To begin the lead and follow of ballroom dance you need to learn about the dance frame. The dance frame is your connection. The connection points in ballroom dance are where your bodies touch. The leader will communicate his next dance step through these connections. If it is led well, the follower will respond. He does not verbally tell the follower what to do. Dan and I have been dancing for over 13 years and we still are working on it. We continue to learn.
Four connection points:
o Man’s left hand holding woman’s right
o Man’s right hand on woman’s left shoulder blade (men: keep elbow up, parallel with the floor and fingers together!)
o Woman’s left elbow on man’s right elbow
o Woman’s left hand on inside edge (near top) of man’s right shoulder(I put my thumb in front of Dan’s deltoid muscle)
The leader cannot lead without having a good dance frame. The follower cannot follow without a good dance frame. The leader uses these connection points to lead the next step. He gently signals the next move and she follows. It is never done with force.
The man’s ability to lead is the predominant factor in determining the skill level of the couple.
· If a beginning leader is matched to an advanced follower, the couple will only be able to dance at a beginner level (leader will not know how to signal nor dance the advanced movements)
· An advanced leader can dance with a beginning follower and by doing proper lead movements, get the follower to do some movements that are above her skill level
Just because a man knows some advanced dance movements doesn’t mean he will be a good dancer – the question is, “Can he also be an advanced leader?”