Leaders, learn to relax your lead, the dance is not supposed to be forceful, nor is it supposed to be Salsa wrestling. When you are dancing with someone, you are on the SAME TEAM! Keep in mind that you asked the girl, “Do you want to dance with me?” not “You wanna fight?” Sometimes I just sit and watch girls finish the dance with some guys and assimilate their facial expression. Whenever the dance is over, she needs to feel good. I suppose she’s there because she likes dancing; She is not there for punishment, or to get a beating (There is Cross Fit or Jiu-Jitsu for that). Assuming the girl is not drunk or a beginner, and she is not following your moves and patterns, or she looks like she has just taken a beating when you’re through with her, chances are you’re probably not leading right (In this case, check out my CLASSES!!).
Followers, pay attention to guys when they are finished dancing with you. If they are rubbing their biceps or shoulder when they are done, you are probably a heavy follower; This has nothing to do with weight. It has do with how strong you’re pulling on the guys arm during each move, or how, whenever he lifts his hand for you to turn, you apply force down so you become the equivalent of dancing with 30 lbs. dumbbells. Also, how you’re not reacting when he is lightly leading you through a Cross Body Lead. If you know you’re a heavy follower, work on your footwork, stay on time with the music, don’t over style, be sensitive to the guy’s lead, and stop sticking your butt out before a cross body lead (it just makes you heavier).
Leaders, if you are dancing with a follower who is messing up her Cross Body Lead at times, or who struggles to keep a line, that should tell you something. If you are dancing with a girl who can’t do double or triple turns, it doesn’t mean try harder! I have seen so many girls turned off by salsa dancing because they dance with guys who made them feel belittled. When I hear the line, “he’s too good of a dancer for me, so I couldn’t follow him” I already know what happened. Put your ego aside and dance to the girl’s level. It doesn’t matter who is watching, you’re not going to look like a star by making the girl look horrible.
Followers Who Over-Style
Followers, stop it with the over-styling! When a guy gives you a signal for a Cross-Body Lead, it is not time to do a gancho with your legs, stick your butt back, style your arm, flip your hair, and throw glitter in the air. All he wanted is a Cross-Body Lead. As a follower, err on the side of being reserved with your styling! Styling is part of the dance, not THE dance itself. It’s not fun to dance with someone who is focused on doing all their little styling tricks rather than dancing with you. Social dancing is about connection, not a gala show.