Lead and follow: "matching resistance" in closed ballroom position (video: 3 min., 23 sec.)

by James Joseph


In this video Skippy Blair shows how the leader and follower can create a dance “connection” in the “closed position” by “matching resistance.” This is a very important video for followers!

In the closed position—the most common position used in partner dancing—the leader places his right hand over the lower portion of the follower’s left shoulder blade. To create the connection the follower must match the leader’s resistance by pulling her left shoulder back and down, pressing into the leader’s hand. If the follower does not match the resistance, the leader finds it much more difficult to lead.

It’s common for teachers to describe the process of matching resistance as meeting a push with a push and a meeting a pull with a pull. Beginners find that a difficult process as it’s counterintuitive; beginners tend to yield to a push or a pull, not resist them. Skippy says, “The resistance is not actually pushing or pulling. It is a matching reaction to the action of the lead. The natural tendency to yield to a lead rather than to match the natural resistance is a real problem for many dancers.”

I wish every follower would watch this video again and again. If you don’t press back into your leader’s right hand, you give us nothing to work with.

Video courtesy of Skippy Blair (swingworld.com).

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