Lady Says:  What was that?

Man Says:  I raised my arm to turn you.  You didn’t follow!

Lady Says:  I didn’t feel you lead me through anything.

Unfortunately, we have all had this conversation with our dance partner or we have heard it from others.  The follower was trying to follow while the leader was trying to lead.  If this has happened to you, fear not!  This article will lead you into the right direction so follow along! 🙂


Defining Lead and Follow

follow the leader


Communicates the patterns of a dance through decisive movement.


Is sensitive to the leader’s signals and responds accordingly


Leading and following is the primary ingredient to social dancing. It is how a dance couple moves together as a unit without the need of a specific song or choreography. It is even encouraged in competitive dancing, as it adds an authentic look to the partnership.

Leader or follower, whichever role is yours to occupy is, quite literally, your job description on the dance floor.  What you do with that responsibility will determine who you can dance with.


A New Way Of Thinking


1.  Football:  Offense and Defense



The leader is the quarterback.  They’ve got to be decisive, communicate the plays, and operate on time with quick decision making as an essential key to success.


Cannot ask the quarterback which play they are running.  The job of the defense is to be as agile and reactive as possible.  They cannot predict which direction the play is going to go, but they can put themselves in the best possible position to read and react to the direction of the play.


2.  Racing:  Driver and Race Car

race car



The leader is the driver.  They push the pedal to get the car moving.  Once the car is in motion, they have to constantly pay attention to the other drivers around them in order not to cause a crash.  When drivers change directions, they do so with ease instead of jerking the steering wheel at the last minute.


 The follow is the race car.  They respond to how quickly or slowly the driver pushes the pedal in order to know the speed of which they need to go.  When the driver needs to change direction, the race car responds accordingly and does not try to guess a turn or a change of lanes is approaching.


The pit crew is the partnership among driver and race car.  Without care and trust, the drive will not be as enjoyable.  Sometimes the car may need a tune up and the driver might need to work on their skills, but in the long run they cannot race without each other.


Bottom Line,


Dancing is not a one person job.  Like the saying goes, It Takes TWO to Tango!