View Poll Results: What is your preference

Voters
24. You may not vote on this poll
  • I prefer a light lead

    14 58.33%
  • I prefer a strong lead

    1 4.17%
  • I prefer a strong follower

    3 12.50%
  • I prefer a light follower

    9 37.50%
  • I prefer my follower to tell me if my lead is too strong

    7 29.17%
  • I prefer my lead to tell me if my follow is too strong or light

    8 33.33%
  • If my lead hurts me I will just ignore it and dont dance with him again

    5 20.83%
  • What is all the fuss about ??????

    0 0%
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Thread: Strong or Light ??

  1. #21
    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post

    I'm not sure how "Strong" is being used here - does it mean "forceful"?

    I haven't taken it as meaning forceful.

    I've tried to answer the poll but I don't understand how a follow can be too light, if she's following what the leads intended?

    As I said before, I like a lead to adjust their lead, acording to whats required and if its fast music with more intricate changes of direction etc, then I'll prefur a stronger lead, if its soft flowey music, then I'd like a soft flowey lead

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  2. #22
    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I haven't taken it as meaning forceful.
    Yes - that's the impression I took also.

    And I'm not keen on "strong" as meaning "forceful". It can, ahem, lead to a situation where leaders get all wishy-washy and provide ambiguous leads, because they think that a "strong" (= "clear") lead is somehow wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I've tried to answer the poll but I don't understand how a follow can be too light, if she's following what the leads intended?
    I'm not sure, in Modern Jive at least.

    In Tango, a follower who provided no resistance at all would be too "light".

    So maybe it's a follower who zooms off at the slightest touch - something like that?

  3. #23
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
    I have chosen from the poll that if a lead hurts me, I'll say nothing but not dance with them again.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Sounds reasonable.

    Also, if they ask "But why won't you dance with me?", it's then reasonable to explain your reasons, honestly, to that person.
    Yes it is and I do.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Minnie M's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory
    I've tried to answer the poll but I don't understand how a follow can be too light, if she's following what the leads intended?
    Sorry, my fault ...... a light lead is simply when you don't grip or cling on the the leader's hand.

    e.g: You need a stronger follow in Rock 'n Roll, maybe because it is a faster dance, you almost 'smack' the leader's hand when making contact as it is needed for the connection from the lead to direct you to the next move.

    whereas, in West Coast Swing, 'holding-on' or gripping the lead's hand is not necessary and will upset the flow of the dance.

    Modern Jive sits in the middle of the above two

    (hope that makes sense) - I think David Baily explained it more clearly

    PS: David Barker is the master of the light lead, you can even "Shadow" dance with him (when hands don't even touch)
    Last edited by Minnie M; 25th-October-2010 at 07:59 PM.


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  5. #25
    Registered User jive-vee's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I haven't taken it as meaning forceful.
    Yep, I didn't take strong to mean forceful either. A clear lead can be strong or light but to me a forceful lead is one who trys to put me and my body where it doesn't naturally want to be based on the body movement/direction I've been led into. Or one who pulls me out of moves before it's finished or I've settled or pulls me out of turns or tries to turn/spin me more than is comfortable. Or squeezes the life out of my body and/or hand when we dance.

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    Lory (26th-October-2010)

  7. #26
    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie M View Post
    PS: David Barker is the master of the light lead, you can even "Shadow" dance with him (when hands don't even touch)
    I once likened following David B to feeling like a light silk scarf that he was gently and delicately guiding through the air.

  8. #27
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie M View Post
    Sorry, my fault ...... a light lead is simply when you don't grip or cling on the the leader's hand.
    A little confused here. We always teach that one should never (OK - almost never, if I'm to be a bit picky) grip a partner's hand - and I was taught this from the outset in both MJ and Lindy.

    In my own experience, it's quite possible - and not uncommon - to have a very strong and/or rough lead (or follow) with no gripping or clinging involved. It doesn't really work for me as a measure of lightness of lead.

  9. #28
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I prefer to use a light lead but this can depend on the responsiveness of my partner. I will lead as lightly as I can and still direct my partner. Some partners are amazing and can follow with only the slightest of connection [Tiggerbabe springs to mind], others require a bit more assertiveness on my part, but I always aim to be as light yet as clear as possible.

