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What is The Role Of A Good Follower On The Dance Floor?

Updated: May 13

three couples dancing in a class setting
Dancing in a partnership can be a WONDERFUL experience!

"I always end up leading."

This is the most commonly heard statement at the start of my journey with a new couple. When those words are spoken, the Leader usually nods quietly, and the Follow usually details times where they've gone dancing, and the roles needed to be reversed.

It's easy to tell that those experiences weren't great for either person, and it quickly becomes my main priority to explain to each person how they can best perform their own responsibilities in the partnership.

First, and foremost: It's important to understand that being a Follow is HARD!

Following isn't just a skill; it's an art form. Imagine handing over the keys to a precious, one-of-a-kind car and trusting someone else to navigate its journey without a hitch... That's the essence of Following – entrusting your movements to the guidance of your dance partner.

As a Follower, your dance is a harmonious blend of musicality and responsiveness. Think of it this way: if the Leader is the beat, you provide the melody, creating a visual symphony that mirrors the music you hear. Or to say it another way, the two of you together become what music LOOKS like!

Follows: central to your role is responsiveness. Your movements should complement the Leader's frame, striking a delicate balance between presence and lightness. Think of your arms as extensions of the music – connected but never overbearing. "The skin of your arms should touch. The bones of your arms should not."

In the dance partnership, while the Leader plans ahead, your focus as the Follow is on the present pattern. Every step is an opportunity to infuse your unique expression, whether it's extending a leg, elongating your neck, or refining your arm movements. Embrace each moment on the dance floor and make it your own.

This next part is tough for many Follows to hear, but it's important that you do:

Teaching a Leader how to lead YOU doesn’t teach a Leader to lead. Instead, try to follow what is being lead, as it’s being lead, even if that means doing a pattern incorrectly. This allows the Leader to experience the results of their lead, and gives them the chance to see, in real-time, the “If this, then that” response. In time, you will have for more enjoyable dance experiences if you approach each dance this way.

It's tempting to want to guide the Leader, but true mastery lies in allowing them to lead. By trusting the Lead in real-time, you allow the Leader to refine their technique and experience the magic of mutual collaboration.

Your role as the Follow is not to be subservient. It is to be conversational. Demonstrating phsycial call-and-response.

To accelerate your growth as a follower, dance with a variety of leaders. Each partner offers a new perspective and a chance to expand your repertoire of movements and techniques.

At Christifer Duxbury Dance Collective, we approach the role of the follower with dedication and passion. If you're seeking an environment that nurtures your dance journey, we invite you to join us today!

Don't keep this wisdom to yourself – share it with your dance community and let's spread positive growth on every dance floor!

Looking to enhance your leadership skills? Explore our companion post: "What is the Role of a Good Leader on the Dance Floor"

Have thoughts to share or questions to ask? Leave a comment below or reach out to us via our Contact Us page:

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May 15

Always a joy to read! Thanks for the tips and tricks!

Replying to

Thanks so much! Glad to hear that you're enjoying the blog so far!

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