Discussions on following

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!"
How familiar - glad I'm not the only one. It also happens with timing - I will start to rush thinking I'm behind only to get berated by DP for charging off without him when I had it perfect all along....

When it comes down to it, following is ceding control - I realize that sounds totally obvious - after all that is the definition of following - but somehow talking about it, dancing it and actually achieving it are way different things..
 

Laura

New 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.
Hear hear, and happy birthday Elise.

Ever notice how that, after a while, technique for followers has little to do with "drop this hip when you're turning in that direction" or "open up fully to the new line of dance" and everything to do with creating that sense of poised yet active readiness -- and taking what you're given and doing everything you can with it -- that we're all talking about here? I've noticed that when I do the non-step-or-specific-dance-related stuff that's all about taking care of myself and my poise and my body and being grounded and directing my energy so my partner can use it, all the other stuff just starts working. My heel turns are significantly better when I'm in this "state" than when I'm thinking about "okay, the weight transfer works this way and I have to time the release of the next moving foot with blah blah blah blah...."
 

samina

Well-Known Member
i completely understand. definitely. and have decided to just GO, to just surrender to the feeling even if it's uncomfortable, and just... trust, i guess. yeah... that's it. trust... in my body, my balance, my partner.

it is a relief to hear this from other followers. :)
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
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.
Oh, god. There's someone else who goes through life thinking this??? Wow. That makes me happy.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Ever notice how that, after a while, technique for followers has little to do with "drop this hip when you're turning in that direction" or "open up fully to the new line of dance" and everything to do with creating that sense of poised yet active readiness -- and taking what you're given and doing everything you can with it -- that we're all talking about here? I've noticed that when I do the non-step-or-specific-dance-related stuff that's all about taking care of myself and my poise and my body and being grounded and directing my energy so my partner can use it, all the other stuff just starts working. My heel turns are significantly better when I'm in this "state" than when I'm thinking about "okay, the weight transfer works this way and I have to time the release of the next moving foot with blah blah blah blah...."
Yes! Absolutely! Slightly different from where I stand, but fundamentally the same thing.

Getting to this point is comparatively recent for me. I'm finding it to be a very interesting phase. Yeah, there have been recent technique changes that are clicking that I'm trying to re-work into my dancing (and which is giving me fits), but so much more of it lately has been focused on taking care of myself. When and how to relax, how to control my axis and use that control to achieve what I need to, when and how to add energy to a movement. But, fundamentally, it all comes back to letting go of everything else and just taking care of myself. It's a very interesting thing to experience. (Now, if only I could experience it more often!)
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
I thank my parents and the societal background I was brought up in for that little bit of mind-crap.
Not sure where mine comes from. Could probably spend some time and figure it out, but I prefer just to kind of ignore it and work around it.

...or, quit dancing standard...

(It makes sense to me.)
 

skwiggy

Well-Known Member
Ever notice how that, after a while, technique for followers has little to do with "drop this hip when you're turning in that direction" or "open up fully to the new line of dance" and everything to do with creating that sense of poised yet active readiness -- and taking what you're given and doing everything you can with it -- that we're all talking about here? I've noticed that when I do the non-step-or-specific-dance-related stuff that's all about taking care of myself and my poise and my body and being grounded and directing my energy so my partner can use it, all the other stuff just starts working. My heel turns are significantly better when I'm in this "state" than when I'm thinking about "okay, the weight transfer works this way and I have to time the release of the next moving foot with blah blah blah blah...."
I think for me it's a mixture. Some of the very specific technical stuff helps me train my "learned responses" to be active in the best way, instead of just active in general.
 

skwiggy

Well-Known Member
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.
Once you start thinking the negative thoughts, they only compound themselves. This is something I'm working on right now. I'm reading "The Secret", which is all about the power of positive thoughts and how thinking positive thoughts attracts positive things, and thinking negative thoughts attracts negative things.

I haven't had a lot of time to experiment with it, but the little bit that I have, I like the direction it's going.
 

