Effortless Communication - Leading by the Lightest Connection - 2/15/2007

What grows... never grows old. ~ Noah Benshea
If you always shout, no one will hear your whisper. ~ Andrew Weitzen
The task of the woman is now two-fold. She must follow the man's lead at all times - including his mistakes! She must carry her own weight and in this way learn the art of balance. ~ The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in Teach Yourself Ballroom Dancing

Note: this article taken from my Swing Dance newsletter.

Some of you may know that I run a small Israeli Dance group. In Israeli Dancing we have hundreds of choreographed partner dances. If you came to our swing classes, you may remember doing the cha-cha to a dance called Bala.

Lead and Follow applies equally well to choreographed partner dances, or should, as to other social dances. However, naughty Followers often cheat by doing the steps on their own without waiting for the Lead.

Last weekend, at an Israeli Dance workshop, I was dancing with one of the ladies from my group. After the dance, she commented to me, that when it came time for a series of turns, she did them on her own, because I did not lead her through them.

That made me smile. We walked through that portion of the dance again. I was holding two fingers lightly against the palm of her hand. I raised my hand over her head and she raised her hand. By putting the slightest pressure on her palm, she turned one way. By her maintaining the connection, when I moved my hand in the other direction, she turned the other way.

The Lead and Follow was so effortless, she did not even know it was happening.

We have two problems in achieving effortless communication. The first is, we both have to want to accomplish the same goal, to dance together in harmony with our partner. This is primarily the Follower's responsibility. To dance in harmony, the Follower must follow the Lead at all times, even the Lead's mistakes.

The second is, we have to communicate in an effortless way. If the Leader is forceful and rough, the Follower will not hear the quiet leads. The lighter the Lead, the more responsive the Follower can be.

It takes two to communicate effortlessly, both on the dance floor and in life.

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