LEAD AND FOLLOW
Lead is the Mans ability to create the rhythm, movement and body shape for the Lady to Follow. Lead suggests the direction the Lady must move on the following action, it does not make the Lady do the action. The Man must always place himself into a new position (see Promenade Position) and not the Lady. When the Man truly dances himself into an action with perfect balance, rhythm and shape, the Lady will have no choice but to react to the Mans requirements and will perform with absolute security.
Arms and hands do not turn the Lady but indicate the direction of the required movement.
The Lady must react to the Man’s action. She must never initiate a turn but be active through her Head Weight to move and have the ability to be the “engine” on all of her forward movements, including Promenade Position: to move with the Man on his suggestion of rhythm and direction. The Lady will do this through strong use of feet and legs.
1. The Man suggests the movement, the Lady dances the movement, and the Man follows the Lady. (Just like life isn’t it?)
2. The Lady never turns the movement. Think the Lady is riding behind the Man on the back seat of a Tandem Bicycle. She can create the movement with a strong use of her feet and legs but cannot steer into a turn as the Man is holding the steering handlebar.
3. The Mans right hand moves with the Lady’s back, it does not move the Lady’s back. (See Development of Hold)
4. Always allow the Lady to be completely balanced over her own foot, so she is able to move her own body weight efficiently.
5. The Man must “talk” to the Lady with his body, and the Lady must “listen” to the Man through the contact with his body
6. Feel the connection between the Man’s right hip line to the movement of the Lady’s head weight
7. The Man must allow the Lady freedom to continue her movement in all figures requiring strong extension through head and body, such as the Line figures, until the Man indicates a change to a new shape or movement.
8. When commencing the movement to the following figure of a strongly extended line of Lady’s head and body, she should not decrease the extension, but allow the return to normal posture and head shape gradually, as the following figure is danced. Study this when dancing a Contra Check to a Natural Pivot, by trying to maintain the extended shape until the end of the Pivot.