Sometimes you want to even out the ratio by switching roles.
Here's how, when, and why you should lead as a regular follow:
How Should I Lead?
Since you were brave enough to cross the gender divide, be brave enough to make mistakes and learn from them. READ THE DIRECTIONS BELOW. Guide your follower in the pattern as well as you can and remember that the other leads are attempting the same thing (and those followers? they are learning, too).
When Should I Lead?
- when there's more ladies than men in class
- when you're in the mood to try it
- when you have done the pattern in focus at least once as follow
- when you're feeling confident (or can fake it)
- when you're in the mood to fully participate
#1 seems obvious, but there's a been a couple times that ladies have chosen to lead when there's even numbers or even more men and while switching parts is an AWESOME LEARNING TOOL, that was not the time.
By even-ing out genders, you're helping out the teacher, giving yourself and all other class participants the opportunity to dance more, and learning something new and valuable yourself (more about that below).
#2 - Are you in the mood to take the other part? Sometimes, I'm working on a new technique and want to use the time in class to practice it without the worry of doing something else new.
Sometimes, I want to hang out next to my bestie and just dance around without being particularly learn-y.
Maybe the pattern looks too difficult to lead or there are techniques that are being introduced that you are unfamiliar with. In these cases, stay with your default gender and learn and practice!
#3 is often ignored by new lady leaders. It is INFINITELY easier to lead a pattern once you know the follower's part. If you have no idea how much the pattern rotates, or what hand hold is used, or where shadow position is, even if you're feeling super helpful and leader-y, STAY ON YOUR SIDE. Lady leaders are often looked upon as the more advanced ones in class because you chose to do a different part. It's assumed that you have some experience with the pattern and you are LEADING...
cause to go with one by holding them by the hand while moving.
show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them.synonyms: prompt, initiate
Which brings us to #4... since there's some proficiency implied when you go to the other side, and the leaders you're standing next to are also trying to successfully complete the work in class, THERE IS NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE. Do your thing to the best of your ability (with the above conditions hopefully met) and keep making adjustments. Keep your chin up and smile.
#5 since you're doing a different part than usual and probably do not know all the ins and outs of this half of the partnership, please listen to your teacher closely. They are likely to give you helpful hints to make transitions easier, address common mistakes, and generally teach you how to do it. If you're making dirty jokes with your classmates and not listening, A) you're being disruptive B) you're making it harder on yourself and others. BOO.
Why Should I Lead?
- for perspective
Once you've lead the lovely lady who has no connection/too much connection/doesn't move herself/totally moves herself/has beautiful shape/follows through on initiation/uses amazing latin motion/BLAH BLAH BLAH, you'll further comprehend that thing that your teacher has been telling you. You'll immediately see how important it is to keep your elbows lifted in closed dance frame or to keep moving in the direction you were lead or to keep your eyes up. You'll learn how to do your full-time job better!
Questions? Concerns? Comments?