Tips for Improving your Lead Technique in Modern Jive

Improving your Lead Technique in Modern Jive

What’s more important – knowing dance moves or knowing how to lead them? You may be surprised that they are not the same thing. And though both are important it is actually more important to develop a clear lead than learnmodern-jive-dance lead and follow tons of dance moves. In fact, from the point of view of the follower it is often better to have a firm lead that the follower can understand even though you may know fewer dance moves.
Dance moves do not happen in isolation they work together to form different routines which then flow together into your dancing. Once you know a few moves you will learn to link them into short routines that look great.
However if your lead is week or “wishy-washy” or tentative (which it may be when you first start learning to dance) your partner will have difficulty interpreting it and worse,  she may start “back-leading” that is, starting the move before you, the lead, who is supposed to initiate the move and throwing you off the beat.Leads – you must learn to give a clear lead so that the follow has no difficulty whatsoever interpreting it.OK, got it. But…

How do you develop a good lead?

Here are some tips:

  • Imagine your follower/partner has no idea what moves you are about to do next
  • Imagine the follower won’t move until you provide the appropriate lead and direction.
  • Pretend the follower has her eyes closed and yet you still have to lead in such a way that it’s easy to follow your lead.
  • Count the beats in the music, or listen to the teacher’s voice don’t simply “do the moves.”
  • Dance with the teacher/s and the more experienced dancers – especially if you’re new  

Any one (or all) of these will help you determine the right amount of tension you need in your lead. Some follows prefer a stronger lead, some only need a very light lead, each person is different and it’s up to you, leads, to learn the right balance.

The great news is that most beginner leads with practice develop their confidence and their dancing takes off. So, don’t worry we’re there to help you develop the confidence you need!
Happy dancing!

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