Welcome to Episode 74 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
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When you are dancing, are you feeling it or understanding it? Is your dance felt or understood? Feeling is generally but not universally the more feminine energy of the dance, being in tune with the emotions, intuitive feelings and instinct. Understanding is traditionally a masculine attribute. It’s more about the mechanics, the cognitive processes of the dance. It’s a more technical side of dance. These are two different ways to take and process information that teachers and students need to be aware of so that they can teach and learn better.
In terms of dancing, though, the follow is almost always going for a feeling experience. It is important for the lead to make sure that the follow is feeling the emotions the lead is imparting. Communication is important in all forms of relationships and dance is no different. Leads themselves want their moves and commands understood by the follow. So the leads also need to be clear about their feelings, so that the lead can see if he is being understood. When you let your feelings be seen, he can understand you as well, and adjust himself so that he can make sure you are feeling what you need to for the dance.
Follows should try to understand more and leads should try to be more open to feeling both the dance and the lead. Both the genuine intuitive emotion and the clinical understanding are necessary for a dance to thrive. Both sides need to make sure that they are meeting the other halfway. By pushing your mental state outside your comfort zone you can build a fuller, more complete dance, and the dancers will be able to communicate with each other better. For more details on this, also consult the episode ‘Meet Me Halfway’ where Andres talks about this idea in more depth.
Feeling and understanding are simply two sides of the same coin. While some people will be more likely to lean towards one side than the other, it’s important to be able to branch out and to feel or understand the other side as needed. Both the follow and the lead need to be able to communicate with each other, and that requires you to be able to some extent see how the other thinks.
“If you’re being empathetic to each other, you are being understand, you are realizing that you are communicating with someone who operates on a different dimension, on a different spectrum completely, as far as for the way that one thinks, the way that one processes, then you’re able to immediately see that on the dance floor.”
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