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Thread: Rough Leading

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    Rough Leading

    A number of followers have told me in the past that I give them far too much power / energy. I got worried about this and I had a private lesson with Paul Warden. I told him what the problem was. He asked me to lead him and then told me everything was OK. The energy I was giving to a 6 foot black man who was 14 stone was OK but most of the female dancers are only 8 or 9 stone which we had not taken into consideration.

    A while later I was dancing with Cat, Cat is like a ferrari and really doesn't need much power, she told me she felt she was being thrown around. I was shocked and hurt. After the dance I then asked her to book me in for a private because I really wanted to try and sort this problem out.

    After the private I was given lots of very nice complement by some of my favourite followers.

    In the last Southport thread there was a mention of a leader being rough in his lead.

    My question is, if you were told that you may have a problem concerning your dancing, what would you do.

    Would you just ignore them because you think they are a crap dancer.

    Would you take it to heart and just give up.

    Would you take it on the chin and ask for help from somebody you admire and respect.

    It would be interesting to hear from other dancers on their opinions because the dance floors would be a happier and safer place if we could all put a side our ego's and ask for help when needed.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Brave post, Gerry,


    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Would you just ignore them because you think they are a crap dancer.
    I would question the verdict if I thought they did not have much personal authority in passing judgement. But I would also mull over what they had said and try to understand where they were coming from. However, if they said, for example, that I wasn't bouncing my hand enough then I would smile ruefully and move on.

    Would you take it to heart and just give up.
    If someone was patronising, rude, judgemental or dismissive in their manner of giving advice I would (and have) find it much harder to get over, and I don't forgive that sort of behaviour easily. It might still be very good advice, though.

    Would you take it on the chin and ask for help from somebody you admire and respect.
    Yes, I often ask for feedback, (mainly in AT) with mixed results. Some people don't like giving it on principle. Some people just say everything's fine (Great, but not that useful if you'd like to be finer) and some people say something completely unexpected which is the hardest to deal with! You have to be genuinely open to hearing something negative about your dancing, maybe something that had never crossed your mind before and that is never easy. But as you found out, it's essential before improvement can take place. The important thing is to ask someone who might give some support in fixing it, not just criticise and pi$$ off!


    I was offered very clear feedback by an Australian guy at a weekender once. I suspect he was a teacher and Aussies tend to take a plain-speaking and direct approach to life, I find. I was surprised but he was tactful and authoritative in how he spoke and again, I thought it was very good advice. I think his wording was something like "That was great, but I'd enjoy it even more if you........." Then he asked for a second dance which gave reassurance.
    Last edited by jivecat; 24th-October-2010 at 02:22 PM.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    ...My question is, if you were told that you may have a problem concerning your dancing, what would you do.

    Would you just ignore them because you think they are a crap dancer.

    Would you take it to heart and just give up.

    Would you take it on the chin and ask for help from somebody you admire and respect.

    It would be interesting to hear from other dancers on their opinions because the dance floors would be a happier and safer place if we could all put a side our ego's and ask for help when needed.
    Well, it would depend on who's giving the feedback I suppose..

    I always start with a very light lead, if the lady follows well, then no problem - if they're not going where I want them to then I think about why that is and will adjust my lead and/or style accordingly.

    A big part of leading is to make sure you dance to partner's ability level and to make sure that you use all your connection points to create the lead - that along with understanding where you partner's body weight is placed should give the best chance of leading a dance that is enjoyed by both partners.

    Where I've encountered problems in dances is where some ladies are not very confident in spinning or turning or where they are always stepping forward to move around my right side - so I simply avoid moves that involve these aspects. What's the point in highlighting areas of someone's dancing that they are not comfortable with? If, on the other hand, they want advice and help on their dancing and ask for it then that's a different matter.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat View Post
    Brave post, Gerry,


    I would question the verdict if I thought they did not have much personal authority in passing judgement.
    In my case, the comments came from followers who have been instrumental in my dance development and I feel that they have worth while things to say.

    If a number of people made the same comment this would certainly make me think

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Honestly, I think if someone said something about my lead I'd be really interested in hearing it.

