9.5 On Dancing With Other People

"*Dance with different people. Don't fall into a bad habit or develop bad technique." Dancing with many different partners helps. Besides practicing with your regular dance partners, go to some of the social dances that are available and mix. Everyone's lead and follow is different, and the variations help you to become a better dancer. Dancing with someone more experienced might allow you to be more successful in trying something new or perfecting some styling. Once you learn how it feels, you can then do it with anybody. Dancing with someone less experienced than you is very good in determining if you have a good lead. This may even be more useful than dancing with someone more experienced. When you can get a less experienced dancer to successfully do a step she has never done before, you know you are doing well. If you dance only with one partner, you will never learn to lead/follow; you'll only learn to compensate for each other's bad habits.

At many local weekly dances, all the best dancers take over one corner of the room (like the "Cat's Corner" of the old Savoy Ballroom) and the beginners tend to stay at the other end and dance with each other. You can see how it would be rather difficult to ask the good dancers to dance if they all hang out in a crowd and you have to barge in to even speak to them. So, make a special effort to get down to the beginners' end every so often and ask someone for a dance. Resist falling into a clique at your local club: to outsiders, though you will be seen as the best dancers, you will also seem snobby and un-touchable.

Consider asking newbies: you were once one. Those experienced dancers who agreed to dance with you as a newbie gave you incentive (by "suffering" through with your learning) to keep going to reach a point of being a "decent dancer". Do the same for the newbies you meet and make then feel welcome - it is an investment in your future dance partners. Remember, as a beginner you don't know how perfectly right it feels for two people to dance as one until it happens to you for the first time.

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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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