[ Home | Overview
| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part
3 | Exercise 1 |
Exercise 2 | Review | Quiz ]
BALLROOM DANCE LESSON
LEADING & FOLLOWING, PART 1: OPEN POSITION
To illustrate the basic technique, we will use a very simple
one-hand connection, where the man holds the lady's right hand in his left, at
approximately waist level. Once learned, this technique can be applied to almost
any other hand-to-hand connection.
first of all, that the hands are held approximately at waist level, or slightly
above. This is important for two reasons:
1. The point directly between each partner's center of balance
is the point of maximum leverage. Placing the hand connection in this area
improves the partners' sensitivity to each others' movement.
2. At waist level (or slightly above), the forearm is roughly
parallel to the floor. Both forearms are aimed directly into one another, so
that the energy moves straight down the middle of the connection, without
deflecting out to an angle. Let's take a closer look:
|STRONG. Energy directed straight through the middle
of the connection.
||WEAK. Energy deflected off to an
In the basic one-hand connection, the man's hand is extended
with the palm turned upward, while the lady's hand extends with the palm turned
downward. Both hands should be very lightly cupped, with the fingers held
together (not spread apart).
FOR HAND POSITIONS
Don't grab or squeeze your partner's hand. Not only are
your fingers very poor transmitters of lead and follow signals, they're
actually distractions. The more you squeeze, the more you muddy up the
connection, and the more difficult it is to communicate with your partner.
Besides, it hurts!
For similar reasons, don't press down on your partner's
hand with your thumb.
Don't spread the fingers apart, or stick them out in
various directions. The thumb can be held loosely apart from the fingers,
but the fingers themselves should stick together, as though you were
Keep the hand loosely cupped. This creates just enough
friction to hold the connection together when tension is applied through
push or pull, without the need for a grasp. If you allow your hand to
flatten-out completely, you may slip and lose the connection with your
NEXT SECTION >