Common Traits of great lead :)

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by smiling28, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Ok,

    The topic that can never be answered but should provide some fun discussion. I started this with my observation that I find the introspective guys to be great leads in general (i.e with moves/connection etc).


    Amanda added an awesome viewpoint too...






    #1
  2. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Capitán Del Estilo

    After watching a lot of great dancers at congresses, I think one common attribute is confidence (and that goes for follows as well). I think that to be a great lead, it's not enough to be able to move or lead well. You also have to be attractive to the woman on some level, not necessarily physically, but in the way you move that tells her that you have everything under control.
  3. JonesNikka

    JonesNikka Rhythm Deputy

    The shortest way of saying it would be that a great leader: "thinks about making his partner look and feel good, therefore he looks and feels good."

    Also, one of my teachers also said that: "a great leader will dance with the girl instead of making her dance."
  4. opm1s6

    opm1s6 Sabor Ambassador


    uggg, i hate these type of vague comments, that are extolled by people that think they are more clever than they are. How about we work with some details...
  5. spotcat

    spotcat Banned

    Perhaps, but to learn those teachings, they must first teach you how to learn.
  6. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Heh. I don't think it's a case of someone thinking they are cleverer; more like different ways of looking at stuff. If you're a detail person then the above will sound like meaningless drivel, whereas if you're the sort of person who prefers an idealised goal, then it could be just the thing for you! (Sensing versus Intuitive http:// www. capt.org/catalog/MBTI-Book-20016.htm and click "view handout")
  7. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    I like that.
  8. Flujo

    Flujo Sabor Ambassador

    That wasn't very nice. No cookies for you this Christmas. :)

    This sounds like the road to wisdom imho. Getting a person to find their own answers by having them asking more questions. In that sense being vague is a good thing.

    As a stab at some details
    (from limited experience)...
    How about we start with 'How do you know what kind of dancer your partner is'...? Does she like it rough :lol: - or is she more of a soulful, smooth dancer? The first thing I'd do is to try and figure what she likes. That's the hard bit.
  9. opm1s6

    opm1s6 Sabor Ambassador


    no cookies! and I bet no milk either!

    well i'll just take the quickest exit out of this thread...

    btw the Common Traits of a great lead are in my sig....
  10. Offbeat

    Offbeat Clave Commander

    This has been oft repeated so many times but the question is "HOW" do you make someone "FEEL" good ! The concept is simple and easy to understand, but how does a leader go about putting it in practice. One girl might feel good when she is spun thousand times while other might feel good when she's given room to style. This is coming close to asking a leader to read the follower's mind :)

    The leaders with experience will make her "look and feel" good intuitively but may not be able to breakdown and explain exactly what is it that they do. So if you have to teach this to a less than advance leads, how do you teach it to them.

    Regarding make her "LOOK" good, that is even more difficult. When you are dancing you have no idea how it looks to those on the outside. We have examples of dancers who don't look so good but feel great to dance with and vice-versa. As long as the partner is not impeding any of the dance movement, I think looking good is responsibility of each dancer on their own.

    Did he/she demonstrate the difference by actually dancing both ways? If they did then that will be great! And if they allow you to video tape it for youtube even better:)
  11. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Capitán Del Estilo

    Heh. Very true. I imagine that as you get more experience, you get better at this. But it's probably why on a given night, I'll have one dance where the woman is smiling and enthusiastic, then, 5 minutes later, be dancing with someone who looks like she's thinking about filling out her tax forms.:( Maybe what the 2nd woman needed to feel good was to be asked to dance by the hot guy she'd been eyeing, but I got in his way.:rolleyes:
  12. babybarbarella

    babybarbarella Son Montuno

    It's kind of subjective, really. Every follow desires something different. Some are good at spinning, while others love to shine, while others love to style, etc. So, I think each follow would want someone that allows them to express themselves in the way they are most comfortable.

    One of my good friends and I are perfect illustrations of this. Say I have an amazing dance with a lead. For me that means that he was:

    1. connected/engaged with me: eye contact
    smiling
    concerned about protecting me on the dancefloor
    2. connected with the music: very musical/expressing himself through the music
    on beat (of course)
    3. connected with his body: confident with his body movement

    My friend on the other hand:

    1. Give her spins and spins and more spins

    2. Make it challenging and complex (give her a repertoire she doesn't know)

    3. Do not expect her to style
  13. opm1s6

    opm1s6 Sabor Ambassador

    Well it's clear that the first criteria has to be the ability to adapt quickly to whatever follow you are dealing with, but as Offbeat mentioned, that would take a certain air of clairvoyance, which we generally do not possess. I'm by no means a great lead, but I do try to judge a girls ability to enter, and more importantly how she exits her spins. Depending on that, I'll tend to put more spinning combinations together.
  14. antigone

    antigone Pattern Police

    Sorry to go against the touchy-feely grain (again), but imho, being a good leader, just like being a good follower, requires above all technical skill which comes through practice practice practice - this, in turn, makes one more confident and more attractive to others (better posture, smoother movement).
  15. Melvin

    Melvin Tumbao

    I find it kind of hard to believe that there are many leaders, if any, that only think of themselves and don't bother about making the girl feel and look good, such a notion seems absurd.

