Salsa > Leading - is it just me?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by squirrel, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. wuthering

    wuthering New Member

    I've been lead by the wrist and I don't mind, if the guy doesn't squeeze too much. I have carpal in my right wrist (too much typing - I shouldn't be using a keyboard now, by the way) and last time I danced one guy forced my hand so strong I actually felt my tendon go on fire :evil:
  2. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I don't know why but this thread reminds me of the following comment I once heard:

    Some guys when they dance with a girl want her to feel that he is a great dancer,
    when I dance with a girl I want her to feel that she is a great dancer.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I just want to "feel her," and I am talking about dancing!

    Compression, no heavy arms, no spaghetti arms. Then I can do my job, which is what you said!
  4. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Squirrel, will we meet in Gothenburg?
    (PR and have already met :wink: )

    You can help us as a salsacongress guide (and telling me what teachers not to dance with). We show you Gothenburg :D

    Tell us in advance please!

  5. David

    David New Member

    A lead should be firm, yet soft. As boriken put it so well... if, as a leader, you're forcing the girl to do something then there's a problem with your lead. I'll grant that there are times when the lead will need to be firmer than at other times, but it should never be rough.

    Many of the rough leads are there for the crowd to look at them... look at me, look at me, look how good I am!!

    I'm there to dance with the lady, and if the crowd is going to look at anybody they should be looking at her. The best compliment I can get from some body who has been watching is when I hear how good she looked, not me.
  6. tacad

    tacad New Member

  7. tacad

    tacad New Member

    I'm curious what it is that an experienced dancer does that makes him difficult to follow. When he forces someone is he not communicating his intentions? Is he relying on his brute strength to move the follow when he should be relying on her to move herself? So she finds herself being tossed around and guessing his intentions when he is not trying to cummunicate his intentions at all?

    This situation is difficult to deal with because the more experienced dancer thinks he is better and will assume the lesser experienced dancer is the problem. In fact the lesser experienced dancer will tend to assume that she is the problem as well. And as everyone has said, it's not the case.
  8. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I guess I take it in two different ways. It is a big compliment for me to hear my partner complimented, especially if she was difficult to lead (and, thus, whatever "problems" I felt as a leader were covered up well enough for the onlookers). On the other hand, sometimes I think to myself, "Hey, what about me....don't you want to tell me how well I did, too?" :wink:

    As for the comments about leading by the wrist, that has never been a favorite technique of mine, but I have had one instructor who advocates that a lot. That particular instructor does a lot of casino reuda, so I always assumed that the "wrist leading" stemmed from that style. I don't really know, though. :?:
  9. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    yes! leading skills also include the ability to choose moves that the leader can lead that particular follower through at any given moment.

    leading & following is communicating in a conversation - if someone doesn't understand your normal vocabluary, you might try repeating the phrase once or tiwce, but when it's obvious that the other person isn't getting it, you don't keep saying the same thing ad nauseum - or worse yet - also increasing the volume up to shouting (or using more force). instead, a leader should be fluent in simpler synonyms to accomodate his partner's inability to understand more complex words/phrases.

    i've danced in a troupe with one instructor who is primarily a 'show' dancer - he's never had reason to work on social partnering skills. his lead is REALLY rough & i feel sorry for women who dance with him.

    dancing to look good and dancing to make your partner look good are skill sets that don't necessarily overlap.
  10. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I am not the best follower in the world, as I said before. But I danced with people who didn't feel the need to push and pull me thrpugh moves (including multiple spins)... so...

    I have this huge problem of not being able to adjust to rough leading... I simply hate it and get stressed when someone is pushing me around... :(

    I love connection and communication among partners... and this has nothing to do with power-leading the girl through patterns! IMHO...
  11. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I have been lead by the wrist and have no problem with it as long as it is a quiet lead, not the shoving or throwing we all agree we hate. From a leaders perspective it might be easier to lead with a follow's wrist if the follow doesn't hold tone in her hand, "breaks" her wrist, instead of transmitting the lead to the feet. Just a thought...
  12. cookie

    cookie New Member

    newbie but good lead

    Last Sunday I was at a salsa event and there were all abilities there (but mostly intermediate to advanced) but I was asked by a complete beginner. It was literally his first go at salsa. He warned me of this from the start.

    so of course his footwork was all over the place, out of time sometimes, forgetting to change weight, that funny bobbing movement beginners sometimes do and yet he was trying really complex turn patterns he'd seen others doing. Of course, without any lessons and clues as to WHEN to turn the lady he was just a mess and it was really hard work to do what he was asking in all the wrong places in the music. When he was in step I gave him a thumbs up as encouragement (cos he struggled a bit) but this wasn't all that often.

    but what struck me by this chap, although his timing was all over the place and the moves chaotic, his lead was impeccable. Clear but not forced, gentle but not floppy. At the end of the dance I thanked him and told him "well done, you've only had one lesson but i can tell you'll be a great lead. You have so much potential! Keep doing salsa!

    So good leading is not just about experience. Some people are just good at it, I guess. Leading style should be incorporated into lessons. Would be nice if the teacher danced with each man in the group and gave them feedback on how their lead felt. Occasional;y I'll mention to men in the lessons I'm in (as a student) no need to tug so hard, or to change the grip or to push then so I know to go backwards or to look at their hand so i can find it. Some listen, some don't. (probably because they are too busy trying to remember the move, their timing etc and so thinking about the lead is too much just yet)

    I do hope that newbie keeps up the salsa. Although he was technically awful I kow he'll be a great dancer if he goes to lessons.
  13. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Maybe he was new to salsa, but not new to partner dancing. Coming from lindy, or swing...
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Yesterday night I was doing rueda with thsi girl from Cuba and she tells me that I should use force with her otherwise she is all over the place. She insisted that she liked/wanted/needed it. It didn't matter how clear my lead was. If I didn't use my strength she didn't get it. :? :( So there are all kinds of people out there... That's what I got to say.
  15. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    With me it is the other way around... force me and you manage to have me all over the place... :lol:
  16. tacad

    tacad New Member

    That great salsa experience I had a few days ago? I had to use some strength with her and everything smoothed out. I was still leading though. I wasn't muscling her through the moves. It was simply a stronger lead. I tend to think that you were doing this too. Strong leading, but still leading.
  17. tacad

    tacad New Member

    In my trials with more experienced follows who can't follow to save their lives I've decided to just do the best dance with the best technique I know, even though the follow is fighting me (or not feeling my lead) all of the way. Sometimes the follow compliments me on my leading, other times she doesn't like it. I wonder if something like this would work for follows when the lead is strong-arming her through the dance, not leading.
  18. cookie

    cookie New Member

    when a lead is being too rough and forceful I tend to soften, rather than resist, hoping this will make the guy feel he needn't pull me about. he may just have had a series of tough follows who needed forecul signals and hasn't adjusted to me. Simple things like having your hand on his shoulder too heavy can make it seem to him like the follow he is dancing with is heavy and needs to be man-handled around the dancefloor.

    Sometimes it works and the guy becomes aware he doesn't have to tug me to move, others it makes no difference and I go back to being more solid to save my shoulders from being wrenched. Generally it's the guys with poor timing who wrench about, I guess because they are used to feeling a follow go 'heavy' at a clearly signalled turn but don't realise it is because his off-timing and she's not ready to turn just yet (it being only the 3 or 4 and not the 5)
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I guess...but yuck!! :( Waste of energy...
  20. tacad

    tacad New Member

    You're right. And it took most of my concentration so I wasn't dancing as well.

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