What makes a favourite lead/follow?

Jag75

Son Montuno
#21
One thing I find important on leading is making sure it's light, generally using just the fingers when open or a light frame where the hands are lightly clasped whilst closed, and ensuring that moves are executed not just using the arms but using the whole body, and making the movements in the right direction at the exact right time.

It is hard to describe though it all just comes down to experience and being open to feedback. I always encourage my follower to let me know if there's anything they feel I could improve in my lead and I feel that that's important.
 
#22
Salsaonline,

I think what Peach means is that she the guy does not need to try to lead all the moves he knows (ie his dance resume) in the period (short) they dance together.

salsaonline said:
Anyway, Peach said something that intrigued me: Essentially something along the lines of "I don't want your dance resume, I just want to dance with you."

I must be in a totally different dance environment than most of the people here, because I can't quite figure out what the guy would be doing to elicit that complaint. Are people asking you to dance and then describing their dance training on the dance floor? That's so weird and anti-social on their part.
 
#23
Human contact.

This means we are mutually responsive. It means I get something back, that I am dancing with that individual not her moves. It means when I throw something out there she picks it up and turns it round and throws it right back. It means she's throwing out stuff that I can pick up on and that inspires me to throw something back. It means she has picked up a shovel and we are both heaping coal into the furnace that powers the great steamship of salsa joy. Ok I got carried away at the end there.
 
#24
A favourite follow ...

is delighted to see me
pays attention to my lead when we dance
stays on time
enjoys herself as much as I do when we're dancing, and shows it
is nice to hold and light to lead
has a naughty streak and teases a bit
laughs when I tease her a bit (not talking about verbal teasing here - but teasing within the dance: play.

Age immaterial, level anything from improver up, size and shape within a comfortable range to lead, dressed and shod for dancing

I'm happy to say that I have quite a few (see thread on salsa crushes ... 8) )
 
#25
sweavo said:
Human contact.

It means she has picked up a shovel and we are both heaping coal into the furnace that powers the great steamship of salsa joy. Ok I got carried away at the end there.
Love the metaphor :!: If only salsa had been around at the time of the Industrial Revolution :)
 
#26
I just like a guy who's good at his chosen niche.

If it's a musical guy, I loooooooove when he can not only hit the breaks himself, but lead ME into hitting the breaks. Those are the best b/c I don't have to think about hijacking to get my hit in. :lol:

If it's a pattern guy, I looooooove when I get unfamiliar moves that I can follow as if I knew them already.

If it's a smooth guy, I just love being able to feel like I'm floating through the dance.
 
#28
TheBear_CanDanceToo said:
What about when it's a musically smooth guy with loads of fresh patterns that hit the breaks perfectly!?! 8)
I honestly can't say that I've had that. I see that perhaps my sights should be set across the pond. 8)

That would be totally interesting to experience though. My musical favorites tend to be hecka fun, high energy dancers. Hecka fun guys don't tend to be notably smooth.
 
#29
peachexploration said:
That's a great article Salsero and it's pretty much on point as to what a follow doesn't like. My only thoughts and wishes are that both sides, leads and follows, come to each dance with a clean slate. Meaning, it is not a competition, you against me, us against them, don't do this, don't do that. Let's just dance. Leave out the teaching on the dancing floor, let go of your egos and just ENJOY the DANCE. Having said that, I must say because of those reasons, I prefer most times to dance with a lead who has never had classes. For them, it's about the joy of dancing and socializing. Not about moves and spins. Just the enjoyment of dance. :)

great refreshing post :)
 
#30
vin said:
Timing, my favourite follows have a good sense of timing

Styling, My favourite follows style but they never let there styling get in the way of the lead/follow connection

Flirtation, They also like to flirt a little bit, not too much and not in a trashy way as some girls do, but in a more subdued way. There are moments dancing with some of them that I want to proclaim my undying affection for them.

Humility, my favourite follows never get that dissapointed look when we make a mistake, at first they always apologize, until they realize that I am not concerned with "getting it right" and instead concerned with "getting it good".

Sense of humor, they always are ready to laugh. Dancing with them does not feel like I am being scrutinized with every cross body lead or spin. I can do something silly and they laugh rather than get embarrased.

Edit: I forgot the most important element,
Trust, when dancing with a woman I can tell when she trusts me, and when I have gained trust in a woman the dance is much better. She has to trust me to showcase her, not hurt her, and not run her into other dancers. I have to trust her to not create extra space, not try and force extra spins into a movement, and to trust me.

well said, I want to dance with your favourite dancers too :)
 
#31
Brownskin818 said:
TheBear_CanDanceToo said:
What about when it's a musically smooth guy with loads of fresh patterns that hit the breaks perfectly!?! 8)
I honestly can't say that I've had that. I see that perhaps my sights should be set across the pond. 8)

That would be totally interesting to experience though. My musical favorites tend to be hecka fun, high energy dancers. Hecka fun guys don't tend to be notably smooth.

Working at it, see you soon ;)




*actually interesting to see which category if any I would fall into. Funny to see what you feel are your strengths eg shines. leading. musicality.

vs what girls feel are your strengths (may be different)

:)
 
#32
Flex said:
A favourite follow ...

is delighted to see me
pays attention to my lead when we dance
stays on time
enjoys herself as much as I do when we're dancing, and shows it
is nice to hold and light to lead
has a naughty streak and teases a bit
laughs when I tease her a bit (not talking about verbal teasing here - but teasing within the dance: play.

Age immaterial, level anything from improver up, size and shape within a comfortable range to lead, dressed and shod for dancing

I'm happy to say that I have quite a few (see thread on salsa crushes ... 8) )

Nice, may I add 'carries her own weight so well you would think that she created herself!'
 
#34
Flujo said:
What makes a favourite follower?

11. She motivates you to keep improving (by being a pleasure to dance with) because you want her to continue to enjoy dancing with you and you'd like to grow with her as a dancer
12. You dance with her maybe once a month but always remember your last dance with her

That's it for now.

love it !!!
 
#35
Wow, my favorite leads? Not just aspects of dancers that I appreciate? Hmmmm. My favorites are
1. ones who dance to and with the music--they're on time, they are paying attention to the feeling of the song, they are also paying attention to the other dancers nearby and making sure i'm not doing a CBL with spins into another couple. I like to feel taken-care of while dancing, so that I'm not afraid for my life or the un-brokenness of my bones.
2. I love it when the lead pays attention to me as we're both shining too...it shows that he's still dancing with me, and isn't too self-absorbed/showboating/self-conscious.
3. One of my latest favorites to dance with had me doing combinations that would have made no sense, if i were to stop and think about each part of the move, but as sweavo mentioned, trusting him, i was able to really dance through a new-to-me combination. So I guess that combination of instilling trust in the follow, so I'm not second-guessing every cue, or moving fearfully through the slot. I love to realize mid-way through the dance that I'm no longer thinking, but am really attuned to the lead & the music, and am just dancing. I lose sense of whether I'm being watched or where the other couples are (see above), and just keep dancing.
4. I appreciate a healthy dose of humility in a lead, which shows up not only in how they talk to me on or off the floor, but how they ask for a dance, respond to my asking him for a dance, and also in how they lead.
5. Getting little bits of feedback in the dance is fun too--just those tiny comments, "wow!" "great" or "hey!" are so fun, and make me feel like I'm a special follow (I try to pretend they don't say those things to other follows, just me). I appreciate when they laugh or comment back to me if I make one of those comments, or point out that I got busted for mis-reading a cue, etc.
6. He's taller than me & leads spins efficiently and clearly. (i'm tall, and find it's hard enough for guys to lead spins well, let alone lead a taller girl efficiently and clearly).

