How to Follow the Lead in Ballroom Dancing?

An image of a dancing couple

Are you guilty of back-leading when you dance?

Many followers make this mistake. They unconsciously direct the person leading them instead of the other way around. It can be because of their strong personality or even stronger dancing skills.

This article teaches you how to follow the lead with patience, perseverance, and trust. We also explore the dynamics of ballroom dancing based on your role.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Don’t Rush

Despite popular belief, synchronized dance performances are not only about nailing the step at the same time. There are moments where your job is to move a half-second after your partner.

That’s because, by definition, your role is to move after the leader, not before or with him. The millisecond lag time gives your partner time to communicate and direct the next move.

Being patient and focusing on your partner will allow you to apply this ballroom dance lesson better.

2. Be Patient & Relax

In our ballroom dance lessons, you will learn how to follow the lead through patience and composure. Instead of rushing through the dance routine or counting steps for your partner, you need to let go.

It can be challenging if you are the better dancer.

However, this is not the time to show off your skills. Take a deep breath, relax and wait for the other person to direct you. Followers are supposed to respond and react to their partner’s step instead of back-leading them.

3. Pay Attention

A significant part of ballroom dancing centers on communication skills. The best dance partners know how to interpret non-verbal cues and convey messages through gestures.

As a beginner, you might have trouble adjusting to this style of communication. Mixed signals can mean stubbed toes and uncoordinated steps. Yet, with practice, you will learn how to follow the lead by simply responding to his body language.

Ready to Dance?

In the end, trust your partner and support them. Leading can be hard, especially for amateurs. Don’t make ballroom dance lessons difficult for them by pushing them during the performance. Back leading will confuse them and hinder their growth as a dancer.

When in doubt, remember the three Ps of ballroom dancing – patience, perseverance, and partnership. These will help you follow better when the music begins to play.

Ready to dance? Head over our dance studio to schedule your first dance session.