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centerpointe

Lead and Follow Exercises

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Lead and Follow Exercises

Post  AnandMajumdar on Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:42 pm

credit to ballroomdancers.com

Exercise 1: Stationary Push & Pull

Stand facing your partner with a two-hand connection. This exercise is to be done while standing in place, so stand in a sturdy position with feet apart at approximately shoulders' distance. Do not move your feet at any point during the exercise.


Elbows should be held low, slightly in front of and outward from the hips. The forearms should extend straight forward from the elbows, roughly parallel to the floor. Leader's palms should be turned upward; followers palms turned downward. The connection is sturdy but not heavy, without any squeezing or gripping of the partner's hands.



1: Push

Establish a push connection. To achieve the feeling of push, you and your partner should shift your weight towards each other to the point that you can feel each other's body weight working forward through the connection. Keep the connection consistent, and hold it for a few seconds.

2: Pull

Establish a pull connection. To achieve the feeling of pull, you and your partner should shift your weight away from each other to the point that you can feel each other's body weight working away from the connection. Keep the connection consistent, and hold it for a few seconds.

3: Repeat

Switch back and forth between a push connection and a pull connection, holding each connection for approximately 3 seconds. Be consistent and predictable with your intervals. Don't switch back and forth quickly. If you prefer to use music, hold each connection for 1 full measure (4 beats) before switching.

Remember to maintain the position of the arms so that the elbows don't compress backwards behind the body, or extend or straighten too far in front. Don't lean or pitch your body forward or backwards, and don't use the arms to shove or tug your partner.

Lead & Follow

The leader should now call the shots. Begin again in an open facing position with a two-hand hold, but without any weight connection. When ready, the leader will try to establish a connection, and the follower must reciprocate. The leader may now make decisions about when and how quickly to change the connection from push to pull (or vice-versa), and it is up to the follower to feel the changes and respond.

LEADER: Don't be too predictable with your changes. To ensure that your partner is really following you, change the connection at very inconsistent intervals. Sometimes change the connections quickly; other times hold the connection for many seconds before changing. If your partner is having difficulty following, slow down and wait for the correct response before changing the connection again.

FOLLOWER: Your job is to pay close attention to the direction of your partner's weight, and then reciprocate. If you feel your partner's weight coming toward you, don't back up... shift your weight forward in order to counterbalance. Likewise, if you feel your partner's weight shifting away, don't follow by moving toward him... shift your weight backwards in order to counterbalance.

More Ideas

After you've become comfortable with this exercise using a two-hand hold, try it again with only a one-hand hold. The most important one-hand connection to practice is the basic RH-LH connection, but you can also practice using other connections such as LH-RH, or handshake hold (RH-RH or LH-LH).

It's also a good idea to switch roles, so that the leader learns how to follow and the follower learns how to lead. You can learn a lot more about your own part by looking at it from the perspective of your partner.
avatar
AnandMajumdar
Founder - QuickstepSALSA Forum
Founder - QuickstepSALSA Forum

Male
Number of posts : 551
Location : Mumbai, India
Job/hobbies : Salsa Teacher
My Salsa Skill Level :
50 / 10050 / 100

Registration date : 2008-08-13

View user profile http://www.anandmajumdar.com

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Re: Lead and Follow Exercises

Post  AnandMajumdar on Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:42 pm

Exercise 2:
Leading & Following Directional Movement



Stand facing your partner with a one-hand connection.


The elbows should be held low, slightly in front of and outward from the hips. The forearms should extend straight forward from the elbows, roughly parallel to the floor. Leader's palm should be turned upward; followers palm turned downward. The connection is sturdy but not heavy, without any squeezing or gripping of the partner's hand.


1. Push

Establish a push connection by shifting your weight towards each other to the point that you can feel each other's body weight working forward through the connection. Maintain this connection. Do not let it go, and do not switch to pull.

2. Move The Body

After you are fully satisfied that the connection is established, you can start to move. The leader should instigate the movement with a forward step. The follower will hopefully react with a step back.

To make matters simple, let's predetermine that the leader will take his first step forward with the left foot, while the follower will step back with the right. (This is not an absolute for all situations, but a good starting point for this exercise.)

Tip >
Leaders: In order to be effective with your lead, you must fully shift your weight from one foot to another. After all, it's not the movement of your foot that the follower reacts to... it's the movement of your body weight.



3. Stop

After taking a total of 3 steps, stop moving, with the leader's weight forward on the left foot, and follower's weight back on the right. You can now release the push connection.

4. Pull

Establish a pull connection by shifting your weight away from each other to the point that you can feel each other's body weight working away from the connection. Maintain this connection. Do not let it go, and do not switch to push.

5. Move The Body

After you are fully satisfied that the connection is established, you can start to move. The leader should instigate the movement with a step back on the right foot. The follower will hopefully react with a step forward on the left.

6. Stop

After taking a total of 3 steps, stop moving, with the leader's weight back on the right foot, and follower's weight forward on the left. You can now release the pull connection and begin again.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

And repeat. And repeat. This is an excellent exercise for connection training. The more you practice it, the better you'll get. As you get better, you can add difficulty to the exercise in the following ways:

Instead of predetermining that you will take exactly 3 steps in each direction, allow the leader to determine how many (or few) steps to take. You can even shift the weight forward and back over one step, which is essentially a rock step. But remember, the connection must always be present before the movement can occur.
The leader can change the rhythm of the steps, and the follower must use the weight connection to feel and react to the rhythm. You may use a predetermined rhythm, or if you're really good, you can improvise.
Add side steps to the mix. Side steps can be lead with either a push or a pull connection, so you don't even need to change the connection to lead the sideways movement. Try it!
avatar
AnandMajumdar
Founder - QuickstepSALSA Forum
Founder - QuickstepSALSA Forum

Male
Number of posts : 551
Location : Mumbai, India
Job/hobbies : Salsa Teacher
My Salsa Skill Level :
50 / 10050 / 100

Registration date : 2008-08-13

View user profile http://www.anandmajumdar.com

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