Salsa > Backleading.

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Matrix, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Different opinions/perspectives...I guess....I would say that it depends on the people involved as you said earlier fascionation. Having danced for a couple years I feel that way now. In a class context not good to backlead. When dancing socially their are many situations when back leading or hints/warnings from the follower are much appreciated. :)
  2. diputs

    diputs New Member

    The same women I mentioned in the other post told me I was not being strong enough with my lead. I told her I was trying to be gentle with my lead. She just looked at me and rolled her eyes.

    I figured that if I was tired of being thrown around by the women backleading, that they were probably tired of being thrown around by the leads. I need to learn the difference between leading and tossing someone around.
  3. diputs

    diputs New Member

    Sorry, I was referring to a class situation.
  4. luh

    luh Active Member

    i have experienced it, and hated it. If it happens in waltz. (that's the time when it happens the most often, because they think they know the waltz, and just start right away). So what i do than is change back and forth from left turning to right turning. Normally just, one, like to show her that it's ME who is leading. If she doesn't get it, i'll do more of that. :twisted: I'm a bad boy in that situation. Just hate it.
    ran into it also with a friends sister. she wanted to dance with her brother. So i showed him some steps. And he was doing stuff, which was not completely correct, but that didn't matter as long as he'd lead back where he started. She never did what he lead, but turned when it didn't fit, and thought she new it better. and was always saying that is it was his fault that it went wrong. i told her, that she is allowed to blame him, but she has to follow to do so, not try to do whatever she wants. :evil: (he is such a quicklearner, those girls make it totally wrong, they should be patient and wait - but this girl obviously does that with every leader, no matter who, and how good he is)
    in lindy or charleston it never really happened to me. Just those things, where she stops and tells me i'm wrong, where she has no clue what i was doing.
    Also happened to me once in a ballroom class. I was just back from the usa, and i was asked to help out. haven't danced discofox for 5 months, i wasn't very good. But still, she started YELLING at me, and telling me i was wrong, ( i was just turning her the opposite way which was not wrong for what i was planning on doing), and than she "showed" me how to do it correctly meaning, she just let hands go when she wanted, turned, whatever... I WAS SO GLAD when the music stopped. I was really getting so fast as possible, so far as possible from that girl away. Luckily i never had to dance with her again. She is in my class and doesn't like me, so if i keep being lucky, i'll never have to dance with her again. I know this is not a nice way of handling it, but she was just SO not compromising. (she also always wanted me to call the moves - that she can do it without listening to my leads - obviously i never called out the move - i never do - except aerials)
    so that's my story :)
  5. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    'backleading' is like two people talking at the same time.. it disrupts the flow.. simply, its a manifestation of a weakness in follow skills.. or skewed perception..

    there will be many times in the dance a lead will free the follow for solo action or shines and improvization.. but, intill then, they should follow the lead..
  6. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Insist all you want, it doesn't make it true, lol. And I'm a damn good lead if I DO say so. I actually have this weird quirk.... Call me crazy but I think both sides of a partnership should know both sides equally well. :p

    There are many paths to enlightenment grasshopper.
  7. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Me too, but I prefer teaching men only. I can't stand bossy wives, lol. "If you could only dance it like she dances it maybe you'd lead better"..... OY!
  8. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Sweetie, sometimes that is the only way you can communicate what's happening. I like to call it a clue-by-four. It's a great teaching tool. The hardest part about being a follower is balancing the knowledge you have of the steps (and or routine) and the ability to follow "outside the box". Sometimes if you aren't feeling anything, you need to stop and say "I'm not sure what's supposed to happen here". A good leader (no matter how inexperienced) will say "What are you expecting to feel?" Then you can hash out the details.

    My coach has given me permission to stop and say "Hey, I'm not feeling you here..." Dance is equally technique and feeling. If you have one but not the other.... Danger Will Robinson!
  9. luh

    luh Active Member

    i agree totally on that one. It's easier to lead, and easier to follow if you know always the opposite. When i do teach, it's really nice that i know how to follow, because i can give them more hints. And there are more advantages to it of course

  10. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Well perhaps not "just stand there" literally, but just do the basic until you feel a lead. The gentleman may not always appreciate it, I must admit... but it's the guys who do take your point and adjust the lead who become good leaders, not the ones who get mad at you "because you are not doing what you are supposed to do". :evil:

    Any examples of those situations? I wouldn't backlead in a social dancing situation unless there is a *really* good reason (e.g., imminent crash).
  11. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ New Member

    This is one reason why i'ts good to dance with lots of different people, both as a leader and as a follower.

    My husband thinks I'm the greatest follower around...when I dance with others I find out how untrue that is! I also know how to lead, and when I do it's interesting to see the different abilities as followers, and to learn what I need to do to lead better.

    I do think it's useful at times in class to back-lead, especially with a beginner. They are having to concentrate on their own steps so much, and it takes some of the stress off if the follower can help out a litte. You do have to eventually let them learn to take control, though.

