"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #100, Thursday, May 2, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Lead and Follow-Part II

We discussed Ballroom last week, let's look at Lead and Follow in Latin today!

So, if I say that Lead and Follow in Latin is the same as in Ballroom; are you going to jump on me? Well; let me put it this way that the principles are the same but the mechanisms may be different.

Why?... Latin requires that we dance in all kinds of holds and often no hold at all. It is therefore difficult to say that a proper lead can be given through the Center (Body). However the fact remains that we do have a Center just the same as in ballroom dances and yes, the Center plays an important role in conveying lead and follow information. Because of open holds, the Center is slightly variable in Latin. For example in Samba you may feel that Center drops a little to lower torso level but in Paso it is quite high at sternum level?

Body Action: "All lead and Follow is through the Body, the Center" even though the Bodies may be far apart, and usually they are. So there being no contact how we compensate for that.

1. Frame: In Closed Hold, it is most important that we maintain a good Frame.

2. Tone: No Tone, No Frame. It is the difference between a breadstick and spaghetti.

3. Connection: Properly toned bodies provide basis for Connection.

4. Posture, Poise, Balance add to proper Connection.

5. Body Shapes: Shaping gives much lead information such as leading a Spiral.

6. All parts of Body are utilized such as raising the arm as in Alemana, Looping the arm in Hockeystick, lowering the arm as in overturned ending of Alemana.

7. Visual Leads: This might be termed as non-verbal communication. Visual leads play an important role as in Follow my Leader etc.

Weight Change?... I believe weight change is the end result of a Lead rather than the Lead itself.

To summarize, it may be said that Lead and Follow in Latin requires, Physical, Visual and Shaping Information amongst many other things that do not come to mind at this moment. I say "Just do it"!... With Best Wishes, Max.

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits