Ladies… so you think you had a super fun dance with a great dancer. But you wonder why he never asks you for a second dance. Most guys won’t tell you why, but here are some common reasons…
1) FINGER SQUEEZING
Unfortunately, leaders are subject to the dreaded “finger squeeze” by women supporting their weight and balance by squeezing their partner’s fingers like they’re milking a cow. If you’re a finger squeezer, you’re a potential source of injury for your partner. Make it a priority to improve your balance and own your steps to avoid benching him. Injured men means fewer dances for us and we don’t want that!
2) MAC TRUCK & INVISIBLE FOLLOWING
This is not about weight, rather about tension/tone. Achieving a nice, fluid, comfortable connection with your partner is needed to let expression flow freely. When it feels like the leader is basically dancing FOR you (physically dragging you everywhere, keeping your time and balance), it’s a work out. You could be 90 pounds but could be the heaviest follower in the club. Leaders don’t want dance FOR you, they want to dance WITH you. Listen to the music, stay on time, and manage your own balance. Imagine if you had to carry him while he was dancing…for 3-5 minutes. On the other hand, when a follower is too light, she can feel invisible. He feels like he’s chasing you. (This is not the same as back leading). Whether salsa, bachata, cha cha or Kizomba, there’s a certain level of elasticity needed in your connection for a true lead and follow to happen. When you find that right level of elasticity, you’ll feel like you’re actually dancing together and isn't that what it's all about?
3) BACK LEADING
Trying to guess what a leader is going to do defeats the purpose of following. And it can ruin the connection you have with your partner. Great followers are awesome at responding to the leader’s….well, lead. Women are often afraid of being behind or missing the lead, but sometimes we think too far ahead and anticipate what’s about to happen. In doing so, you’ll likely miss the lead, interrupt his flow, mess up timing, and ruin your connection. It takes skill to wait for that lead and respond quickly. That skill is part of what sets apart good followers from awesome followers. Your first job as a follower is to follow. There can be only one driver ☺ So try not to “guess” what’s going to happen because you’re going to miss the fun of “feeling” what he’s going to do.
Hijackers take back leading to another level. In the hijacker bucket include:
- Over-stylers who take every opportunity to ram in every styling element they know in one count of eight, for the whole song whether or not it matches music.
- Social performers who use excessive energy (often taking down her partner) as they eyeball the crowd and potential onlookers.
- Self-dippers who propel themselves into dips without a lead from her partner. This is an accident waiting to happen. And can injure your unsuspecting leader.
Don’t be a hijacker. Leaders don’t like dancing with them.
5) DIVA DANCING
This includes, but is not limited to
- not smiling
- not making eye contact
- looking bored
- lazy stepping/following
- rolling eyes
- looking around
It may seem like women are the ones complaining about bad breath or BO, but it goes both ways. Keep some mints handy (avoid the potential choking from gum chewing), a change of clothes, deodorant and body wipes. Don't make hygiene the reason he doesn't come back for more.
7) BRAIDED PONY TAIL WEAPONS
This one is more about awareness and has nothing to do with actual technique, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re planning on dancing where there could be some spinning involved, high braided pony-tails are pretty much a weapon. Imagine a stiff, tightly wrapped rope whipping you in the face with every turn. Save that hair do for Kizomba.
So girls, let's do a self-check every now and then, and make some adjustments as needed. Let your dancing speak for itself and make him want to come back for more! Happy dancing!