    My teacher always says if I don't know where I'm supposed to go, to just put my feet together and wiggle. That works, but wether or not I'll do it depends on the circumstances.
  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Guess I'd like to ask the followers above that mentioned liking a "strong arm" lead . . .

    Do you mean forceful? Do you mean a reference to muscles? Do you mean someone who can "put you in your place?"

    Then, I'd like to add to those follows who say if there is no lead, you should go and "do" something . . . if you are doing that, you have already anticipated the leader's lead . . . probably long before he gave a prep or indication of a particular move . . . and that, ladies, is your fault and bad dancing.

    You should never anticipate.
  13. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I just don't see how ability to lead depends on gender.
    I myself backlead to save my shoulder from being displaced
  14. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Nope, :nope: don’t just stand there, take your steps, keep the beat, and keep dancing.
    But YES, I sure would!

    If he only lead half a turn, do only half a turn.
    In class use the opportunity to talk, especially if he looks puzzled.
    If the timing is wrong, and he catches you on the wrong foot, tell him.

    I was so lucky I had some lovely ladies in class that was able to give me some nice constructive feedback. To rough, to forceful, to soft, to early, to high and that was a good clear and gentle lead.

    I still appreciate all constructive feedback, because it gives me something to work with. I might not always agree, but I valid the opinion.
  15. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Now that puzzles me. :shock:

    How does that work?

    I can imagine some ladies 911 and self defence tricks.
    But back leading would most likely do a bad situation worse.
  16. Matrix

    Matrix New Member


    During my Salsa infancy, before I was the super-freaking-amazing-badass dancer I am now... [​IMG] {JOKE}, there was this one occassion when I was dancing with this one lady who wasn't too advanced at the time, just like I was. I had, however, been dancing for a bit longer, like 3 months. There was this easy to follow pattern that I guess wasn't so easy to follow as I thought it was, cuz she totally went the other direction. I didn't anticipate this (I was in my Salsa infancy, didn't know how to compensate for female interruptions on my gracious lead :roll:) and her arm pulled and I guess it hurt a little bit... :lol:

    MAN, she looked at me like she wanted to kill me and blamed me for it! :shock:

    I insisted, just like I do with DancingMommy, that it had not been completely my fault (and just like with DancingMommy), but she insisted otherwise. I was like: "WTF!?" :roll: So, I had to call her attention as I was dancing with other women to show her how EASY they would follow that move. TILL this day she stands by her stubborness and I have to say that she still looks a bit ... uhmmm ... intermediate out there. Gosh, some people will only see as far as their nose reaches... ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING WHEN YOU WANT TO LEARN... ain't that the truth??

    Alright, Word. 8)
  17. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Here's the deal. You have to be HUMBLE when you insist it *isn't* your fault. See, we women have this thing called an "ar&e-hole detector". And for some of us it is pretty sensitive. And we tend to be pretty protective of our little selves. Having been dropped on my head ONE too many times, I give no quarter and no mercy to the <insert creative term here> individual who perpetrates some injury to me. No matter HOW newbie he is. Have more on this for later.... :)
  18. Matrix

    Matrix New Member

    "we women have ..................." :lol:

    I just love the sexism in all of your speech. Say, were you in the N.O.W. organization when it started or are you still a current member? :lol:

    Girl, we're all in this together... learning from each other, women ain't above men, men ain't above women... If we were understanding of that, we'll all get along better, less divorces, less single mothers or single fathers, less gangs, drugs, violence, etc.

    Start the change within yourself, TODAY!! :applause:
  19. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Tried that as a beginner. It completely short-circuit my brains connection to my feet. Then erase the ending of the move. Then some embarrassment that even if you get help, it’s only get worse.

    Tried that as a advanced dancer. It completely breaks my concentration, and mess up the move.
    I might not have the move in take 1 or 2, but I will most likely have an idea of what went wrong, and try to compensate. The lady suddenly starting to lead my arms in the process are not helping.

    From my perspective, please don’t.

    Breaking up a move, talking, and the lady showing me I have to lay my arm around her like this. Then turn her left and not right as I did before. This is not back leading. This is teamwork and cooperation, and is most welcomed.

    See the difference?
  20. Medira

    Medira New Member

    I haven't been partner dancing for very long (6 months now) and backleading is something that I always have to be very aware of. I come from a very extensive solo dance background (over 20 years) so I'm used to doing everything by myself. Sometimes, I slip up and it just happens. It isn't meant to try and take over and it doesn't mean that I don't trust the lead, it's just training and habit taking over. Luckily, I have an understanding instructor. When it happens, I'll usually get a raised eyebrow and a "let me drive", which is normally enough to wake me up. It is a habit I'm working very hard to break though.

    As far as the male/female lead/follow bit goes, I've danced with female leads who are stronger and more confident than male leads, so I stand firmly in the school of thought that gender has absolutely nothing to do with lead/follow ability. Anybody can learn to lead. Anybnody can learn to follow. Either gender can be good at either role. If you have the knowledge and experience to be able to assume the role you choose, then more power to you!

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