Leading and Following – Transcript

This first exercise is about leading and following. Since you are dancing as partners, you are going to be leading and following. There is one leader, this is going to be me. And one follower, Paula.

It is all about communication. The exercise we are going to do now is a simple exercise and it is really practicing following for the lady. We will go palm to palm. I will lead the lady by going forward and back. What we are trying to achieve, is that the lady keeps her elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. When I increase the tension here, the lady moves back. We do not fold the arm back. If I decrease the tension, the lady moves forward. The idea is that the lady keeps the tension constant between her hands. That is how we learn to lead and follow.

Tension should be such that if you had an A4 sheet of paper, it would not fall. However, if you had a mandarin, it would not make juice out of it. Instead, a little tension, and constant tension.

Leaders, when you practice this, try not to be too predictable. Change direction without giving any other hints when you are leading and following. Ladies, what we want you to do is tune in but lead. You really need to put your mind into leading in the fingertips.

This is the first exercise. In order to bring this a little forward, we will reverse the roles. It is important that I, as a leader, understand what following means as well. Paula is going to lead me. I am just keeping that tension constant. That is all I am focusing on. Then, we reverse direction. That is it. It is a real simple little exercise.

We are going to bring it up a notch. Ladies, I am going to lead you again. This time you are going to close your eyes. You are going to focus even more on these fingertips. Paula’s eyes are closed and following my lead. Just for a bit of fun, we are going to reverse the role and Paula is going to lead me. I close my eyes and become a follower for a second. This is leading and following and this is your first exercise. It is a very important exercise so remember: one leader, one follower. Also, most of the communication will come through his frame.

It is important to practice this exercise. Take your time. There are no dance steps yet. You are just walking up and down.

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