Gentle Hints for Followers

29th July 2011

(To counterpoint the Gentle Hints for Leaders article...)

Learn to follow

  • Learn technique, and ignore the moves and sequences being taught in classes, you should never have to remember them.
  • Don't backlead. Just because you want to do another ocho, doesn't mean it's being led. If you want to lead, become a leader.
  • Keep it simple. Yes, show tango is lovely with decorations and embellishments - but they have to have something there to decorate or embellish in the first place. Decorations apply to a step - they're not the step itself.

Don't help us

  • If we're not leading something properly, don't follow it. You have to be cruel to be kind, else we'll never learn how to do it properly.
  • Similarly, don't "guess" as to what you think we're leading. You may be wrong, and even if you're not, see the above point.
  • Don't attempt to fix our lead by compensating for us. Again, it doesn't help us.

Don't hurt us

  • Death grips on our hands are never welcome. Yes, I know you're tense and thinking of 20 other things, but so are we, and you've got sharper nails.
  • You also have much sharper heels, so please remember that when trying out that fabulous new boleo enhancement on the dancefloor.
  • We're not capable of lifting you for a tanda. We like touching you, we don't like holding you up.

Communicate with us

  • The embrace is a negotiation. But fundamentally, if you don't like the embrace we offer, don't dance with us, it's better that way all around.
  • We try to avoid collisions, but we don't have eyes in the back of our head. If you see an oncoming crash, let us know. Preferably before it happens.
  • If you like something, let us know about it. Communicate your mood to us.

~ David Bailey, 28th July 2011