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Thread: Dancing as a woman

  1. #61
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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    She's gifted that way.

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham
    Just to reinforce what Andy has said - the follower should always present the right hand
    Katie Baxter of Rebel Roc has a lovely way of remembering this, her mnemonic is 'ladies are always right'

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor
    Katie Baxter of Rebel Roc has a lovely way of remembering this, her mnemonic is 'ladies are always right'
    .. as if we needed reminding

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    A comment that amused me somewhat, after being given some "play time" as a follower:
    "We have to find you some more masculine ways to mess around".

    Suggestions?

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper
    A comment that amused me somewhat, after being given some "play time" as a follower:
    "We have to find you some more masculine ways to mess around".

    Suggestions?
    Salsa Shines

    I used to dance quite a bit as a follower, more so in Salsa for teaching purposes and latin american and ballroom for certificates. My attempts to follow in Ceroc failed rather miserably, not sure if that was because I can't cope with the lack of footwork or because of the bad leads

    Anyway, I always enjoyed dancing as a follower, allowed me to chill for a change

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas

    Salsa Shines
    I'm quite unreconstructed and have no intention of trying to follow. Have quite enough trouble, as it is, coping with this leading business.

    But, I've heard of these, and wonder what they are ??

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard
    But, I've heard of these, and wonder what they are ??
    Salsa Shines is a word used to describe a variety of solo performances. I.e., this is without a partner being required. The majority of them is performed either by one person or a group of persons in synch. There are others, where two partners 'play' with each other out-shining each other if you want so

    What is it? Body movement or footwork, or a combination of both. Usually guys to more fancy footwork, whereas ladies perform more suggestive motions with some footwork thrown in. This can be as simple as Suzy Q's or Ochos and become really complex.

    Shines are a 'dangerous' terraine. They can look absolutely stunning but don't be surprised if your dance partner leaves the floor when you get too engrossed Same rules apply as for multiple solo spins: too much of it results in the other person feeling obsolete. So if you want to do that stuff do it for one, maybe two bars of music but definitely not more, unless your partner does have something to do!


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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas
    Salsa Shines [snip] So if you want to do that stuff do it for one, maybe two bars of music but definitely not more, unless your partner does have something to do!

    AND....

    You have to be absolutely sure that you can collect your partner and carry on with the dance at the right moment or the whole effect is ruined.

    Zuhal

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    Registered User Bigger Andy's Avatar
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    Question Re: Dancing as a woman

    Do you all consider that, having learnt to follow, it makes you a better lead ?

    If so, why, how (etc., etc ...) ?



    As has already been mentioned, the ladies that learn to lead tend to provide gentler, less obvious, leads. Is this necessarily a good thing ?





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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigger Andy
    Do you all consider that, having learnt to follow, it makes you a better lead ?

    If so, why, how (etc., etc ...) ?



    As has already been mentioned, the ladies that learn to lead tend to provide gentler, less obvious, leads. Is this necessarily a good thing ?




    I gave the following bit of advice to Clive Long on a thread called "moving on up" and put it at No 1 on my things to do.

    1) Learn to dance as a follower as well as a leader. I know it will take a lot of guts and you will have to run the gauntlet of unhelpful jibbing from the blokes in a class. Tell the teacher what you are planning to do and get them to explain it to the class that you have no other agenda apart from getting better at dancing. So how will this help your dancing? For a start it will get you started on the ability as a man to be able to spin (which will add texture to your dance range) and that will teach you about balance. Secondly, only when you have experienced from the followers side what bouncy, floppy, waggly and violent carnage is meted out by many leaders can you recognise those things that you are responsible for in your own leading. Lastly you will find that to follow you must let go of any desire to anticipate, even a bad lead. You will find that you are wholly dependant on your leader and how much trust that follower is putting in you to not push them off balance. Once you understand that level of trust that is being placed in you, you become much more careful not to abuse that trust.

    Answering your other question about ladies that learn to lead (from what my partner has told me). The lead is gentler and because of that it is MUCH MORE obvious. Pushing and shoving a follwer around with a big or forceful lead only pushes them off balance and so they have to concentrate on getting back on balance or not falling over. While they are doing this they are not able to concentrate on the signals that are coming from your lead. If the leader then responds with an even bigger/forceful lead then the situation often spirals out of control.

