Leading vs. Following

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Leading vs. Following

Post  Lola on September 19th 2009, 3:05 pm

Why do you guys think that students aren't taught how to both lead and follow in class? It would make sense that everyone should learn both parts so that they can understand what's going on from both sides. And if guys learn to follow and girls learn to lead, it opens up a lot more options. It seems bizarre to me in this day and age that men are automatically assigned the leader status, and women are automatically assigned follower status. There's challenges to both parts. Personally, learning to do both has really helped me and opened my eyes to things I haven't been aware of before in dancing.

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Re: Leading vs. Following

Post  BesitoNasty (complicado) on September 21st 2009, 12:12 am

I would think even today - especially for people who've never partner danced - you don't want to break from tradition (men leading women following). I imagine as a beginner it's hard enough just learning one or the other much less both learning both. In Ballroom so many dances are introduced early on but unless dancing is one's full time job it's quite difficult learning all of them and be 'good' or proficient at them. But I see the benefits of learning both leading and following - and agree that learning both sides can only help your dancing overall.
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Re: Leading vs. Following

Post  Lola on September 21st 2009, 12:49 am

I can see how learning many different ballroom dances at once could confuse someone in and of itself, but I meant just salsa. I'm sure many people learn more than one dance at a time, and that's up to them and how much they think they can handle. But think back to when you were learning things like baseball or basketball or football ... whatever. You didn't just learn offense, did you? Or defense? No, you learned all aspects of the sport. You may have specialized in offense or defense, but you knew and practiced both, and you weren't confused by them. In fact, it only helped you understand the sport even more. Why is dance any different? But I guess it also depends and how good of a dancer one wants to be. I know some people just want to know enough to be able to step out on the dance floor. However, this being a salsa forum, I'm sure most of us want more than just that.

As for tradition ... bah humbug!

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