That's all I can think of for now. Put it all together, and what have you got? all of my favorite leads in some combination of these 6 things. ;)
 
#36
catarina said:
Wow, my favorite leads? Not just aspects of dancers that I appreciate? Hmmmm. My favorites are
1. ones who dance to and with the music--they're on time, they are paying attention to the feeling of the song, they are also paying attention to the other dancers nearby and making sure i'm not doing a CBL with spins into another couple. I like to feel taken-care of while dancing, so that I'm not afraid for my life or the un-brokenness of my bones.
2. I love it when the lead pays attention to me as we're both shining too...it shows that he's still dancing with me, and isn't too self-absorbed/showboating/self-conscious.
3. One of my latest favorites to dance with had me doing combinations that would have made no sense, if i were to stop and think about each part of the move, but as sweavo mentioned, trusting him, i was able to really dance through a new-to-me combination. So I guess that combination of instilling trust in the follow, so I'm not second-guessing every cue, or moving fearfully through the slot. I love to realize mid-way through the dance that I'm no longer thinking, but am really attuned to the lead & the music, and am just dancing. I lose sense of whether I'm being watched or where the other couples are (see above), and just keep dancing.
4. I appreciate a healthy dose of humility in a lead, which shows up not only in how they talk to me on or off the floor, but how they ask for a dance, respond to my asking him for a dance, and also in how they lead.
5. Getting little bits of feedback in the dance is fun too--just those tiny comments, "wow!" "great" or "hey!" are so fun, and make me feel like I'm a special follow (I try to pretend they don't say those things to other follows, just me). I appreciate when they laugh or comment back to me if I make one of those comments, or point out that I got busted for mis-reading a cue, etc.
6. He's taller than me & leads spins efficiently and clearly. (i'm tall, and find it's hard enough for guys to lead spins well, let alone lead a taller girl efficiently and clearly).

That's all I can think of for now. Put it all together, and what have you got? all of my favorite leads in some combination of these 6 things. ;)

nice

2 and 5 I like especially.

2 because a friend told me last week. Are you dancing with me (in a shine where I pulled off a triple spin yay ha ha). This week we danced and I shined with her and she thanked me after saying SOOO much better for her and with connection (even though no triple spin, probably only a single if that ha ha)

5. ABSOLUTELY!!! Cannot help myself sometimes I am just WOW, that was cool he he
 
#37
^^^^^
An entire page of your own replies! You are something else Rod but I love you still...in a SF sort of way. :)

What makes a favourite follow is a woman that...
...is a great listener - no matter how loud the music is, you never have to shout. (with your lead).
...makes you feel so comfortable with being yourself that she is the only person that exists when you dance and you want to please her with every movement.
...you don't need to dance with more than once or twice in the same night because you can ride the high until the next no matter how far off it is - you also want to bring something new the next time because she IS why you dance! (i.e. followers like her)
 
#38
Flujo said:
^^^^^
An entire page of your own replies! You are something else Rod but I love you still...in a SF sort of way. :)

What makes a favourite follow is a woman that...
...is a great listener - no matter how loud the music is, you never have to shout. (with your lead).
...makes you feel so comfortable with being yourself that she is the only person that exists when you dance and you want to please her with every movement.
...you don't need to dance with more than once or twice in the same night because you can ride the high until the next no matter how far off it is - you also want to bring something new the next time because she IS why you dance! (i.e. followers like her)
Very nice. Applies to me too.
 
#39
Flujo said:
^^^^^
An entire page of your own replies! You are something else Rod but I love you still...in a SF sort of way. :)

What makes a favourite follow is a woman that...
...is a great listener - no matter how loud the music is, you never have to shout. (with your lead).
...makes you feel so comfortable with being yourself that she is the only person that exists when you dance and you want to please her with every movement.
...you don't need to dance with more than once or twice in the same night because you can ride the high until the next no matter how far off it is - you also want to bring something new the next time because she IS why you dance! (i.e. followers like her)

Very nice!!!
 

MacMoto

Administrator
Staff member
#40
I've been thinking about this question for a while, and I think what makes my favourite leaders is down to something quite simple: I like guys I feel I can follow well. The guys on my "favourite leaders" list are ones that make me feel I've had a good dance almost every time I dance with them. I'm not sure if these are guys who are good at adjusting to the way I follow, or if their lead simply matches my following habit - maybe a bit of both? If the leader is also playful and has a similar feel for music to mine, that's a bonus. But there are many great leaders who have a nice personality, a sense of fun and wonderful musicality but not on my fave list simply because I personally can't follow them well enough to feel good at the end of the song.
 

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