Give Her Some Room!

The last few weeks have had a common thread running through class topics: following, embellishments, and reacting to the situation at hand.

I could write and lecture about what we talked about, but sometimes it's easiest to see it in action. This clip is of me dancing swing, but many of the same ideas apply.

So here is the basic gist- Leaders can assist the partnership by slowing down and creating safe spaces in which the follower can embellish without fear of being pulled off axis while unprepared. Followers can practice developing speed in their embellishments to be prepared should a leader lead them unexpectedly out of a moment. Both partners can elevate the musicality of their partnership by timing such moments and embellishments to musically appropriate sections, increasing the likelihood that the interpretation of the music will be appreciated and understood.

So just a few thoughts to bear in mind as you watch this clip:
1. I am used to expressing my musicality in my feet when dancing swing. Since we were dancing outdoors, I didn't have as much range to comfortable swivel my feet and had to adjust.
2. Mandy and I haven't danced together in several months, so there is an initial adjustment period of establishing connection, but that also means we are more observant and less complacent.
3. Mandy is a highly trained contemporary and hip-hop dancer as well as swing dancer. Our best dancing comes when I give her space to show off her musicality and I follow along.
4. There are several moments where I am overleading, attempting to create hits in the music through pattern selection- she manages to recover and create musicality despite my worst efforts.
5. We both know this song pretty darn well.