Leader by Day, Follower by Dance
"Leader by day, Follower by dance." - Lider x Falouer
If we took a poll, we bet that leading and following would be rated as the biggest challenge for new social dancers.
Most social dancers learn about the dynamics of energy for the first time in the dance classroom. For our non-dancers, "lead and follow" is how two partners communicate on the dance floor. One person takes the lead and the other person follows them. To break it down even further, leading the dance requires masculine energy and following the leader requires feminine energy.
During partnerwork, the class is split into leaders and followers. While a student is free to choose any role, most men choose to lead and most women choose to follow.
When both partners embody their respective roles, partnerwork is fun and smooth sailing. If one partner struggles with embodying their role, then the whole partnership suffers. That's when you start to hear complaints like "I can't follow my partner" or "My partner is back-leading me."
Leading + Leading = Power Struggle ✖
Following + Following = No Action ✖
Leading + Following = Connection ✔
In class, there's a running joke that it's always the leader's fault. While it's easier to point the finger at one another, there's shared responsibility.
For example, if a follower lacks trust in the leader or is used to leading in their professional and home lives, then it feels uncomfortable at first to embody the opposite role (feminine energy) in the dance. Over time, following becomes second nature.
To inspire followers to proudly embrace their powerful role in the dance from the get-go, we designed the Leader by day, Follower by dance t-shirt. The message we hope to spread is that it's possible to lead in other areas of your life and follow on the dance floor.