Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What a lady needs to know abour social dancing

Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking. ~John Wayne

Girls respond. Period. Women - we do NOT INTITATE ANYTHING IN SOCIAL/BALLROOM DANCING. Ever. Ever. You follow. You respond. This doesn't mean you just stand there like a limp rag, but you are actively following - leaning back just enough so that you can feel where he is moving. And no back leading just because you know the step. You have to stop anticipating and let him lead.

Lemme say it again: let... him... lead.

The lady's responsibility is to stay on beat - no matter what goofy thing he does, even if you step on him.

It's hard for a guy to lead, particularly when the woman is fighting. When I first started ballroom dancing, I fought Zorro (my now former dance instructor) for about 3 weeks. Coming out of belly dance, I'm used to almost everything coming in a sequence of 2s, 3s or 4s. So I would constantly be anticipating a set of moves. "Let me lead," he would remind me. "Strengthen your frame. Push against me like you're trying to keep me from kissing you."

It's a good thing he isn't the Army Guy dance instructor. I wouldn't be fighting too hard... he's hot. He's also very married with a newborn. *mind returns to reality*

OK, so, I finally made the mental connection to how to follow. And my dancing greatly improved. And the guys I dance with seem to have more fun when they don't have to struggle with me as far as where the dance is going on the floor. We can zig-zag across the room. We can stay in one spot.

Oh, yes, your other responsibilty - look fabulous. Much of what the man does is to make the lady look good.