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Follows: Stop Guessing and React With “Action-Reaction”


Follows, you’re not fortune tellers and you don’t need cat-like reflexes to enjoy a dance.

Let’s stop the guessing games and learn how to relax and react.

Here’s how…

The Concept of Action-Reaction

Built into the lead-follow partnership is the idea of an action initiation by the lead, followed by a reaction by the follows. This means that actions and reactions happen sequentially, not simultaneously. The action happens up top  in the frame, while the reaction occurs down below, in your feet.

Example from the video:

We’re dancing on1 and Scarlet steps forward in her basic. If I were to lead the basic turn right now, it would be on that five where I start going across with my hand to initiate the turn. Notice how the action starts affecting her upper body but still incorporates the idea of stepping forward? She’s not square with her feet and frame (her upper body has already been moved by my hand), so there’s the action. Followed by the reaction down below with her feet as she continue the turn.

Now, follows, if you’re dancing On2, Scarlet steps on one, then forward for two for her basic turn. There’s the action by the lead of starting to pull her hand across on 2, followed by the reaction in her feet.

The lead happens on the number, and the pivot happens in between, so it’s “two-E-and-a” down below in the feet.

You don’t need cat-like reflexes. There’s an action and then a reaction. Let the body and frame respond, and the feet will be the reaction.

Ignore Action-Reaction and You’ll Be Rushing

See 3:55 in the video. Patrick shows you what not to do, demonstrating that the follows don’t need to rush or guess what’s coming.

Wait for the lead, feel what it is, follow with your frame and your feet will react to complete the movement.

Final Thought

If anything, the follow should be slightly late, not early. Many people go way faster than needed when trying to follow. Give yourself an opportunity to respond to the lead’s action. Don’t panic just respond calmly.

If you want to get more confident and you’re leading and following check out our online salsa program. It teaches you everything you need to know in deep detail so you can have more fun social dancing. You can even try it free for a week here.