I had a rare compliment about my following recently which got me thinking about how much of my following is down to experience and how much is down to skill.
I was led into a move that required the follower to keep spinning and do a second turn to make the move work, the lead in question was thrilled that I continued to turn and dismayed that most followers did not keep going – because I kept turning I was deemed to be a good follower.
Now, I know that I am not a good follower, I anticipate, I am often off in my own world, I rush things, I frequently cock-up, sometimes I am just going through the motions, I don’t exactly hijack but there are times where I communicate to my lead quite strongly that I want a couple of beats to ‘express myself’ or to slow the dance down and so on. So what prompted the comment?
Followers are often told to keep going until the lead stops you but I know very few follows who can really do this out on the social dance floor. I mean *really* do it, really can carry on a movement they have been given with commitment and without hesitation until something else comes along. Think for a moment about what that actually means and how accepting and how much trust you must have in partner to make that work. This is a skill and it’s a skill I don’t have.
I know to keep turning at the end of a spin because I have been to classes where I have been taught that a double spin is a possibility therefore I need to keep going. I know I can follow a number of moves that other local lindy followers can’t because I have learnt certain moves in workshops and now I am open to the possibility of them happening again. At some level, I know what to do through experience rather than skill.
Not too sure where I am going with this other than it makes me feel a little bit more positive about my dancing. I doubt I will ever develop awesome following skills but I can get by with experience and the more experience I get the better I will become.
I adore this clip of Kelly Arsenault and Carla Heiney dancing Balboa together, they look like they are enjoying every minute and the crowd seem to be loving it.
I really like the interaction between the two dancers especially the little jumps up.
Jerry Almonte casts his analytic eye over a range of video clips in an attempt to answer a Yehoodi question about “what are the best follows good at?”
I love the following ULHS 2005 video which Jerry discusses. So many fun, subtle and not so subtle movements to draw inspiration from.
Dan Newsome demos 5 things to think about whilst dancing:
1. Having frame (having frame, arms in front of body, body to frame, matching frame)
3. Keeping and following momentum
4. Filling out (followers looking to create connection)
5. Equal and opposite
1.57 makes me smile, waiting really is one the hardest things to do.