    When I started MJ I had real concerns that my lead was too light and I panicked everytime I danced with someone new incase they had no idea what I was trying to do. I think for a while when I was doing intermediate classes at first my lead became a bit heavier and I didn't really enjoy it so much. That's when I went back to basics and really concentrated on learning to lead properly rather than worry about all the moves.

    I love getting feed back and always welcome it.

    I also love giving my partner an opportunity to play and when she does that just makes the dance even more special for me.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    I started a thread similar to this as I felt it was an issue that needed to be addressed, however I am concerned to know when the 'strong' lead stops and the 'rough' lead starts ???

    Personally I would say the rough lead causes damage, but is the strength of the lead depended on the lightness of the follow ???

    I've had the opportunity to lead the the very famous Dawn Hampton as she wanted to dance with someone who didn't lead lindyhop, but because she hardly touches your hand and seems to know instintively where you need her to go, as a novice MJ lead, I kinda 'forced' her into a move. Those who know Dawn Hampton's reputation, will know that she made it quite clear to the audience watching by saying very very loudly "That gal has a "strong" lead (how embarrassed was I)


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    Re: Rough Leading

    I think there are so many dimensions to a good lead, breaking it does to simple dimensions is very hard. Rough vs gentle, strong vs light, precise vs vague, and so on. It's not usually that easy to categorise. Most people's leads (and the leads follows seem to like) fit between these extremes, but everyone's different.

    The second issue, which Rocky hinted at, is that every follow is different. What is a light, gentle lead for one follow might be an aggressive, forceful lead for another. There is even a variation with the same follow between dances (and, I am sure, between the leads).

    Personally, I find the best follows generally require a lighter lead; although even there, the variation is pretty big. I also think, on both sides, the lead tends to be better if you have better balance and control of your own dancing. I know if I got off balance or don't execute my own part of a move perfectly, then my lead suffers.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie M View Post
    I am concerned to know when the 'strong' lead stops and the 'rough' lead starts ???
    IMO, a lead becomes rough, when he doesn't take into concideration 'natural momentum'

    I don't mind a strong lead (although I don't think I 'need' one), as long as they're waiting for the 'right time' to lead the next move. If they go before or after, it will feel like yanking!

    Its the same with prepping for spins, if I'm properly prepped, a spin will happen almost effortlessly but if a guy tries to spin me from 'still' or if the momentum feels like I should be going the other way, it'll also feel like yanking and by the same token, I'll feel heavy and slow to the leader!

    Another thing is, as Rocky said, knowing where the ladies weight is, is very important, if she's already got her weight on her right foot and you move her to the right, she's got no option, than to stumble

    Some men have the horrible ability to make us feel like we're bad follows, as we appear to be late, heavy, off balance or just clueless.

    So guys, the next time you dance with an experienced follow, note if they seem to faulter and question, why that might have been?

    p.s. if someone offers 'friendly' advice, I'd alway listen
    Last edited by Lory; 24th-October-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    .....Some men have the horrible ability to make some of us feel like we're bad follows, as we appear to be late, heavy, off balance or just clueless.............
    Yup, I have had lots of those.

    I usually ask Lily Barker to dance with them after, so I know if it is me or the lead (Lily must be the one of, if not the best follower that I know, and from what leads have told me)


    --ooOoo--
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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.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    So guys, the next time you dance with an experienced follow, note if they seem to faulter and question, why that might have been?
    Most commonly because they're experienced enough to know all the moves.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Most commonly because they're experienced enough to know all the moves.
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves. That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.

    My pet hate is when I am leading something, the follower stops dead and says "Oh I ver been taught that move". A good follower will just keep moving with the momentum they have been given.

    A bad leader will not set his follower up correctly, they will be in the wrong position to start the move, in Lory's comments that will probably mean their weight is in the wrong place which will result in a jerky horrible lead.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves. That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.

    My pet hate is when I am leading something, the follower stops dead and says "Oh I ver been taught that move". A good follower will just keep moving with the momentum they have been given.

    A bad leader will not set his follower up correctly, they will be in the wrong position to start the move, in Lory's comments that will probably mean their weight is in the wrong place which will result in a jerky horrible lead.


