Salsa leaders - your golden rules

#41
HF said:
Some random thoughts:
<snip>
- Also practise patterns alone with an imaginary follow. If you can imagine a move in detail your body can dance it (almost).
Must remember to start doing this again. ;)

String theory (from rjoe?) - for good posture, imagine a string going all the way through your body, up through your head. Them imagine someone pulling that string up so that you are nice and tall. (works for all Salser@s)
 

azzey

Son Montuno
#43
Principles of good leadership:

* Rapport: Focus on building rapport with your partner the instant you connect with the eyes or touch and throughout the dance.

Rapport is one of the most important characteristics of unconscious human interaction and can majorly effect the quality of your dance. There are a number of techniques which are useful in establishing or improving it:

- Subtly match body language (posture, gestures, expression).
- Match amount and timing of eye contact.
- Match breathing rhythm with her. Extend this idea from basics into moves (think of 123 as breathing in and 567 breathing out or vice versa).
- Be in-sync/on the same wavelength as the person with whom you are communicating. Synchronise all your movements/moves with hers.
- Emphasise harmony over complexity in your leading.
- Recognise and match their emotional state. Excited, romantic, cool etc.
- Aim for mutual acceptance of each other. Good AND bad qualities.
- Develop a good attitude and intent. A genuine interest in her and her view of the world. See it from her point of view (know the followers role) but accept that sometimes things don't work out and it's nobodys fault.
- Aim for a commonality of perspective (meet her half way there).
- Begin with the end in mind "a wonderful experience" for all.

Lead by making a small non-matching change in your own non-verbal behaviour during the dance. e.g. Grin, wink, lean in, pull away. If they follow/respond (do something similar without you touching them), then you probably have rapport. If not go back to matching and try again with something else. Make it subtle, responses should be at the subconscious level.

* Connection is king! Connection starts with rapport...

* Lead first with rapport (without touching), synchronise naturally to each others movements. Then connect physically and lead through touch AND rapport, now you're so connected that everything just flows.

* In leading, seek first to understand then to be understood. Listen first and continue listening while you're talking!

* Self-control. Do not try to control others, you can only control yourself and thereby influence others by your example.

* Unity: Once you have developed rapport, aim for unity with your partner. Match styling and moves. Create symmetry with your partner. To outsiders you will look like a couple for the 5 minutes of the dance.

* Express your voice in your leading. Reach inside to your feelings of the music, mix and interact with the feelings of your partner through your connection. Groove with them both! Match your leading so all three of you flow together. You, your partner and the feeling of the music.
 
#45
Flex said:
azzey said:
Principles of good leadership:

* Rapport: Focus on building rapport with your partner......
I like this post!
Me too :) it nicely puts into writing my vague and incomplete ideas on the subject of connection. I try to put it into practice most times, but lack the dancing maturity to always succeed – the more experienced you are the better it gets though.

For me it also includes the ability to deal with and process a lot of other information (floor craft, music, mood etc.) and lead the best and most appropriate dance in such a situation.
 
#46
One other reason why it's a good thing to lay blame at the feet of the leader:

Following takes a great deal of trust. And beginners especially have a difficult time dealing with this. Fellow beginning leaders don't earn the trust because they are clearly rough. And advanced leaders are scary. She doesn't know if he's going to do something that she isn't capable of doing. So it's only natural for her to feel some apprehension no matter who she dances with. When I convince a beginner/improver level follower that any screw up is my fault, I often quite literally see a weight lift from her shoulders. She lights up and almost instantly dances better. She relaxes, she doesn't kill the momentum, and she just let's the moves happen. The overall attitude of the dance becomes more enjoyable for both of us.

Once she knows that I'm not going to ridicule her or think badly of her for screw ups, she starts to trust me. And that makes her a much better dancer. Sure, she knows when it's really her fault, even though I take the blame, but when I tell her that it's always my fault she knows that I'm going to do everything that I can to make sure she doesn't feel bad when something does go wrong. It's not the responsibility that she fears, but someone embarrasing her about it.

It always seems to work out better if I take the blame, even if it truly is her fault.

What matters isn't what happened in the past, but what will happen in the future.
 

azzey

Son Montuno
#47
AndrewD said:
Flex said:
azzey said:
Principles of good leadership:

* Rapport: Focus on building rapport with your partner......
I like this post!
Me too :) it nicely puts into writing my vague and incomplete ideas on the subject of connection. I try to put it into practice most times, but lack the dancing maturity to always succeed – the more experienced you are the better it gets though.

For me it also includes the ability to deal with and process a lot of other information (floor craft, music, mood etc.) and lead the best and most appropriate dance in such a situation.
Thanks. Now that I read it again, it is a bit dry and technical... not the way I like to dance at all.

Think of it in the context of flirting. When you like someone you flirt with them and this is a technical description of what goes on subconsciously when that happens.

Some people can do this naturally with everyone they like. It helps to be aware of it and gives some points to work on to achieve that state all the time.

If you can bypass this and go straight to emotional connection with your partner it will usually happen naturally.

I agree with Boriken in 'the hands' thread:

borikensalsero said:
It is not so much as the technique as it is the meaning behind the lead transformed into emotional touch. The ability to lead emotions with the mere touch of a hand: that is the key to the absolute perfect lead.
 
#48
Somethings that also could help...

