Learning to steer

One of the most frustrating things about dancing in clubs, especially when things get crowded is people running into me or my partner when we’re trying to dance. Most of the time it’s just a bump or two and I just brush it off. But I’ve seen women get hurt out there when they get stepped on. For us guys it’s not quite as bad because we’re usually wearing a lot more shoe than the ladies, but I’ve been stepped on bad enough where I was limping off the dance floor. And I’ve seen ladies walk off the dance floor bleeding because they got stepped on by another woman in heels. Getting hurt is never pleasant.

My overriding rule is that regardless of whether we’re dancing with a professional dancer that has been dancing for years or a day one newbie, we always look out for our partners. Part of the job of being a lead is to pay attention of our surroundings and steer. As a golf teacher once taught me, you aim towards the holes and away from the hazards. And usually, the hazard is usually some guy dancing way too big for the dance floor trying to show off. There have been several times I’ve been dancing and had to either cut a woman’s back break short or redirect her away from someone else coming in behind her. Let me tell you, the ladies notice. I frequently have gotten a “nice catch” comment from the person I’m dancing with.

If a lead gets a reputation of looking out for his partner, then his partner will start trusting him. When she starts trusting the lead, then she can get creative and playful with her styling. And when that happens, then things start getting fun. With the right partner, we can get moving pretty fast and hard. But to get to that point, I’d better be ready to catch her every time.

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