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Leader or Follower?

Partnered swing dancing is a role based dance. There is a leader and there is a follower. You can choose whichever role you want to learn. We ask that you choose a role and stick to it for the complete series class or drop-in class.

The terms ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ are a little misleading but we haven’t found anything better yet. Both partners contribute equally to the dance, but in different ways. You can either start with one of the roles, and then after becoming proficient in that role, start learning the other role. Or you can start learning both roles almost at the same time. The decision depends on how you think you will learn best and what will be the most fun for you.

The ‘leader’ is the one usually initiating movement and thinking about the dance in terms of shapes. The ‘follower’ interprets the lead and moves accordingly, adding their own contributions to the dance. The dancers send each other cues about their movements and intentions through their connection as well as visually. The dance becomes an unspoken conversation between the dancers.

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