    I recall a conversation in the pub one night after a class when a relatively new dancer asked an experienced follower how many moves she knew - her answer (not surprisingly) was "None - I just follow what's led".

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Most commonly because they're experienced enough to know all the moves.
    Really, really NOT!

    Do you really think an experienced follow is recognising each 'move' and is follwing because she's learnt or knows those moves?

    An experienced follow knows to expect the unexpected.. they will know to simply follow what the lead's leading!

    Often, she'll be completely suprised at the outcome and this is one of the thrills/joys of dancing with a good lead!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves.
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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Most commonly because they're experienced enough to know all the moves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves. That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    Really, really NOT!

    Do you really think an experienced follow is recognising each 'move' and is follwing because she's learnt or knows those moves?

    An experienced follow knows to expect the unexpected.. they will know to simply follow what the lead's leading!

    Often, she'll be completely suprised at the outcome and this is one of the thrills/joys of dancing with a good lead!


    Thanks guys you said it all !

    Still not sure if frodo is on this forum just to wind us up


    --ooOoo--
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    That date is recognized as her official birthday.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves.
    I wouldn't be quite so absolute, but essentially no argument from me there.

    But we're talking about an experienced follower which isn't the same thing as a quality follower.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.
    Perhaps you westies should add that to your signature and be done with it.

    After all it saves rational consideration of the arguments.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Perhaps you westies should add that to your signature and be done with it.

    After all it saves rational consideration of the arguments.
    Eh?????

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Are we all westies frodo ?????


    --ooOoo--
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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.

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    Re: Rough Leading

    ah bless, leave the poor hobbit alone

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Frodo

    For a quality follower it is NEVER about the moves. That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    I wouldn't be quite so absolute, but essentially no argument from me there.

    But we're talking about an experienced follower which isn't the same thing as a quality follower.




    Perhaps you westies should add that to your signature and be done with it.

    After all it saves rational consideration of the arguments
    .
    Frodo
    I will rephrase my original comment to make things clear
    "For a follower it is NEVER about the moves" the whole point of MJ is that it is a Lead and Follow dance.
    As a beginner follower I have danced with a guy who has learnt all his MJ in Australia and the dance has worked not because I am brilliant because I am not, I am sure Trampy can vouch for that, not because I knew all the moves because they were all Australian versions. I just kept going where I was lead due to the momentum I was given.

    Lastly I maybe known as a Westie but I am one of a very small minority that still happily dances MJ, in fact I would say I still dance more MJ than WCS.

    My comment by your Dance Journey was made in connection to a comment which shows that you have only a limited knowledge of the dances that you keep commenting on.

    If you see me at one of the dance events please introduce yourself as it will be interesting to see who you are on and off the dance floor

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    Re: Rough Leading

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry
    That statement really makes me wonder where you are on your dance journey.
    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Perhaps you westies should add that to your signature and be done with it.

    After all it saves rational consideration of the arguments.
    By 'eck, it's almost like the old days on the CSF. Thanks, Gerry and Frodo! Is it too soon to get the popcorn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo
    But we're talking about an experienced follower which isn't the same thing as a quality follower.
    I may be putting words into Frodo's mouth here, but there certainly is such a syndrome as knowing the moves but not knowing how to follow. In my forays into leading i encountered this in every beginner's class I attempted -the knowledgeable and determined backleader. I often hear skilled leaders moan about the limitations of such followers. It also results in raw beginner men assuming I'm a complete beginner also when I follow all their crashing mistakes. Then they talk me through the move. Ah, *sweet*! So, I might be agreeing with Frodo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry
    If you see me at one of the dance events please introduce yourself as it will be interesting to see who you are on and off the dance floor
    A very loaded suggestion. I know there's a school of thought that says we should all get to meet each other but this is an internet forum so I think everyone's got the right to be a disembodied intellect in cyberspace if they so desire. Lots of other forums manage perfectly well with members all over the world who could never meet so I don't see why we can't do the same. Dark mutterings about meeting up mean that nobody's putting over their ideas by force of reason and argument alone and makes the forum seem a bit parochial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory
    Often, she'll be completely suprised at the outcome and this is one of the thrills/joys of dancing with a good lead!
    Yes!

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