1. Adjuste your level to your follow (i know i repeat others but it's VERY important)

2. Adjust your size of steps (it goes for both dancers)

3. Mostly on parties dance floor is crowded, so people try to avoid stepping on other peoples feet and simillar. - DON'T try to put through some move that needs more space then you have, and if you still try - DON'T pull followers arms in last moment like crazy. That hurts! Rather do basic or some simple move, or even stop to avoid the crush.

4. Don't forget to look at person your dancing with (and smile please) but also be careful and wach around. Please don't give her bored or bad looks if she can't do something. That's rude and can hurt the person (just like stepping on her feet)
 
#49
here's a couple of things that I have learned that has made my dancing far more fluid.

1. I'm a tall guy and so I used to have a tendency to think that when i went into a two handed turn on 567, I needed to shrug or somehow compensate for my height, when in fact, by moving my hands in a higher position the follower will be just fine in raising her hands an extra 6 inches (i'm not Shaq after all). I never really realized this until I saw myself in a mirror and immediately once i focused on my comfort and not hers on my turns, I gained precious time that made everything smoother and let me prepare sooner for the next move. Everything became fluid, well until I hit my next bad habit...

2. Keep the wrists together! On any two handed turns, do your best to keep the wrists together if you can. You have to focus on it to do it naturally, but it’s key.

3. When you're turning try to focus on keeping your top/pivot hand with the palm up as much as possible through the turn. The follower has to put just a slight pressure there, but it helps to keep the palm up as often as you can.

4. Don't take too big of steps or strafe to one direction in turns on your 6. Another one of the habits I used to have was taking big steps on 6, which is a problem especially when you're talking a 567 side to side, walking in the same direction, or if you're turning. In either situation you'll just make it uncomfortable when you have to adjust.

5. You should be able to spin the girl, with only one finger, the middle finger, but I never use my thumb and in some moves, you can actually hurt the follower.

6. In spinning her, fore-arm should be parallel with the floor and about an inch above her head. Most girls like to think they're angels, so let's just assume you're following a halo over their heads. Small, consistent circles is a requirement of proper spinning. If you're shorter and can't have your arm parallel to the floor, you have to make sure that at least the halo is parallel, even if the arm is not.

7. Keep the hands up when you get out of a turn and are planning for another turn. Lots of beginners, after they spin their partners on 123, drop their hand/hands on 4 and then on 567 raise them again for their own turns. Just keep them up and you buy yourself precious milliseconds that make it all come together.


that's all i can think of for now and I hope it helps.
 
#50
Yeah, connect with partner, music, but don't ever forget to connect with the dance floor. Probably the most important and hardest thing really...
 
#52
Well a real answer would be increidibly long and it's something you want to figure out for yourself. But I'll give you some quick examples:
Beginner-Weight exchange
Intermediate-Dancing into the floor, not on top of it
Advanced- Grounded

It's a very layered thing and if you go back and look at some of the quasi mystical answers given in previous post it's a good bet it's connecting with the floor.
 
#54
:nope: :nope: :nope: :nope: :nope:

***Cut the extra movements...... too much wiggling around and body swaying and arm flapping makes you look like a flopping fish trying to get back in the watter!!! Not something you want to look like on the dance floor...

***Don't drink too much!!!!---- need I say more!

***Bring a Towel to wipe off the sweat! if you don't know this by now, well then you will just have to learn it the hard way..

***Don't try and ask out every girl you dance with!!!! you will just come across as creapy!:raisebrow:


:eek:*********DO NOT TRY AND COP A FEEL**********:eek:
keep the hands off the red zones...... look, don't touch!!
 
#56
I can really never add anything technical to this sort of question... I'm wondering if it is because I can't dance. :D

Anyways... Here are things I keep in mind when I'm dancing in attempts to make the dance as smooth and pleseant for the lady as I can.

- Relax the body and mind then embrace with your soul.
- Mold palms to the contour of the lady's body part you are about to touch.
- Before touching her for a lead, think of touching a sleeping baby and at the same time attempting not to wake him/her up.
- The energy to create that lead starts at the core, think of a rush of energy coming from the core and then gently transfering at the point of the lead into her, causing her to react to the subtlest of touch.
- Look into her eyes just before that lead creating a sense that all your intentions of making her yours will come together when the lead gets there.
- breath profoundly when there is a deep eye connection.
- If not looking into her eyes at time of lead, then make sure you look into her eyes when she is finished and embrace her with your eyes and most caring touch you can.
- Elongate the touch of hands.
- Breath using the stomach.

and on and on and on...
this really good stuff!
 
#57
06-03-2008
04-23-2009
08-12-2010
11-04-2011

This thread gets a post ~once a year :) I'm glad it got bumped, nice thread.

- don't elbow her in the face twice (most girls will let you get away with one :))

The most important quality is to have fun. You can make mistakes, not know a million patterns, get out of sync, but as long as you have a good attitude, smile and have fun, and (this is really the key) make your partner also feel the same, it's all good.

I see beginners having more fun learning to dance as they fumble than jaded pros executing complex moves and just going thru the motions with a bored look in their eyes.
 
#58
The most important quality is to have fun. You can make mistakes, not know a million patterns, get out of sync, but as long as you have a good attitude, smile and have fun, and (this is really the key) make your partner also feel the same, it's all good.

I see beginners having more fun learning to dance as they fumble than jaded pros executing complex moves and just going thru the motions with a bored look in their eyes.
That is why I dance with so many beginners. They are hvaing fun.

I would say connecting with your partner is number 1 for me.
 

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