  10. #29
    Senior Member Minnie M's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    A little confused here. We always teach that one should never (OK - almost never, if I'm to be a bit picky) grip a partner's hand - and I was taught this from the outset in both MJ and Lindy.

    In my own experience, it's quite possible - and not uncommon - to have a very strong and/or rough lead (or follow) with no gripping or clinging involved. It doesn't really work for me as a measure of lightness of lead.
    I don't think I explained that very well, sorry -yes of course you are NEVER taught to grip, in ANY dance style, but some followers still do it


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    Mickey Mouse's girlfriend, Minnie, made her film debut, along with Mickey, in "Steamboat Willie" on November 18, 1928.
    That date is recognized as her official birthday.

  11. #30
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Interesting thread! As to a preference i definately prefer a heavier or better connected follower to a light or poorly connected one! Being Heavy and strong or however you want to term it does not mean that they are not very responsive though. I think people would describe some of the best followers as being heavy and yet the truth is they are just totally Connected or look for that connection constantly and yet they have lightening fast responses, Strong connection but move fast! ..... The whole thing for me is about a level of trust.... if i'm connected throughout the dance then when the follow wants to play, change the rythmn, use leverage or vice versa then i/she stands a much better chance of feeling it and more importantly reacting to it if we are connected constantly! So i want to feel the weight of my partners hand at the very least! Constant connection does not translate to leading every part of the pattern or move though.
    Another point, i think people can be Heavy or strong by not fully understanding or engaging their frame and as a consequence they can tend to use their arms more and then the flip side of this is someone who engages their frame beautifully but then is too light in their connection! It's a constant challenge and in my opinion it's the most challenging part of the dances we love....The best tip i got about all this was to establish a good connection before you even start dancing with a partner! The 1st 20 seconds of any dance is arguably the most important 20 seconds of the dance! As with anything if you get a good platform, start well and get on the same page from the off then then you stand a better chance of having that dance or those moments that we all live for.
    Last edited by FoxyFunkster; 26th-October-2010 at 03:06 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes

  12. #31
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I don't think the weight of the follower is linked to how good a dancer they are. A light follow may be a wet fish, and a heavy follow may be wearing concrete shoes. Alternately the heavy follow may be waiting for the clear lead and following it perfectly while the light follow reads the lead instantly and almost telepathically responds perfectly.

    I've danced with all four. My preference is absolutely for the latter, but that obviously doesn't necessarily mean they're always the best dancer, or that other leaders wouldn't prefer something different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I've tried to answer the poll but I don't understand how a follow can be too light, if she's following what the leads intended?
    To use a car analogy, you don't want a car without power steering because you have to physically push the car around a bend. However a car with no feedback from the road at all is just horrible to drive, and potentially dangerous. I would say a follower is too light if there's no physical feedback - how can you have a one-way conversation..

  13. #32
    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by cederic View Post
    Alternately the heavy follow may be waiting for the clear lead and following it perfectly while the light follow reads the lead instantly and almost telepathically responds perfectly.
    Errr, I'm not sure what "heavy" means now...

    If a lead is clear, a good follow will follow that lead, when it is given (and, of course, she'll have been prepped by the relevant pre-lead). A good follow won't hang around and wait for "confirmation", because that's not good following technique.

    The amount of resistance (is that what "heavy" means?) a follower provides will vary of course, but mainly that should be due to the style of dancing.

  14. #33
    Registered User MarkW's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I remember being taught an exercise, on more than one occasion, where the lead and follow place their palms flat against their partner's palms with close to zero force involved. Then, keeping the hands still they gradually push a little harder so the compression increases. Obviously this must stop when someone overpowers the other's strength but, in reality, you'd never go that far. After reaching a maximum comfortable compression then gradually that is reduced with hands still stationary. This cycle can be repeated as desired keeping the compression matched all the time.

    This sometimes then progressed to using a more usual hand arrangement (man's left, lady's right, waist height) and similarly establishing a tension and compression then, once with the follow's eyes closed, the lead tries to lead backwards and forwards smoothly sometimes taking a few steps, sometimes maybe only one step or even a rock step.

    What I have found is that matching the tension/compression that the lady wants seems to produce best results. My natural default is a low tension lead but sometimes that just won't work because more is needed from me to match my partner. I'm sure that they are adjusting to me too.

