Hi All. I started taking lessons just over a year ago at an Arthur Murray studio. My program includes cha-cha, foxtrot, hustle, rumba, salsa, swing, tango and waltz. I'm currently a bronze-2 level dancer. I've had 88 private lessons so far, and regularly attend all the group classes and the practice parties. Dancing doesn't come naturally to me. By day I'm an engineer. The reasons I started dancing include improving my confidence, having a physical activity to get involved in when I'm much older (I'm 39), and also, I rather naively thought it might be a good way to meet women (I'm single). So, here's the issues. The first is that I find that when I go somewhere outside Arthur Murray to dance, it's totally different. I've recently tried taking some group waltz and hustle classes, and the waltz is completely different (cross step waltz, redowa waltz etc), while the 'basic' hustle class gets right into syncopated timing. There's a whole lot of other variations as well. The second issue is my leading. It's not great. I'm not a particularly aggressive guy. I'm pretty passive, so leading has been a great challenge for me. I'm getting better at it, and my instructor has really been nagging me about my frame, the correct posture and my 'connection' for the past few months. However, I still have a long way to go. When you combine the first and second issues... does anyone see where I'm going with this? If you have someone that isn't a great leader, trying to lead someone on a dance/step that's different to what they know, it just isn't going to work! Even when I do lead the step properly, and the follower does the step I expect them to do, they often end up doing it in a different way than what I expect. It's the right step... just done differently. Case in point, me trying to lead a cha-cha peek-a-boo tonight. For some reason my right arm ended up around the neck of the follower, which doesn't feel good for me, and I'm sure it doesn't feel good for them either. This was with someone quite advanced too! Now, my engineer mind has an issue with this. My engineer mind wants to believe that there are these things called 'standards', and it ensures things like the above scenario don't happen. So... what's the deal? Should I just stop dancing outside Arthur Murray? I don't want to do that because they charge so much money that their attendance at this studio has been steadily decreasing (people come for a few months and then realise after the 'honey-moon' period that they can't afford it anymore). It's also obviously bad to pigeon hole myself to one place. Should I ask for a different instructor? My current instructor (the one I've had 88 lessons with) obviously knows how to follow me even when I don't lead it very well, but that will only help a little as the other instructors at this studio also kind of know my steps (from the parties), and they know the 'Arthur Murray' way too. Or, should I worry less about being a great leader? Maybe a bronze-2 dancer isn't supposed to be a great leader yet? Maybe... maybe it's because I'm still expending a lot of thought on the footwork, and I don't have a lot of spare brain cycles left to think about the leading and the positive connection? This is all so frustrating. After this realisation tonight, I left that other dance party early, as my confidence was shot, and I didn't have enough confidence left to ask women to dance. My confidence is pretty low at the best of times (remember, one of the reasons I started dancing was to IMPROVE my confidence). What's my best course of action here???? Doug.