General Dance Discussion > What can an experienced follower do to help?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    As everybody probably knows by now, I love dancing with newbie leaders. Lots of personal satisfaction there. I feel that many followers like me, who have a little more dance experience, often want to help new leaders. Problem. How do you help? Do you dance the patterns he intended to lead? Do you give constructive feedback? Do you backlead? Hmm. What's a follower to do?

    Another interesting link which gives some suggestions. Anyone have others?

    http://www.eijkhout.net/lead_follow/help_each_other.html
     
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Right on! As long as it is safe. If the follow does what I want the lead wants him/her to do without me proper leading then the leader could try something even more dangerous.
     
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I wanna dance with you. I wanna dance with you :bouncy:
     
  4. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    Please, do NOT backlead a new leader! That's not going to help him/her one bit. All you can do is follow the lead to the best of your ability. That's the way we can find out what we're doing wrong. :wink:
     
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Amen!
     
  6. bouncybouncyweee

    bouncybouncyweee New Member

    I dunno... I'm in a salsa class where some of the guys have this strange idea that I'm that much better than they are. When they get to me and make a mistake, they almost seem to expect me to correct it-- ask me questions while they're moving. Or they get really frusterated. I'm not exactly sure what how bakleading works... but I get the feeling when I've gone through the move with them four or five times and they still don't have it, they want to be put in the right place. Is that wrong? This is only a very few guys, and once they get into the right position, they figure it out on their own. Is that back leading?
     
  7. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    back leading is the follower doing what he/she thinks the move should be instead of what is actually lead.

    generally not a good thing
     
  8. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    I understood that backleading was where the follower was not only going where she thinks she should be, but pushing her partner to where she thinks he should be too. I'd agree that 99.99% of the time its a really rude thing to do.
    But....
    I do find that it can be a good teaching tool for a kinesthetic learner if you are supposed to be teaching them (ie. they asked for help or I'm taking the lesson) and if you explain that that is what you are goint to do ahead of time - saying something like `I'm going to put your body where it should be so you can feel how it goes - then you can try leading me a few times yourself.'

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  9. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    It all depends!
    Sometimes the NL needs encouragement[1] more than technique, so I'll do my damndest to dance what I think he might have meant to lead. When he gets a bit more confidence I can move into my preferred mode of following what was actually led rather than what (I guess) was intended.
    I'll give verbal feedback if it is asked for or if NL is doing something uncomfortable or dangerous[2]. I'll take over leading sometimes if NL is showing signs of mental exhaution - some guys like it <shrug> and on rare and exceptional occasions I've even been known to backlead.

    Cheers
    Sarah

    [1] It might be the difference between him coming back again or not.
    [2] you'd think that most people would realise which way elbows bend by the time they reach their late teens or so.
     
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean Sarah. The true newbie guys do need encouragement most of all. On the rare occasion I backlead, I generaly tell the guy what I'm going to do, so effectively, I'm not just leading it, I'm showing him how to lead it. Then I'll relax and see if he leads it again, which he generally does. :D
     
  11. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I truly hate it if I get a backlead from a follower. Period!

    However . . . a hijack is MOST WELCOME . . I like to follow on occasion, and if it doesn't happen everytime I set a pattern or move, it's OK.

    Now, if we're just just hanging out, playing and the follow want to initiate something playful or a move, this to is OK. I can follow or take a hint real well. But once she gives me her anchor, she's mine!
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I agree Vince. I don't think that backleading is a good idea. I think it's better to just dance what the guy knows how to lead. But for those rare moments, I have a script. "Do you want to lead a turn now? Yeah? Okay. Just raise your hand like this, and I'll turn under it. That's how it works ...." and so on. By the end of the song, I'll generally have the guy leading, and a bit more confident too.

    And you know what funny thing I learned about me and hijacks? I can't do them with my coach. I'm so used to submissively following whatever he leads, that I just can't bring myself to hijack. :shock: Now with anybody else, it's a different story. :lol:
     
  13. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    As I understand it a hijack is a swing thing where the follower takes over leading on the fly. Is that right?
    Salsa doesn't really lend itself to that sort of thing so when I do it so I will actually verbally ask if he'd like me to take over the lead for a bit. The look of relief on some guys' faces is downright comical at times. Often it end up that we'll swap several times in a song - I'll lead something a few times then he'll give it a go.

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Thanks Sarah,
    I thought you could hijack in any dance . . . which really says I don't Salsa that much, but after watching SDsalsaguy dance a few weeks ago, I'm inspired to learn!
     
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You can hijack in salsa. I only know because I learned how at the Jesus Morales workshop a few weeks ago. I'll ponder a bit, then come back and try to describe.

    Edit: Okay. Here's the combo we did (peachexploration, correct me if I forgot something) X body lead, gentleman flicks wrist to lead lady to face away from him. While facing away, she hijacks the lead and does whatever she wants -- a little bend and accentuate the bootie, arm stuff, shoulder shimmies, whatever she wants. Then she swivels to face the man when she's ready and times it so she's on the correct foot to do a basic on the one (or two, depending on the style of salsa).
     
  16. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    Hijacking does occur in salsa, but I wouldn't say the follower hijacks the whole lead (at least not in my experience). Usually they hijack a move (hanging in a turn longer than normal, some freestyling while in open hold) but the lead still has control of when this ends.
     
  17. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    Thanks Jenn and Youngsta - I've got a better idea of what you guys mean by hijacking now (actually I have done it on occasion - now I know theres a name for it). So is it the same sort of thing in swing?

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  18. bouncybouncyweee

    bouncybouncyweee New Member

    I don't suppose that you could hijack in WCS too?
     
  19. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    As best I can tell, the hijacking in WCS is the follow actually taking over the lead... While this can happen, theoretically, in any dance, I see very, very little of it, if any, in the regular social salsa scene.

    Now this may only be about a difference in terminology use but, to my way of thinking, providing the woman with a styling opportunity is something different from the hijacking that I've understood Vince and others mention. Vince?
     
  20. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the compliment Vince...but just like any dance, you already know the keys...do it & enjoy it!

    For what it's worth, all the WCS there really inspired me too... I definitely danced the best WCS song of my life last Friday afternoon and took a semi-private lesson earlier today, with one more already on the books for next Monday! :D
     

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