Ballroom Dance > Discussions on following

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elisedance, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Ah, thank you for putting it in context Laura. Now it makes more sense.... it was only one aspect of the partnership. Still, I would love to see what he said about the other aspects ;)
  2. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I agree.

    I agree.

    I agree with the rest but won't quote it all now. I think you've done a good job of describing what (a) my teacher is looking for when he is training me/dancing with me and (b) what is going wrong -- particularly on my part -- when it's not working out!
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Seeing as everyone has not noticed--

    :banana::banana: its Elises BIRTHDAY--- HAPPY HAPPY !!!
  4. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

  5. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Wow, very nice explanations. I very much like!
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but as a beginner, I highly doubt it. That issue aside...

    This may seem a bit OT, but bear with me for a my mind this is related to the topic at hand, and I promise to tie it all together!

    The two leads I've felt this non-leading/non-following thing with both felt very similar. As in, the amount of tension v. suppleness in their body was similar. However, there have been plenty of times when I've had wonderful feeling (for me, at least) dances with leads where this magical connection didn't happen. The lead was always clear, never forceful, very comfortable, etc. I can't even describe it as feeling a more definite lead, necessarily, but what stands out is the difference in the men's bodies. The tended to have a lot more tension. One teacher was like dancing with a brick wall--he was just so.unbelievably.solid. I've never felt anything like it, before or since. (And it was the first time I really felt what "grounded" feels like...identifiably, at least.)

    I'm just wondering (this is the tying-together part) if the same thing is true of how women feel when we're following. As in, can we sometimes feel like there is no follower (the ghost thing), and other times (or other women) feel exceptionally solid. And which is better? Or are they just different? Is it just a matter of preference? And how does that affect technique?

    And somewhat OT... I've recently been wondering if I should switch AT teachers. I'm starting to get the feeling like I know what he's going to lead before he leads it, and he's said he often knows if I'm going to follow (or how well I'm going to follow) before he leads something. I've been thinking this is not particularly good--maybe I'm just getting to used to my teacher. (Although it does free up the following part of my brain for things like technique.) Maybe another way of looking at it, though, is that I'm more reliably getting to the point of "not feeling any lead." *shrug*
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    It's funny, I always get that I'm too light from my female instructor, and the one time I took a lesson with another woman, got it from her too. But the male instructors have never really said that to me. That must mean something deep and philosphical!
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    There are a few different dimensions here, and applying words like 'heavy' or 'light' or even 'present' can be difficult because they don't necessarily apply to all the dimensions the same way.

    I like it when a partner is light as in responsive, easily influenced to move or not move.

    But if it seems productive to improving communication, a bit of weight or presence in the frame itself is welcome, provided that it doesn't turn up as heaviness or backweightedness in the movement.
  9. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    You mean our collective fundamental misunderstandings?:p But it is sooooo nice to read a thread that actually speaks to me. Every post from skwiggy is one of, "Hey! I totally GET that!" In the future, I WANT MORE SKWIGGY!!!!
  10. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I think I'll be seeing if I can try a little of that tonight.
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Of course.

    A lot of why it feels so wrong to me is because I'm so used to things in AT. With that, I don't ever really think about my back at all. And the right hand is decorative for a lot of it. It's just a totally different feeling, which I'm quite used to and very fond of. Just as it's generally very difficult for a ballroom dancer to overcome their ballroom training to dance AT, it's difficult for me to overcome the AT training to dabble quasi-sucessfully-ish with ballroom.
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    so it's not just me??? feeling massive relief... just that i get to the point of feeling that feeling and thinking maybe i've done something wrong. when in fact it seems to be the edge of something new & wonderful, and the direction i really should keep going in.
  14. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    :lead-me: :roll:
  15. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Count me in on the Skwiggy groupies super-:cool::!:
  16. atk

    atk Active Member

    I've been following this thread since the beginning, and it's very interesting. Thank you all for sharing.

    Peaches, yes, followers can feel ghostly (I've felt this with one follower). And yes, they can also feel very solid. Not meaning to bring this hijack too far, but there's a whole lot of other feelings, too (omitting the noddle-arms and other undesirable stuff). Thinking of only teachers, I've danced with women who were very much "there", but very gentle and very soft. And others have a very strong connection, with very little feeling of weight.

    I think "which is better" would be personal preference. My preference is for strong but soft. I don't particularly like the ghost thing.

    For technique, I'm not really sure what affect there is...
  17. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member



    And thank you to elise for starting this thread. Long overdue. Finally a "technique" oriented thread that doesn't make me feel shut out, put down, or bored to tears.

  18. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    echoing your sentiments, skwigs. :)
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Definitely not just you. Although I've never felt it with standard, only AT. (When I did standard I was too busy cussing anything and everything and everyone. Under my breath--mostly--that is.) It seems to be something that crosses dance styles, though, which is cool.
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Exactly. In fact, sometimes I get to that same point you describe, and stop because I'm sure something is wrong. TS often wails "why did you stop, everything was going so good!" to which I reply "but I thought I was messing up!"

    If you're like me and spend most of your life convinced that you're either doing something wrong, have just done something wrong, or are about to do something wrong, it's a pretty big mental block to push through.

Share This Page