Recently I had a fabulous opportunity to attend a swing dancing workshop. It was so much fun! It was really satisfying to immerse myself in learning a skill. At the end I felt like I had made new friends, challenged myself, and learned something more about myself. Though, also by the end, I felt like I was saturated with being a Follow.
“The Lead’s role is to create and direct momentum. The Follow’s role is to maintain momentum and follow the lead. Both partners may add their own styling.” One moment that stood out to me was being shown that without the lead, the follow does not have directional movement. She must move her feet in one position until the lead directs her. Implementing this piece of advice created a partnership that turned out something fluid and beautiful. Once the Leads learned to communicate clearly, and the Follows learned to listen clearly, then the dancers on the floor began gliding effortlessly in the twisty circles of the dance.
It is not easy to be a Follow. You have to concentrate on listening and not insert your own interpretation over what is being communicated. Sometimes this is very difficult because everyone communicates differently. It really is fun to learn the cipher for each dancer. But, I couldn’t help but envy the challenges of the Lead. This seems like the creative center with the decision-making power and the responsibility to insert musicality and style. But, that wasn’t my role!!
I have resolved to learn to lead, but what man would follow Me??