Let’s get right to some great information that can serve you well in your dancing, shall we?
First off, I am so blessed to have my students, as every single day, they teach me and challenge me to figure out problems. Frequently, they will walk in with a problem and I become almost obsessed with finding an appropriate solution that can address and ultimately fix the dancing issue. Usually, the issues fall into a select group of different categories. Due to the consistency of the issues, I am prepared with a helpful answer.
A common area that my students run into is not understanding how to change weight. Their own weight to be specific. Many times, I’ll use the example of old school swaying to illustrate the point that weight shifting is a basic and fundamental concept when dancing with a partner. It’s the way you communicate your movement without actually leading or following anything.
If I am in frame, I can shift left or right and my girl can know there was a lead even though the frame itself didn’t do anything specific. Me moving ME was the thing that communicated the request to my partner. Make sense? Good!
This really wouldn’t change in an open hold position either as us being clear with our weight shifts even in a basic step makes us more adaptable as leads and follows.
One of the most powerful examples of this idea comes from a simple demo that I give in class. I’ll assume the role of the follow and then grab a leads hand (irrelevant which one) and lift my left leg off the floor. Now I’ll ask my lead:
“Make me go forward.”
“Make me go backward”
“Make me go sideways”
Without fail, the lead can easily and clearly accomplish this because of what I am doing as a follow. Try it out and you’ll soon see the value of this exercise. When you get better at this skill, you’ll soon be able to tell when you are in the ‘abyss’ (split weight) versus when you are actually committed and ready for whatever is coming your way.
I learned from my coach to make this a top priority to improve my dancing and I encourage you to try it out as well.
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To your dancing….