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Good Leaders


Date:    Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:41:31 ITA
From:    Gabriella Marino
Subject: Good Leaders

Last night I was dancing at the local milonga, which
gets pretty full after 11 p.m. I danced with various
different men who had all been dancing for years and
realized the following:

I felt I was dancing with a good leader when he managed
to make me unaware of the crowd dancing around us.

One guy I danced two vals with and a fast milonga
steered me round a very crowded dance floor and I didn't
even realize there were other people there (!!!) while
others who I danced tangos with caused me to lose my
balance and concentration because I was constantly
aware that I had to be careful of where I placed my feet.

Another thing I have been noticing is that the best
leaders will effortlessly lead you into doing anything
but at the same time do not feel they have to amaze you
with fancy footwork at every step. When I dance with someone
like that I can't stop smiling, I feel wonderful and dance
smoothly. Bad leaders, on the other hand, feel compelled
to show you all their tricks and expect you to follow
without giving you the proper support, so that you're
always in a state of alert in case you're missing any
vital signs.

I'd be curious to know what other women think.

BTW, I haven't been dancing at milongas for long but
I love it (except when fat sweaty men ask me to dance).

Ciao,

Gabriella
Rome, Italy

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Date:    Tue, 28 Apr 1998 10:36:34 -0700
From:    Pat Cummings
Subject: Re: Good Leaders

Gabriella wrote:
Last night I was dancing at the local milonga, which
gets pretty full after 11 p.m. I danced with various
different men who had all been dancing for years and
realized the following:

I felt I was dancing with a good leader when he managed
to make me unaware of the crowd dancing around us.


I had a similar experience recently, and realized that there is another
facet to a good leader (IMHO, of course).  It's a simple one, too, but
seems to mark the difference between experienced and beginning
leaders:  when you fail, as follower, to "get the lead", the good leader
isn't already proceeding onward, expecting you to be where he
intended.  He waits to see that the lead is taken, and has an idea
what to do if it is mis-taken.  Then he adjusts his lead to make it
more clear, if he leads to the same step later in the dance.

Dancing with these men, I sometimes have an "AHA!" experience,
seeing in retrospect where had I misunderstood a lead earlier in the
dance.  I almost never feel clumsy or off-balance because my partner
is headed somewhere else.  (I don't say "Sorry" and neither does he,
but it's due to his leading skills that neither of us needs to say it.)

This is communication ascending to communion.  This is leading with
respect, and (as Gabriella experienced) creating an intimate space for
that three-minute love affair, even on a crowded floor.  When it happens,
you float off the floor afterward -- or, being greedy, immediately ask
for another!

--Pat
  (of Pat&Ken, who believe in being reasonably greedy...)


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Garrit Fleischmann May 98
Email: kontakt(at)cyber-tango.com