that you have to do everything perfectly. Sometimes you don’t understand how the move is being led, but a good leader can turn any misunderstandings into a new move. Don’t worry about being perfect, as long as you do what your partner is asking, you will both have a good time. Back-leading can be disrespectful and is very disturbing to your partner because you are rejecting their contribution to the partnership. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t embellish a move or add your personality into the dance. The instructors at Dance FX Studios help both parties understand what it means to lead and follow. We give constructive feedback and tips that make following (and leading) easier.
2 .Protect your partner: This goes for BOTH leader and follower, however, it is more important from the leader’s perspective. There are two important aspects: anticipation and observation. By anticipating movement of other dancers (and onlookers), you are able to match your movements to the space that is on the floor (and can even create some extra space). The most important piece is not to run your partner into other couples. Not only is this jarring for you and your partner, but also for the other couple. Observation allows you to know where other couples are and, if another couple executes a move that puts your partner into danger of collision, think quickly to either absorb the blow in a spot that doesn’t create a large injury or keeps your partner safe. In the partnership, each person is the eyes in the back of their partner’s head – you keep an eye out and if someone is approaching the blind spot of your partner, keep them safe! As a follower, a small pressure on the leader’s shoulder or hand can warn them of a possible collision and give them a heads up.
3. Entertain your partner: Both of you are out to have a good time, MAKE it one! From Salsa dancing here in Phoenix to hitting the Country bars, dancing is a great way to shake off your week, get some great exercise and let loose. Dance at an appropriate level that makes it enjoyable for both parties. Evaluate your partner’s capabilities and make sure to keep the dancing comfortable while adding in some fun moves as well. At Dance FX Studios, we teach you how to make cool combinations of moves, blend movements together to make the dance smooth, and how to keep time with music, which is also a big part of keeping the dance fun! It is also important to maintain a good sense of humor if something goes wrong – NOBODY is perfect! 🙂 Own up to mistakes if necessary, but don’t dwell on it. Lightheartedness and playfulness goes a long way. Make sure to SMILE at your partner and focus on what makes them comfortable and happy.
4. Appreciate your partner: By combining all of the above, your partner should feel like you are there to dance with THEM (even if it is only for one or two songs). The most popular dancers are those who make it clear to their partner that their company is appreciated and enjoyed! Most people would rather not dance with someone who acts disinterested or bored, no matter how amazing their dancing is.
Overall, the most important take-away is: dancing is a partnership – you are happiest when your partner is also happy. Come learn how to become confident in your dancing skills at Dance FX Studios. Our New Student Offer for beginner dancers is a great place to start your journey as a dancer!