    Everyone needs things to be more obvious when they are learning but obvious does not mean big/forceful. Big and forceful does not train followers to respond to gentle leads - it just takes them at a time when they are struggling to do the moves and stay on balance and knocks them off balance.

    The best way to learn this is to put yourself in their situation.

    I found it utterly terrifying the first time I did (and still do a bit - depending on who I try it with).

    Happy dancing.

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigger Andy
    Do you all consider that, having learnt to follow, it makes you a better lead ?
    Well, it's made me a better follow...

    I suspect it's changed a few things in how I lead. I lead some moves slightly differently - hopefully more clearly. I'm more reluctant to (over)compensate for (perceived) poor/beginner following. I "listen" a little more as a lead. I'm more tolerant (though still not enough) of anticipation.

    How much of that is due to following, and how much is just due to time, I'm not sure.

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Dancing as a woman can be a great aid to technique and interpretation. BUT only with the right people.

    I went to a class by a very well rated teacher (male ) who because of the shortage of women danced woman to the circulating men. ALL the beginner men disliked it and didnt return the next week, then as the men had gone the girls didnt like it so the class was literally decimated within three weeks and closed soon after as it didnt cover the cost of the studio.

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerR
    Dancing as a woman can be a great aid to technique and interpretation. BUT only with the right people.

    I went to a class by a very well rated teacher (male ) who because of the shortage of women danced woman to the circulating men. ALL the beginner men disliked it and didnt return the next week, then as the men had gone the girls didnt like it so the class was literally decimated within three weeks and closed soon after as it didnt cover the cost of the studio.
    I came across this when I started dancing as a follower (never say lady - freaks the guys out) at my local Ceroc class. I always said to the new leader in the rotation that I was only doing his to improve my dancing and that if they felt uncomfortable I would swap with one of the women on either side. Some did feel uncomfortable and I swapped but most had known me for about two years and after some gentle jibbing got on with it.

    Only once did I have a person object nastily. Despite my preamble one guy said "I'm not dancing with any fu****** poof". I told him that I wasn't and would simply swap with the lady next to me. Apparently news of this exchange spread amonst the women. Two months later he came up to me and apologised. It seems that he hadn't been asked or had a dance request accepted for two months. When he finally asked a woman why, he was reminded of the incident and told "we don't need pr*ts like you here". Girls are generally all for anything that may make their leaders better and appreciate the guys that make the effort.

    Always give every individual leader the opportunity to pass and do not think less of them if they take you up on it. Some guys know who they are and some need to prove it to themselves and others. You are asking their indulgence to help your dancing, not theirs. Treat them like any other person that you asking a big favour of.

    Happy dancing
    Last edited by Chef; 24th-January-2005 at 09:53 PM.

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    [QUOTE=Chef Girls are generally all for anything that may make their leaders better and appreciate the guys that make the effort.

    You are asking their indulgence to help your dancing, not theirs. Treat them like any other person that you asking a big favour of.

    Happy dancing[/QUOTE]

    Hear! hear! ... any time you give people respect and consderation you shouldn't have too many problems.

    I intend learning how to follow soon, and have recieved invaluable insiight from this thread. Thankyou. UP

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigger Andy
    Do you all consider that, having learnt to follow, it makes you a better lead ?

    If so, why, how (etc., etc ...) ?



    As has already been mentioned, the ladies that learn to lead tend to provide gentler, less obvious, leads. Is this necessarily a good thing ?





    Most of the time I just danced as a follower for the fun of it or because there was shortage of guys. However, as mentioned before, I also did it to be able to describe the moves for the ladies correctly when teaching.

    I doubt it has made my leads any better or me more aware as I was always scared to hurt my partners. However, it made me realise just HOW IMPORTANT a good lead is! And I must say it is quite atrocious what some guys do call a lead and then get annoyed when the girls don't know what to do!

    Dancing as a follower possibly made me more tolerant. Nowadays my general rule is 'if you don't do what I want you to then I did not lead it properly'. And with VERY FEW exceptions this rule applies in all situations on the dance floor.


