4.6 Tricks For Followers In WCS

1) Though a large section above has been devoted to arm tone, there is a reason (besides not knowing better or lack of experience) for why a follower might intentionally go limp and let her arms fully extend on 1,2; she is doing it as a defense mechanism when given an arm lead. An arm lead is inherently more jerky and forceful than a body lead. Letting the arm fully extend allows for more of a shock absorbing effect for the follower. I've heard several very good instructors say that they purposely go limp when someone gives them a jerky lead or is too forceful so that they can protect their arms. As someone who has had several injuries to my right rotator cup (shoulder), I've used this defense mechanism when necessary. However, for really bad cases of forceful leads, I've found that resorting to the traveling coaster step is the best defense since the forward momentum dissipates much of the force.

2) As a follower, when I dance with an inexperienced partner who gets off beat, I first try to keep my own footwork correct to help him feel the rhythm. Often, I end of acting like a sort of dancing metronome which can really help a beginner who is *aware* that he has a tendency to get off beat. However some men have no clue about keeping the beat or knowing on which foot to turn the follower, and you can tell that "helpful backleading" would be useless. Whenever I dance with this kind of partner, I simply do my best to protect myself from physical injury -- with these men, you have to literally run during most of their maneuvers to keep from either falling or getting your shoulder thrown out of whack.

3) Followers, it's OK to bend at the waist in some styles of dance. In fact it's required to do a duck out from a west coast swing basket whip. The technique for duckouts/tunnels; Ladies, instead of allowing your head to look down while ducking out, you must bend at the waist while keeping your head looking forward.

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This file is part of the lead/follow FAQ list. These are articles compiled from the newsgroup rec.arts.dance by Mark Balzer. Html-isation by Victor Eijkhout, victor at eijkhout dot net. See also the Rec Arts Dance FAQ list Copyright 1996/7/8/9 lies with the compiler, the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.

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