“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” — Ann Richards
Maximus and i had our first introductory dance lesson last week and it was Wonderful!! It really was a great date night idea and Maximus was in heaven. i wore my new John Fluevog Heal shoes, which the instructor fell in love with, and they were perfect for dancing in (the instructor even remarked on that after checking them out).
Besides the instructor, i was the only woman and there were three men, including Maximus. It was nice to have a small class, but it would’ve been nice to have an equal pairing. We learned the steps separately, at first, and then paired up, switching partners between songs. While i didn’t want to switch partners, it gave me a chance to experience different styles and what worked, and kept me from trying to manage my lead, as while i might be tempted to do that with Maximus, i wouldn’t do that with a stranger! We learned the Waltz first and then American Tango. We spent considerably more time on the Waltz, learning how to turn the woman and then how to rotate the step together. i thought it was a lovely dance. We rushed through the tango as we were running out of time, and it required a lot more work by the woman, and i’d like to spend more time learning it.
i discovered that ballroom dancing is just like D/s:
- There are defined roles
There is a leader and a follower. It is clearly defined and the leader is in charge of deciding where we are going and how we will be proceeding. Should the follower try to take the lead, toes are going get stepped on! Staying in your roles makes for a smooth and beautiful dance.
- The leader must be strong and confident
my mom has always said, “Fake it ’til you make it,” meaning, be strong, even if you’re scared to death. The follower is depending on the leader to initiate the movement, even when they are learning. The leader’s arms must be strong so they guide the follower in the direction they wish to go.
- Communication is paramount
In dance, you communicate with your connection, your body, your eyes, and this is vital. The leader must be able to convey their expectation for the next step, the direction they are going, how they are doing it. Without this communication, things fall apart.
- The follower must trust their leader
The follower is not in charge and they have to trust that. If you don’t trust your leader, again, toes will be stepped on! Breathe, relax, and allow your partner to lead you. Don’t top from the bottom.
- The leader is showing off their follower
In dance, as in D/s, the leader shows off the strengths of their partner, spinning them, doing things that show off their body, taking advantage of clothing to display their best.
- It takes practice
You’re not going to get it right the first time, or the second time, and after you do get it, you’re going to have hiccups! It’s not a “one and done,” it’s a skill that takes attention. There’s always more to learn, things to add, things to refine.
- It takes patience
You’re both learning–be patient. As the follower, you can’t rush the leader. Don’t get frustrated, be a helpful follower. Toes might get stepped on, steps out of sync, moves forgotten–it’s ok. Pick up, carry on, and continue to learn together.
- It is supposed to be fun for both partners
It really should be! If it’s not, figure out why and fix it. Perhaps you’re not following your role, not communicating, not being patient. And sadly, perhaps it’s not the right partner for you.
- Connection is the key
Hold on tight–we’re in this together!
We’re both looking forward to the next lesson Friday night. This time we’ll learn Salsa and Bachata. Maybe we’ll stay for the open Argentine Tango lesson afterward to figure tango out better. Maximus wants to do private lessons with our instructor after we finish this series, and i think that is great!
i think this is good for us. Not only because it’s something fun and social, but that it builds upon our D/s, teaches us skills we can apply in our relationship, makes us better partners. i’m excited for our future, to see how we grow from applying these skills, both in dance and in D/s.