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What Is The Role Of A Good Leader On The Dance Floor?

Updated: Apr 28

In the dynamic realm of dance lessons, dance instructors and coaches often impart a myriad of techniques to empower Leaders. Yet, grasping the fundamentals of a Leader's role is paramount before really diving into these nuances!

A couple dancing. The leader is facing the camera, and the follow is backing the camera, with long blond hair moving to the side
A strong frame encourages clear communication!

Let's explore what it truly means to be a Leader in dance classes, social dances, and performances:

At the core, a dance Leader assumes the mantle of an architect, crafting a sequence of steps to be executed on the dance floor. They serve as the strategic navigator, ensuring a safe and artistic route for both dancers while maintaining a safe dance floor for fellow dancers.

A Leader who takes the time to practice is one who can be trusted to be anticipating movements several steps ahead. A Leader strives to communicate seamlessly with their partner, providing ample time for responses and adjustments. This partnership is a dance all on its own. A delicate dance of mutual understanding, where the Leader doesn't dictate(!) but orchestrates a collaborative conversation with the Follow.

Visualize the dance partnership as a painter and canvas, where the Leader wields the brush while the Follow adds vibrant strokes of movement. Together, they breathe life into the movement, each indispensable in the creation of a mesmerizing tableau.

To grasp the essence of true leadership in dance, it's essential to dispel misconceptions. A Leader is not a domineering figure but a facilitator of shared expression, embracing the fluidity of partnership. They navigate errors with grace, fostering resilience and adaptability on the dance floor.

Moreover, and incredibly importantly, a Leader cherishes a Follow's creativity, inviting playful exchanges that enrich the dance experience. Rather than stifling individual artistry, they celebrate the diverse perspectives each partner brings to the floor, fostering a dynamic interplay of movement and expression.

Please note the deliberate lack of gender references in this post (with the exception of the image used)! While it may be traditional for men to be Leaders and women to be Follows, our world is so much bigger and richer than that narrow paradigm. When you allow the art to be the art, and the artist to be the artist, magic happens. And for those of you who are learning both roles: There is nothing more powerful on the dance floor than an "ambidancerous" dancer!

Of course, many teachers will have many different opinions on the matter, but in lessons with Christifer Duxbury, this is how the Leader's role is approached. If this sounds like the environment for you, please get in touch today!

Please take a moment to share this post with your dance friends, and let see some positive growth on each and every dance floor!

Want a deeper understanding of the role of the Follow? Stay tuned!

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