    On average I find that low tension is almost essential for most beginners as they learn to develop a frame, otherwise they might be hurt as they allow their elbows to lock out forwards or go back behind their body. If someone with no frame wants to dance "heavy" then I find that very awkward and just try to cope. When I dance with more experienced dancers some offer a low tension and some a higher tension.

    So, I prefer low tension/lightness. But matching my partner is the key thing. I find this more difficult the stronger they want to be.

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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    If a lead is clear, a good follow will follow that lead, when it is given (and, of course, she'll have been prepped by the relevant pre-lead). A good follow won't hang around and wait for "confirmation", because that's not good following technique.
    I don't disagree, I just didn't explain it too well. It's hard to describe how some followers kind of wait to be pushed/pulled, rather than interpreting/understanding/responding to a gentle movement. E.g. some followers with a Rock & Roll background demand (verbally!) to be physically pulled into a move. That's a pretty heavy follow, but doesn't necessarily make them a bad follower..

  16. #35
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I would say that the amount of force used to lead your partner depends on them, rather than on you as a lead. If a lady offers you a lot of resistance (within the boundaries of tension/compression, rather than just fighting you) then you will need to apply more force to achieve the same result. If a lady offers very little resistance (again, still following rather than limp lettuce arms) then a very light lead is suitable. Varying the amount of force used is a useful technique to convey certain movements (eg increasing for a sudden stop or when something needs to be extra clear, or decreasing to signal "playtime" to the follower. ) Regardless of the level of force your follow offers, using that as a starting point means that the follow should be able to work out what you want her to do.

    If a lead uses the same amount of force to lead every follow, chances are that he's not actually connected to them. Proper connection requires a balancing of forces between the partners, so that a small variation in that force produces a clear lead signal to the follow without having to resort to shoving her about, and without her standing there watching you waggling her hand, and looking confused

    This is why it can be better to start leading a dance during the walk onto the floor, and starting off with a "springy" move like a travelling return or an octopus gives the lead a chance to feel how much tension the follow is offering, and match it.

  17. Thanks:

    cederic (30th-October-2010)

  18. #36
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I have been told that followers dancing with unclear leaders will result in followers delaying thier follow to be certain of the direction of other leaders.

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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    A light relaxed lead/follow allows you to move more quickly (when you tense, you have to untense the opposing muscles in order to move, this slows your response time (ie boxing))

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  21. #38
    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    I had a dance tonight that made me realise, I don't like a lead that TOO light

    The lead was in time and to all intense purposes correct but it was so 'light', to the point I found it lacked any opportunity for me to 'feed off of it' and create any kind of dynamism.

    I think he was the leading equivalent of spaghetti arms. I followed well (and he complimented me after) but I didn't enjoy the dance, as to me, it felt apathetic and lacking any sort of gusto (I wanted Len to shout.. give it some Welly man!)

    It was the first time I'd danced with this guy and it made me wonder if he was trying to protect an injury, although he didn't saying anything
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    mmm I dont normally like to name people but people that have danced with these guys will hopefully know what i mean. These are just a few i can think off......

    Mr Darcy - light lead, hardly touching you in fact but you know exactly where your being put and if you do go wrong he can just work around you without anyone including me, notice it. Delivery confident

    David Bailey - Also light to the touch but firm in his delivery. When he forces you down you know it but not in an uncomfortable way. When he does tango and I am absolutely amateur at it, he can make it look like you know what your doing, he just flicks ya legs and pushes open your feet without any effort but you know where your going. Very clever and delivery confident

    Martin Goldberg- quite firm in his lead but not forceful, he is very good at guiding but not too firm that when you dont go where he wants, he lets it go but does not force the issue. - delivery confident

    Maxine - very forceful, chucks me all over the place (just kidding) Maxine has a light lead but good strong arms and contact let you know what your doing and where your going. delivery confident


    Blue shoes - I find him very firm. He is very strong in his lead and you cant argue with him when your dancing.... he lifts me like I weigh nothing and trust me, where he is putting ya, your going. Still lovely to dance with though and his delivery is confident.

    So in conclusion - I find it doesn't matter whether people are strong or light, its how they deliver it.

  23. #40
    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    Re: Strong or Light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    Mr Darcy - light lead, hardly touching
    Ahh, but he's also very good at being able to adjust his tension, so if I suddenly decide to hang back a bit, (for something in the music) he'll match me, providing support

    David Bailey - When he forces you down you know it
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