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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    It is equally important for women to experience leading to understand how heavy and uncontrollable some women can be. It is nothing to do with actual weight but more to do with responsiveness,good positioning,timing and ability to spin. It also helps us to recognise how difficult it is to keep a whole dance going, keeping it interesting for both follower and leader and not going off into an isolated world of concentration rather than communicating with your partner. As followers, we can expect a lot without being fully aware of how much our partner is having to think about particularly when not very experienced.

    I too have experienced a homophobic reaction once from a woman. This is quite unusual as women often compliment me on being a clearer lead than some of the men. However there are always those who find difficulties in entering the personal space of another particularly of the same gender.

    I have also come across one woman who gave up dancing because she found, as she progressed down the line of men during the lessons, that it was too embarrassing for her to have all the men look towards her as she approached!

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    Talking Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigger Andy
    Do you all consider that, having learnt to follow, it makes you a better lead ?

    If so, why, how (etc., etc ...) ?



    As has already been mentioned, the ladies that learn to lead tend to provide gentler, less obvious, leads. Is this necessarily a good thing ?





    Although I am a lady, I really enjoy dancing the lead. Some of my best dances recently have been when I've led and a man has followed. I can't think of a better way to phrase that.

    After the advice from Chef- learning to follow is the way to go!

    Ask me for a dance next time I see you and I'll put you through your paces!

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    Smile Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Rentaghost
    Although I am a lady, I really enjoy dancing the lead. Some of my best dances recently have been when I've led and a man has followed. I can't think of a better way to phrase that.
    Is it the power of having men follow (your lead) that makes it so good ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rentaghost
    Ask me for a dance next time I see you and I'll put you through your paces!
    Promises, promises ...




    Thanks for the help and advice !

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    To Bigger Andy (and any leader contemplating learning to follow).

    The offer from a lady to lead you is nice but you really have to go through the full horror of a guy leading you to gain an insight into what you may be meting out to a follower yourself.

    I am not trying to be hard on the leaders here (being one myself) because the leaders have a very tough job. The ladies will have to make up their own lists of what is going through their heads while they dance (I would not dare to presume) but this is the "task list" that goes through my head as I dance.

    Are we on time?
    Is this move appropriate for the music and my partners skill level?
    What should I do next that will fit the music that is about to come along?
    Am I out of the womans way (I like to get the woman to dance in a slot)?
    Is there enough space for me to select that next move?
    Am I still on balance?
    Am I pulling my partner off balance?
    If I free spin my partner will she be where I left her afterwards?
    Is that couple just about to dance into the space where my woman will be next? If they do what are my alternative options? Can I pull her in close without geting a slap? Can I put my body between that other couple and my partner to protect her?
    She can't spin on the spot! OK, where is she now? Get over to where she is and recalculate all the above space/timing/balance stuff.
    Her arms are so long it will take her ages to get back to me - will we still be in time?
    If I let my fingers loosen right now she would fall flat on her back - why is she using me like a bungee rope?
    Am I giving her a good dance and is she still looking happy?
    That move that guy just did - I rememeber that one. I will do that one next. Why did I forget about that move?

    All the above and try to rememeber the dance moves that you have been taught as well!!

    No wonder guys take ages to learn to MJ and often have a look on their face like they are taking a 6 hour mathemantics exam.

    Ladies. Now you know what the task list is for the men what can you do to reduce his mental workload (an upgrade to having a womans brain is not an option here) so that he can concentrate on the stuff that will make the dance nice to you?

    As a follower the thing that the two most common things that go through my mind are.

    I admit I am big but I need to be spun - not launched.
    I can either go wher eyou are pulling or I can spin on the spot but I can't do both at the same time.

    Happy dancing

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    Re: Dancing as a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef
    To Bigger Andy (and any leader contemplating learning to follow).

    The offer from a lady to lead you is nice but you really have to go through the full horror of a guy leading you to gain an insight into what you may be meting out to a follower yourself.
    Definitely and also ask some of the guys with whom the ladies love to dance - that way you can experience for yourself exactly what it is that makes these men so to dance with.

    I love to dance the lead, but I still dance the lead as a lady - can't do it any other way
    "If you rebel against high heels, take care to do so in a very smart hat.'' George Bernard Shaw

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