Who are you when you are dancing? Are you the leader? The follower? The man? The woman? I was once confronted with my using the terminology man/woman in class. The person complaining said that she was dancing a role (she was dancing the man’s part) and that was the role of the leader.

I know this easily gets messy, but I never liked the euphemism leader/follower when what we are talking about is a man and a woman in most cases. Being a follower implies being passive, and sort of gives the leader higher value. When it can easily be argued that it is quite the oposite. The man dances _ for the woman_, remember? She is the high value part of the relationship. To be cherished and taken good care of. Embraced.

Yes, with love.

A few years back I took a class about communication and backleading. We were asked to try and verbalize what we were communicating in our dance. While I did not like the lesson much, something interesting came up. I tried finding the words, my mood maybe, happy or sad, if I had a good day at work and so on. The interesting part was the answer from another couple at the class. They dismissed the whole idea of the communication comprising more than mere movements. While they were very good dancers, I think they miss out on something very important if they limit the dance to merely movements.

On a related note, Javier in a class talked about daring to enjoy embracing and walking together, and how using too many steps like sacadas etc would create a distance between the two in the couple. And he was not talking about the physical distance between the dancers, but about not connecting with your partner on a deeper level than merely doing steps together.

Lower the mask and dare dance as yourself. Don’t play games. Dare showing your true self. You might be lucky and get the same in return.

Photo by August Rush@flickr, CC-licensed

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