    What would be the point in dancing salsa, for a male, if he only thought about himself and didn't care about the girl?

    I don't get the logic behind this idea at all, it probably has something to do with a flawed comparison to sex, where selfishness from a man might be a common reality.

    Salsa is very much a partner dance, and there really is no point at all in doing it for a man who doesn't care about his woman.

    It seems like some people are hell bent on blaming a bad lead on some kind of character flaw rather than simple ignorance, lack of training, skill and talent.

    I remember a dance with an advanced follow when I was even more of beginner than now. I could tell she expected me to lead her "properly", give her space to do her styling things and whatever she expected of me. Sure, fine, but I just didn't know how to do all these things for her, I only had my damned boring patterns that I could NOT leave without getting totally lost.

    During the dance she repeatedly gave me angry surprised looks like I was leading her badly because I was stupid or selfish. And I do get the feeling that lot's of follows out there actually react the same way. It's one of the reasons I avoid asking advanced follows to dance. I don't need a bad reputation, and constantly excusing myself during a dance is not an option. Everybody seems to hate hearing excuses at the dance floor.

    We all do the best we can, too bad some of us simply aren't that good yet or haven't got much of a clue about how to get it right. It doesn't make us narcissist or self centered inconsiderate bastards.
  16. himji

    himji Sonero

    Ok, I'm going to throw a wild and uneducated theory out and suggest that maybe a good lead is one that enjoys himself so much on the dancefloor that everybody around can't help but have a great time? Of course, you need to couple that with being confident with the moves you do and be dancing with somebody that has either personality or a soul
  17. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    This is great everyone. Appreciate everyone's opinion (and learnt about the styles of learning eg. Sweavo's post. Thanks!)

    However, there are actions that make a good lead:

    eg. keeping a girl on balance/not disrupting her balance etc etc

    BUT also

    any similar behavioural traits in these leads. As I said, I find the guys mostly introspective/deeper folks. Or maybe that is just me.

    Without doubt though, the best leads I have heard girls rave about have all danced A LOT. Anyone know any GREAT butter leads that have not danced long. I think this puts into perspective the dedication required for the art :)
  18. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator



    Good point. I think both sexes really have to remember that the other person is doing their best and not trying to make life harder for you. (I am SOOO guilty of this).

    I remember afterwards but at the time sometimes in my head I am like 'are you TRYING to rip my arms off' lol :)

    *but I usually have a good laugh with those ladies as they seem to enjoy the dance (perhaps they were wrestlers in a past life :) )
  19. Melvin

    Melvin Tumbao

    Another thing often misunderstood from followers, this eye contact and smiling thing.

    Of course it's important, but for me as a beginner, it was and often still is very difficult to look into the eyes of a beautiful woman and get my moves right at the same time.

    Eye contact is a strong form of communication, and can be absolutely overwhelming. Whenever I'm doing something new and difficult, I must block my partner out emotionally to be able to perform.

    It's not a lack of interest, it's exactly the opposite.
  20. JonesNikka

    JonesNikka Rhythm Deputy

    I personally enjoy this type of quotes and quips. Easy to remember, and actually quite clear in their meanings. Both of them passed on by teachers with more than 20 years of teaching experience, so they are hard to refute as "vague".

    If, dear opm1s6, you need a more concise explanation, let us say that if you are the leader, you should remember that, you have the luxury of "knowing" what you want to do, therefore you should offer every possible advantage to your follower to see what you are doing so she can do her part comfortably. The best way you can figure if you are doing well at this is to actually look at her and see if she is comfortable and having a good time. This has very little to do with advanced patterns or fancy technique. Some leaders in the beginner class are in these respects, better than some advanced class leaders.

    Four pretty good ideas indeed (credit to sweavo). I could give you a couple of extra ones to think about: A great leader will:
    - Show the follower what he is doing, not what he wants her to do.
    - Be able to deal with her creativity without compromising the couple's comfort.
    - Be able to adapt to the style of any follower.
    - Keep the follower safe and comfortable.

    Tanks, spotcat, for bringing up a very important point.

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