Becoming a Stellar Dance
10 Tips for Leaders
Being a leader in a
partner dance is not for the faint of heart, but it is a talent that can
be developed. Women enjoy dancing with a great dance partner that is a
strong leader without being a pushy leader. If you want to excel as a
leader in partner dancing you need to work on your dance leadership
skills. The following tips can help leaders to become a partner that all
the ladies will enjoy dancing with.
Tip #1 - Protect Your Dance Partner - One of the most essential
tips for being a great leader and dance partner is to remember that you
need to protect your dance partner. You are the one who is leading her
around the floor, and if she is stepped on or collides with someone
else, more than likely it will be your fault. A great dance leader will
always make sure that he is leading his partner safely across the dance
floor to prevent any dance accidents that may result in injury.
Tip #2 - Maintain Correct Posture - In order to become a great
dance partner, as a leader you need to be sure that you always are
maintaining the correct posture for dancing. If you are dancing while
slumping or dancing with posture that is too erect, it can spell dance
disaster. If you want to check out your posture, stand against a wall
and feel the line that is created by your body. This is the posture that
you should always maintain on the dance floor.
Tip #3 - Perform the Closed Hold Correctly - For most forms of
ballroom dancing the closed hold is going to be very important. When you
are leading it is important that you have this hold mastered. Your
partner should be to your right and your feet should be offset in a way
that prevents you from stepping on each others’ feet or from knocking
knees with each other while dancing. Your left hand and her right hand
should be connected, your hand should be on her back, your partners hand
should be on your upper arm, and you should have midsection body contact
as well. An improper closed hold will definitely lead you both to a
disastrous finish to your dance.
Tip #4 - Perfect Single Hand Hold Connections - Another tip that
you should keep in mind to become a better dance partner is the single
hand hold. Many of the latin dances require you to use a single hand
hold, and it is important that you maintain the proper connection during
these types of dances. You need to be sure that you keep a strong
connection with your partner, for losing connection will almost
certainly lead to a catastrophe on the dance floor.
Tip #5 - Provide a “Pin” for Spins - If you want to become a
better dance partner and leader, you need to perfect leading your
partner through spins. This is a time when many partners find themselves
becoming disconnected, and without a proper connection your partner may
not know how many times she is to spin. As the leader you need to use
your fingers to provide a pin for her to spin on. Whether you are doing
inside or outside turns, using the “pin and cup” method will help you
keep contact to keep your dance going well.
Tip #6 - Avoid Unsure Steps - If you want to be a great dance
leader, you always need to be sure that you are sure of yourself and
sure of your dance steps. Nothing is more disconcerting than dancing
with a partner who takes unsure dance steps. Your role in the dance is
to lead your partner, and if you do not show confidence in your steps
while dancing, it will be difficult for her to follow you at all. No
need to worry about stepping on your partner as long as you are using
the proper holds, so dance and lead confidently around the floor.
Tip #7 - Maintain Eye Contact - Whenever possible a good leader
will maintain eye contact with their dance partner. Eye contact will not
only establish a connection while you are dancing, but a great leader
can use eye contact to help lead while dancing. You can communicate a
great deal with your eyes, so make sure that you keep your eyes on your
partner as much as possible.
Tip #8 - Avoid Jerking Your Partner - Unfortunately, many leaders
feel that they must jerkily lead their partners around the dance floor
to communicate their leadership. When you are leading, it is important
that you are able to lead your partner smoothly. No woman wants to be
jerked around the floor, so take care to smoothly and gently lead your
partner. Leading smoothly will be more successful, will look much nicer,
and will leave you with a happy partner as well.
Tip #9 - Feel the Beat of the Music - When you are leading a
partner in dances it is important that you as the leader get a feel for
the beat of the music. If you do not start out with the beat of the
music, it can be quite difficult to ever recover. When you are partner
dancing, remember that you are the leader, so you have the
responsibility to lead your partner with the beat. If you are off beat,
it will probably be your fault, so feel the beat and stick with it
throughout the dance number.
Tip #10 - Practice - If you want to become a superb dance leader,
one of the best things that you can do is practice. It is important that
you practice your dance steps on your own and with a partner as well.
The more you practice, the better you will become. When it comes to
being the leader in a dance, practice truly does help you make it