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The Arthur Murrays’ Dance Secrets: The Secrets of Leading
The dance floor is the one place where the fairer sex prefers to remain submissive. Girls expect their partners to set the pace—to choose and direct the steps. All that they ask of you is a definite indication of where you are heading.
To give this definite indication, a man must first be clearly certain of just what he does want to do. If he is not sure of himself, how can he expect a partner to be able to follow him? There is no short-cut to good leading… it takes a definite, well defined knowledge of the steps.
So, the one and only rule is… KNOW THE STEPS! Then you will move with assurance and your partners will feel a glow of pride and confidence in your ability. You’ll enjoy overhearing them say: “Isn’t he a wonderful leader!”
Forceful Guiding Unnecessary
Believe it or not, the little woman does not need to be pushed, pulled, or hauled to make her go your way. When you do your own part well, you won’t have to worry about leading. Reserve your strong-arm tactics for other times, other places than the dance floor.
Sometimes, when dancing with a brand new partner who can follow but is not yet familiar with your style of dancing, you may have to do a bit of guiding. This is done with your right hand and arm. Always hold your right hand firmly just above your partner’s waist—you will find that she will respond easily to a light pressure. Your left hand does very little toward leading.
Pointers For Good Leaders
- When dancing with a new partner for the first time, start off with very simple steps. You then become acquainted with each other’s style in dancing.
- Simple, uninvolved steps are easy to lead and follow and they will quickly give you and your partner ease and confidence in each other. There is plenty of time ahead for your more advanced, intricate steps and turns.
- Most good dancers lead the same step at least twice in succession… it makes their dancing more flowing—and it gives them time to plan a graceful sequence to their pattern of steps. It is far better to do the same step several times than rush into quick, jerky changes.
- Don’t be afraid to pause, in position with your partner, at the beginning of each dance. Listen to the music, make sure of your timing and then start forward, sure and confident of yourself.
- Never count for your partner unless you don’t care what she thinks of you. Neither is it necessary for you to tell her, in words, what you expect to do next. Knowing your own part well and holding your right hand firmly on her back will convey a sufficient message to her.
- To be a really good dancer, you must be able to dance without having to concentrate on your steps. Your feet must have learned to respond easily to the music; you must be able to lead or follow without apparent effort.