Who's Leading Anyway is a title of a chapter in a friend's (hopefully) soon to be written book. I'd like to borrow it to talk about my experience as a dance instructor. Leading and following is topic that has spurred a lot of conversation about the roles we play in relationships on and off the dance floor. And this will probably be discussed a lot on this blog. But today, the focus is on the 3rd partner of partnership dancing. The true leader. The Music. In dance, it's the music that is the true leader. It gives us the dance, the tempo, the mood. It tells a story. It revs us up and settles us down. Dance is that physical representation of what music does to us. And when it's done well, it's beautiful. As an instructor, I teach people to align their movement to the music, helping them create beauty on the dance floor. Now, how does this parallel life? In life, do I align myself to the 'music' of my life? Do I let something, someone take the Lead? For most of my life, no – I danced to the beat of my own drum, following my own impulses and desires. (Yes, I am the middle child.) But, now, is my life beautiful?.... No. Now, don't get me wrong. I love my life and the people in it. But, I see the struggle against the flow of life. Just as I sometimes see a dancer who's not quite with the music and he/she doesn't want to get with the music. It's almost as if there is a struggle for which creative force will take center stage. The music vs the dancer, not a harmonious combination of both. Of late, I've really been growing in my understanding of what faith truly is, what letting go really is and what it means to have God guide my life. And as I look back at the instances in my life where I have unwittingly 'danced' my life well, I do see the beauty. I do see the harmony. I also still see me in the performance. Which is what I think I was most fearful about in letting go. Getting lost in performance. Not living MY life. This is not the case. There is beauty in aligning my life to God's will, and there is personal freedom within that will. What's funny is that when I teach women to follow, I assure them that there is room for personal expression within the lead. And that they have choices that doesn't disrupt the lead. I guess I needed some assurance too. Going forward, I am going to pay more attention to the music of life. And express within it. (I suspect in time that I'll look back at the dance of my life and see the beauty in the struggle too... not there yet) ---- David, please finish the book, I look forward to reading it.
"Pick a foot and get on it." Preferably, not on your partner's. This a phrase I say often when I teach. It's because I'm always catching my students on both feet, weight split. I think it's because they're afraid to be on the wrong foot, so they're on both. In ballroom dancing, you're rarely on both feet at the same time, weight equally split. There are only a handful of split weight moves. It's better to pick a foot and get on it. You at least have a 50% chance of being right. If you're on both, you're definitely wrong. If you're the lead, it makes it difficult for the lady to follow your weight changes. If you're the follow, you're not ready for the next move. Life Lesson: Isn't it true that some of out most difficult times occur when we are indecisive? We're "on the fence'. And when we're on the fence, we are filled with stress and anxiety. We want to make the right decision. Well, pick a foot and get on it.
"Indecision is often worse than wrong action." -Henry Ford.
Now, I'm the not suggesting we should hastily make decisions without considering consequences. God knows I've nearly been killed from some of my quick decisions. It's the habit of indecision that is the problem. It can cause more havoc than bad decisions. As a leader, on the dance floor and off, your indecision is felt. The people who follow you are relying on your decisiveness, not just because you always make the 'right' choices but because it's your role.
Dance tip: To insure you have picked a foot and you're on it, raise the heel of the foot you did not choose. This insures that you are fully committed. And commitment is GOOD!
'Pick a foot and get on it.' You can always switch.
Welcome to my site.
And if you are new to ballroom dancing, I look forward to introducing you to this fun and exciting activity. Ballroom dancing is one of those activities that you can participate as much or as little as you desire; if you are looking to compete in this dancesport or if you just want have some fun at the next dance social. Whatever your goal, please allow me to help you. This site has some info on how I can help. If you have any questions please contact me.
See you out on the dance floor!!!