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Compensating for Your Partner - She's Pulling Me Off Balance

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When people talk about having problems of balance, they usually talk about it in one of two ways. Either it's woeful and forlorn because some people have these mythical capacities and others don't. Or it's accusatory, they're pulling me off balance and I don't know why. But usually it's as simple as the distance of the arms and the distance of the feet not matching. This is analogous to the explanation for the disappearance of the tent:

Sherlock Holmes and Watson in a tent - what do you deduce?

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip, set up their tent, and fall asleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes his faithful friend.

'Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.'

Watson replies, 'I see millions of stars.'

'What does that tell you?'

Watson ponders for a minute.' Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?

Holmes is silent for a moment, then speaks. 'Watson, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent.'


This next series of chapters, I think, is terribly practical.
And, the assumption is that your dancing is ideal, but your partner's - not so ideal.
Which is all too often the case, right?
So, this series of chapters talks about how you can make a dance work, and work wonderfully well, both for leaders, and for followers,
Even if your partner isn't ideal. And, we'll go over different topics. So, to begin with.
What happens, if they're pulling you off balance?
So, for the leaders, typically, if the follower is pulling you off balance, it's because of one of two things.
One is: she's more or less in the right place, but her own sense of balance is really bad.
And, when that happens, I want you to think, you can just use your other foot to brace. Because, this is, actually, easy to correct.
D: You just stop her from falling off balance early. So, for example, if she's falling off balance. Fall backwards.
N: Right.
D: And then, I catch her.
N: Oh, David. That was scary.
D: Sorry.
If I wait 'till the last minute, it will feel, it will be a lot of weight. And, it will be too late.
But, if you start to fall off balance, and then, I caught her right there,
So, can you see that? One more time. She goes, I'm, like, "Oh!", not there. So, you want to stop her really early.
And, that, actually wasn't early enough. But, I wanted to make sure the camera could see it. That you could see it.
So, for this first one, anytime you begin to feel her waiver, tighten up, and then, set her back over the ball of her foot.
Now, this requires that you know where the ball of the foot is to begin with.
But, generically, you can just say, "Well, I'm going to pull her away from the direction she's falling".
And, it doesn't matter what the direction that is. And, then, you will end up over the ball of her foot.
So, if you feel lots of weight this way, that means she's falling this way. That means the ball of her foot is that way.
D: The opposite way.
N: That's true.
D: She's having fun with it.
N: Yeah, this falling video's kind of fun.
You, probably... If you have a partner, you can, probably, practice this together. It is kind of fun.
Now, the different thing, leaders, that can happen,
Is that, she can pull you off balance because she doesn't step where you want her to step.
So, for example, let's say we're doing a basic. Why not? Basic is a nice place to describe things.
And so, let's say, on this next step, she steps way to her heel. So, right there, actually, did you see what happened? I gave in my arm.
So, I wasn't ready to step. So, when she went back, I could have done this, and fallen over.
Or, as she went back, I could have given her resistance, started to go, but let my arm extend, so that it doesn't interrupt my axis.
So, fundamentally, if you're here, "Ah, timber!", you can't do anything for her.
But, on the other hand, if you're here, then you can plant. And, you can make things work.
Final thought, with regards to... She's falling, leaning, how do you say, she's pulling me off balance.
D: Is, right there, I didn't really give her much choice.
N: None whatsoever.
D: She's really leaning back a lot.
N: I am.
D: And, I just rocked a little bit to my heel,
N: He's got me.
D: To counter-lean.
And, if she leans a different direction, I'll feel her start to shift. And so, I'll shift too.
So, you can not let her get there, even before she does the wrong thing. And, this is the best.