Welcome to Episode 19 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
Tonight, Andres wants to talk about Responsibility. Andres wants people to refuse to victimize themselves. People should not pretend that nothing that happens is their fault or that they’re only a victim of circumstance.
How does this relate to dance? Specifically to following and the leading. Andres talks about how people need to take responsibility for their roles and understand them, rather than blaming the other dancer completely for a dance failing.
Andres explains that a dancer’s responsibility is to make the dance succeed, even if it means picking up the slack that is sometimes uninevitable. Andres talks about how often you see dancers dancing together who are actually two separate dancers, rather than a dancing unit. Andres says that it’s important both meet each other to create a synchronized dance.
For followers -usually but not always ladies- their role in a partner is to make the dance and the artistry of the dance. A leader -usually but not always a man- is a picture frame, while the follower is the picture. It is the job of the follower to express and connect to those emotions. While there are exceptions, this is the general role for the follower. Shy or restrained dancers are not fulfilling their responsibility as dancers. Andres urges followers to engage in the dance to the fullest.
The responsibility also extends to figure out what dancer you are. Find examples, do research, and experiment to see what kind of dancer it is that you are, rather than just following the rote. The goal is ultimately to become yourself as a dancer as much as you can.
For leaders, the responsibility relies on giving follows the space to express themselves. Do not allow your insecurity or desire to be noticed to overtake the follower. You are steering the ship, but you are not the main event. Do not be too strict or demanding with your leading. It leads to a stiff dance where the follower cannot express herself. On an emotional sense, it’s important to not be too close or the dance can quickly turn into something else, or at least feel like it. The follower is not going to be able to focus on expression and instead will emphasize a protective emotional barrier.
Dancers need to make sure to take on the responsibilities of their roles, and when they do that, then the dance becomes even greater than the sum of its part.
“I want you to be able to be that type of dancer. Leads, I want ladies to come up to you knowing you’re going to give them the space to paint. At the same time, follows, I want leads to go up to you and I want to know that you’re going to make them look good with the space you created.”