Becoming a Stellar Dance Partner:

10 Tips for Leaders


By Fernando  Carlos


Being a leader in a partner dance is not for the faint of heart, but it is a talent that can be developed. Women enjoy dancing with a great dance partner that is a strong leader without being a pushy leader. If you want to excel as a leader in partner dancing you need to work on your dance leadership skills. The following tips can help leaders to become a partner that all the ladies will enjoy dancing with.

Tip #1 - Protect Your Dance Partner - One of the most essential tips for being a great leader and dance partner is to remember that you need to protect your dance partner. You are the one who is leading her around the floor, and if she is stepped on or collides with someone else, more than likely it will be your fault. A great dance leader will always make sure that he is leading his partner safely across the dance floor to prevent any dance accidents that may result in injury.

Tip #2 - Maintain Correct Posture - In order to become a great dance partner, as a leader you need to be sure that you always are maintaining the correct posture for dancing. If you are dancing while slumping or dancing with posture that is too erect, it can spell dance disaster. If you want to check out your posture, stand against a wall and feel the line that is created by your body. This is the posture that you should always maintain on the dance floor.

Tip #3 - Perform the Closed Hold Correctly - For most forms of ballroom dancing the closed hold is going to be very important. When you are leading it is important that you have this hold mastered. Your partner should be to your right and your feet should be offset in a way that prevents you from stepping on each others’ feet or from knocking knees with each other while dancing. Your left hand and her right hand should be connected, your hand should be on her back, your partners hand should be on your upper arm, and you should have midsection body contact as well. An improper closed hold will definitely lead you both to a disastrous finish to your dance.

Tip #4 - Perfect Single Hand Hold Connections - Another tip that you should keep in mind to become a better dance partner is the single hand hold. Many of the latin dances require you to use a single hand hold, and it is important that you maintain the proper connection during these types of dances. You need to be sure that you keep a strong connection with your partner, for losing connection will almost certainly lead to a catastrophe on the dance floor.

Tip #5 - Provide a “Pin” for Spins - If you want to become a better dance partner and leader, you need to perfect leading your partner through spins. This is a time when many partners find themselves becoming disconnected, and without a proper connection your partner may not know how many times she is to spin. As the leader you need to use your fingers to provide a pin for her to spin on. Whether you are doing inside or outside turns, using the “pin and cup” method will help you keep contact to keep your dance going well.

Tip #6 - Avoid Unsure Steps - If you want to be a great dance leader, you always need to be sure that you are sure of yourself and sure of your dance steps. Nothing is more disconcerting than dancing with a partner who takes unsure dance steps. Your role in the dance is to lead your partner, and if you do not show confidence in your steps while dancing, it will be difficult for her to follow you at all. No need to worry about stepping on your partner as long as you are using the proper holds, so dance and lead confidently around the floor.

Tip #7 - Maintain Eye Contact - Whenever possible a good leader will maintain eye contact with their dance partner. Eye contact will not only establish a connection while you are dancing, but a great leader can use eye contact to help lead while dancing. You can communicate a great deal with your eyes, so make sure that you keep your eyes on your partner as much as possible.

Tip #8 - Avoid Jerking Your Partner - Unfortunately, many leaders feel that they must jerkily lead their partners around the dance floor to communicate their leadership. When you are leading, it is important that you are able to lead your partner smoothly. No woman wants to be jerked around the floor, so take care to smoothly and gently lead your partner. Leading smoothly will be more successful, will look much nicer, and will leave you with a happy partner as well.

Tip #9 - Feel the Beat of the Music - When you are leading a partner in dances it is important that you as the leader get a feel for the beat of the music. If you do not start out with the beat of the music, it can be quite difficult to ever recover. When you are partner dancing, remember that you are the leader, so you have the responsibility to lead your partner with the beat. If you are off beat, it will probably be your fault, so feel the beat and stick with it throughout the dance number.

Tip #10 - Practice - If you want to become a superb dance leader, one of the best things that you can do is practice. It is important that you practice your dance steps on your own and with a partner as well. The more you practice, the better you will become. When it comes to being the leader in a dance, practice truly does help you make it perfect.