For the past month or two I have been dancing a lot socially with as many follows (mostly women) as I can. I have been taking note of those I enjoyed dancing with and then asking them about how they dance and how they practice. This was all in an attempt to find out what makes for a good follow.
There were common things that came up that you are probably aware of already:
- Feeling the lead as opposed to trying to predict what it will/should be
- Not worrying if you get it wrong
- Using all the senses to feel the lead
- Knowing numerous figures so that the different leads were familiar
- Moving yourself as opposed to being expected to be pushed
However, within the context of more advanced dancing – where both lead and follow are experienced – there was one extra attribute that really separated the excellent follows from the good follows.
When dancing at a higher level a couple will change the nuances of their dance to reflect the music. I can vouch from personal experience that a follow who picks up on the way they lead is expressing the musicality, and then do the same or even better add to it, is pretty much the best follow you can dance with.
If you feel that your ability to follow has plateaued then it might very well be that you’re ready for the next step – following musicality. Next time you are dancing with a lead that you notice has strong musicality, then try picking up on their expression and then adding to it. You will find the experience much more enjoyable.
If you need to, then there are plenty of techniques that you can use to improve your musicality. Learn more about improving your musicality via the following: