What is a Leader?

In ballroom dancing, the one leading will be communicating the precise patterns and movements of the dance.
Whether you are dancing the foxtrot, tango, or even the west coast swing. Leading is an essential element to any competitive or social dance. Leading allows the dance partners to move and maneuver across the dance floor without any specific or particular cues from outside sources such as music or your dance instructor’s choreography.

Tips to Being a Better Leader in Ballroom Dancing

  • Let Your Body Do the Leading

– A common mistake in leading is attempting to lead with your hands and arms, which can cause unnecessary jerking and can be uncomfortable to your dance partner that is following you. When you are about to take a step, train your brain to think about moving your body before you take the step. With a steady and strong frame, your dance partner will be able to react to your movement more effectively when you lead properly with your body.

  • Keep a Steady Frame

– Your frame for ballroom dancing should be strong, firm and steady all times. Weak frames creates a poor connection between you and your dance partner.
Use the tips below help you create and maintain a strong frame for ballroom dancing:

  1. Stand up Straight
  2. Suck In That Gut
  3. Roll Back Your Shoulders
  4. Raise Your Right Elbow
  5. Firmly Place Your Right Hand On Your Dance Partner’s Shoulder Blade
  • Plan Out Your Steps

– Without proper planning and thinking through your dance steps, chaos on the dance floor is eminent. If you lose confidence and hesitate with where to move next, your dance partner will more than likely attempt to overcompensate and begin to take over and lead the dance. As a leader, you must be precise, clear and effectively broadcast your intentions your dance partner.

  • Relax

– Grasp your dance partner’s hand but don’t squeeze hard. Your dance partner should feel just enough pressure from you without causing discomfort or delay to the next dance step.

  • Know Your Role

– In modern day ballroom dancing, there is no need to conform to any specific gender role. Women can take the lead in dancing just as any man can. The main thing to remember is to communicate before the dance who is leading and who will be doing the following.

Tune in next month as we discuss what it means to be a great follower in ballroom dancing

Want to know more about what it takes to be a great leader and follower in dancing?
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