Compensating for Your Partner - He Doesn't Have a Lead

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We can give you lots of techniques which allow you to lead or follow or dance well in the face of your partner's suboptimal performance. But we want to remind you that dancing with someone is about sharing a few minutes of human-ness with them. And it's about being together with them even when you have to exercise these techniques just to survive the dance.

So we suggest that you use these coping techniques without allowing the need for them to take over your experience of the dance. Think of them as a tool just as proper execution of an ocho is a tool which is part of what allows you to share a (hopefully positive) experience with your partner.

Artist Name:
Tanghetto
Song Title:
Alexanderplatz Tango
Album Title:
Emigrante (Electrotango)
Artist Website:
http://www.tanghetto.com/

(From Wikipedia): Tanghetto is a musical group based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and one of the most important on the neo tango scene. The style of Tanghetto is a blend of tango and electronic music.

00:05
Sometimes, the leader... You're dancing with a guy, and he doesn't give you anything in terms of the lead.
00:10
His arms are just all soft, and he's, kind of, moving his body in different ways. Then, what do you do?
00:16
And, really, the answer is that, the less he has, in terms of his body, - the more you have to have.
00:22
So, you tighten up your core. And you stand really tall. And then, you connect yourself to your partner.
00:29
And, as long as your arms don't give, it doesn't really matter what he does. You can follow his body.
00:35
So, you just, kind of, aim with your chest at his middle of his chest. And you stay facing him. No matter what he does.
00:43
Like this.
00:44
N: Can you do the bad?
D: Sure. OK.
00:51
Oh, boy.
00:54
D: This is like the psychic lead... My arms are all nothing.
N: So, this is pretty bad.
01:02
And, at this point, if he's this bad, you don't even worry too much about...
01:07
If you can guess what he wants, then you give it to him. If you can't, you just stay in front of him, and stay connected.
01:14
And, I mean, there's also this, sort of, philosophical thing.
01:17
So, do you follow what he led, or do you follow what he wants?
01:21
D: And...
N: It's an interesting question.
D: Yeah. And...
01:24
And my instinct, is to say,
01:26
That, when it's more about learning, let's say, class, or practice, or something, - you should follow exactly what he leads.
01:31
N: Right. He needs the feedback.
D: And that, if it's...
01:33
And that, if it's a social event, - you, sort of, compromise.
01:36
So, you don't only do what he wants. But, you also don't only do what he led, if he's really bad.
01:39
'Cause then, nothing goes well. And so you find some place in the middle.
01:43
Well, that's assuming that you know what he wants.
01:45
So, if he doesn't have any idea what he wants, maybe you can still recognize the step.
01:49
And, if you're dancing socially, and you recognize the step - do the step.
01:52
Even, though, that's not... He's not leading clearly.
01:56
If you don't know what it is that he is wanting to want, then just stay connected with him and, kind of, follow him around the floor.
02:04
But, from a technical perspective,
02:07
The advantage is that, on this side of my body, as a leader, you can connect yourself to his torso.
02:14
So, for the followers, when leaders are not good, then, oftentimes, that means that their arms aren't giving you any useful information.
02:22
Right.
02:22
So, for example, they're saying, "Oh, I want you to do all this stuff." Or, maybe, they're not giving you anything.
02:28
N: But, they'll be saying that with - you'll be like this.
D: Right. But, see, with the way that you can hold their upper arm, well that connects you to their body.
02:36
And so, for example, if their upper body moves, you'll be able to feel that. Even though their arms are doing all this stupid stuff.
02:42
No insult, guys.
02:43
So, I want you to think that you can use this to connect your body to his body.
02:49
Because, he's... You have to do it, because he's not doing it for you.
02:52
There are a lot of circumstances where I advise, "You hold on for dear life, right here." And that helps a lot. And this is one of them.
03:02
So, wave this arm around.
03:08
Yeah. Well, that's... But, I can still dance with him. Based on this one hand.