Went to a really interesting Bal class last week, the teachers were trying something new and I enjoyed the approach. For part of the class the leaders and followers split and the followers discussed out and ins and how to cope when they are being poorly led. For me the conclusion was to follow less and think about what I would describe as defensive following. Some of the things we talked about were:
- Really relaxing right arm, hand, fingers/not responding to leaders tension
- Ways to get out of the tension cycle
- How to let go of frame to protect shoulders
- Moving hand and arm position to protect ourselves
- How to dampen the bumper car effect when you being pinged out and in
- How to rotate subtly within leaders frame to avoid grasping and inappropriately placed hands
I think defensive following is something I do in Lindy Hop fairly unconsciously but because I’m far less experienced at Bal I try very hard to follow what the leader is doing. (Plus I am trying really hard to focus on my the following at the mo and cut out some of the habitual things I do that are unhelpful)
I think that’s the first class I have ever taken where time was spent thinking specifically about a follower’s needs and what a follower can do to help and protect themselves. Made a nice change to thinking about how a follower should respond and meet a leader’s needs.
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Who writes this stuff?
Monday at 7pm – Balboa dance class
Seven Dials Club, 42 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LA (nearest tube Covent Garden)
Thursday at 7pm – Blues dance class
4 Wild Court, WC2B 4AU (nearest tube Holborn)
Keep your arms available! It’s quite simple; a lead can’t spin you back if you keep whipping your arms out of the way.
keep arms in front and down a bit, natural like…
and don’t worry about your partner and not having enough space…
and that holding towel over your chest thing that you learnt isn’t helpful in getting you to have your arms in the right place…
and don’t grab for the leader…
and wait a bit more…
and wait a bit more until you are lead into a move….
and remember to keep your bleedin’ arms available!
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.