Ballroom Dance Instruction – How to Become a Good Follower on the Dance Floor

To experience a great dance partnership, it is just as important to develop following skills as it is to develop leading skills. Therefore the myth: “All I need is a good leader, and I can follow anything” – is only partly true. Only if we have good following skills can the leader dance with power and strength – thus allowing the couple to maintain balance and control and assuring that both partners enjoy the dance.

Frequently you will hear the man (also referred to as the leader) say: “Stop trying to lead – just follow.” Well that works only if the lady (also known as the follower) knows “how” and “what” to follow.

There are two basic aspects to following:

The “How” – Developing our Frame and Connection
The “What” – Focusing on the difference between “intent” and “movement”
Developing Our Frame and Connection – Smooth Dances (Closed Position)
The actual frame (or closed position) is made up of three points of contact – a triangle between the couple:

1. The lady places her right hand in the man’s left hand.

2. The man places his right hand on the lady’s left shoulder blade

3. The lady places her left hand just below the man’s right shoulder.

This triangle has a closed side and an open side. It is important here to point out that the follower should resist “falling” to the right or open side of the triangle. This can be corrected by becoming aware of keeping our “block” – (hips, ribcage and shoulders – aligned and head over the left wrist.) Also check that your right toe is not turned in.

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