DrDoug

Active Member
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.
I used to do that. Now I'm aware that I do things wrong all the time, but I've learned that the consequences for most of the things I do wrong are trivial, so I don't need to be paralyzed by fear of them. (Improv theatre classes are one of the main things that helped me with that.)
 
i completely understand. definitely. and have decided to just GO, to just surrender to the feeling even if it's uncomfortable, and just... trust, i guess. yeah... that's it. trust... in my body, my balance, my partner.
Boy, is that hard. Especially if your partner does not inspire any trust or sense of safety. Or believes following is easy and requires no skill, and if you mess up, looks at you like he's thinking " you dumb broad, why aren't you getting it?"
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
Boy, is that hard. Especially if your partner does not inspire any trust or sense of safety. Or believes following is easy and requires no skill, and if you mess up, looks at you like he's thinking " you dumb broad, why aren't you getting it?"
A lead like that doesn't deserve to dance with me. Doesn't deserve to dance with you either.;)
 

samina

Well-Known Member
Once you start thinking the negative thoughts, they only compound themselves. This is something I'm working on right now. I'm reading "The Secret", which is all about the power of positive thoughts and how thinking positive thoughts attracts positive things, and thinking negative thoughts attracts negative things.

I haven't had a lot of time to experiment with it, but the little bit that I have, I like the direction it's going.
that's awesome, skwigs. the way to go, IMO.

i tend to think positively now, not because that came naturally but because i was so freakin' self-negative and inhibited from a very young age that i got into "the secret"-type stuff long before it became popular... out of survival mode, really. but still i am conservative about "putting it out there" because... well, that's just how i am. the opposite of an exhibitionist.

and i want so much and want it at a high standard, so everything usually feels so far from the mark.
 

samina

Well-Known Member
Boy, is that hard. Especially if your partner does not inspire any trust or sense of safety. Or believes following is easy and requires no skill, and if you mess up, looks at you like he's thinking " you dumb broad, why aren't you getting it?"
he's a bonehead. :rolleyes:

get him asap to an instructor who will have him follow... he'll see what it's all about...
 
he's a bonehead. :rolleyes:

get him asap to an instructor who will have him follow... he'll see what it's all about...
True...but those bonehead types always think they know better than the instructor. ;)

Once I know a leader is a bonehead, I avoid him. And occasionally my fellow followers will warn me about someone. But if I get asked by someone I don't know, I say yes unless I have a real good reason not to, and then I'm taking my chances. That's part of social dancing, I guess. I won't dance with a jerk for a second time, though.

p.s. sorry if I'm off topic, not trying to turn the thread into a rant. Just saying that, after all, since we are dancing with partners, the personal dynamic affects our ability to perform our technique properly.
 
Huh. Something makes sense.

I can't say as I've ever felt that in ballroom, but I've felt something very similar (I think) in AT. I describe it as never having felt a lead. In fact, at first it's disconcerting because it feels like there is actually no lead coming from my partner at all, and I tend to panic about what to do until I realize that I'm already doing it. It's the most bizarre feeling in the world. It's like I'm reading his mind, so there's no "leading and following," but just the two of us miraculously choosing to do the same things at the same time.

Unfortunately, I've only ever felt it from two leads. And I have no idea what I felt like as a follower on those occasions, or how to make it happen.
I believe I've experienced something much the same. I seemed as though all I had to do was think of a step and she followed it. It was a few dances at a milonga I found while on a busines trip and I don't even know her name, but I sure wish I knew how to make it happen again. I've spoken to people about it and described it as being like she was reading my mind.
As a follow I'm sure he thought you were the nothing but wonderful.
 

scullystwin42

Well-Known Member
Bumping an old thread.

I think I have a mental block with regards to following my pro vs following at a social swing dance. I seem to be able to follow better in a social dance, even with a dancer that is more experienced than I, but when I dance a social with my pro or even just lead and follow, I get caught up in... something. I miss leads, nothing is as smooth, the flow isn't there. Even when doing something like swing. I am working on getting through this - since I'm pretty sure it's mental, not physical, just wondering if anyone else experienced this.

If there's another thread on this, let me know - this is the one I found when I did a search.
 

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