So guys, please don’t get me wrong, we LOVE dancing with you, and love it even more when you ask us to take the floor, especially if it’s our favourite dance. We are so happy you dance!
BUT, there is something that you do that we don’t like. At all. And we want you to stop.
Actually, it’s not your fault. It’s a problem with the English language and it all comes down to the word “LEAD” – an important aspect of Ballroom and Latin American dance.
Here’s the problem – we dislike being pushed. Or pulled – or – if you move our bodies in any way along the dance floor. It puts us off balance, it makes us feel heavy (to us and to you), and sometimes, if you hold us close as you do it, it makes it impossible for us to take a step. We can even feel trapped.
Most of the time we know you might not know you are doing it. So – here’s what we do like. Master these and you’ll have ladies lining up to dance with you at your next social event.
- Never push or pull us. If you feel her weight in your hand on our back, then you need to release it. Your hand should move with her back, and not move her back.
- Leading is a misleading word. Try not to think of ‘taking your dog for a walk’ kind of leading but rather initiating the movement in your body, so your partner can react, on her own feet. Ah, bliss!
- Let your partner decide how close she wishes to dance with you. NEVER, ever clutch her into you. She can’t move.
- Establish your own balance and momentum, and don’t use her for either.
Moving this way is not something we learn to do overnight. Take some private lessons if you need to.
And, yes, we’d love that Waltz.
Monica Fincham is the Principal of Dancesport Kingdom in Lilydale, Melbourne, Australia. Her dance studio offers beginners and social dances a chance to learn and practice in a friendly, encouraging environment – and her goal is to maximise enjoyment for every couple so that dance feels amazing. Find out about private lessons here.