Today’s video builds upon what we covered in video 001: frame basics.
First I recap what we learned from that video, then I discuss what it means to have complete physical connection. Whatever points of connection your leader gives you, you should meet as well as possible, whether it’s between your hands, over your leaders arms and shoulders, or anywhere else.
Second, I discuss “no leaks” connection. This means having a frame that is completely connected from the point of your leaders body to your center, to your entire body. This should run from the leaders body, to your fingers, through your forearm, under your triceps, into your lats, and then into your back and torso. This enables your upper body to be connected to your whole body, so you can move properly when and how your leader wants you to leave. You have to figure out how this works in different movements while you are dancing.
Third, I discuss specifically keeping your shoulders down and keeping your lats engaged to make sure you are well connected and have no leaks.
Fourth, I discuss the concepts of compression and extension. These ideas come from the American swing dances, where there is a lot of elasticity in the connection, and the leader and follower are always counter-balancing off of each other. In the Latin dance we do not have that. What we have is neutrality. Our hands are physically connected but not acting on each other, in this neutral state. We activate when the leader initiates a movement .Then compression or extension happens – then your leader will push on you or will pull on you.
Fifth, I explain this concept in terms of very simple math. When your leader pulls you, for example, with the strength of, say, 10. If you pull back with 12 you will over power your lead and you will both go backwards. That is bad. If you pull back with a 10 you stay still. If you pull back with an 8 you will follow your leader but will be super heavy. If you pull back just the tiniest amount, enough to hang on to your frame, so a 1 or perhaps a 2, your leader will be able to move you and you will be able to maintain the integrity of your frame. The same works for compression.
Sixth, I explain how this works for leading and following spins.
Seventh, I explain that high level leaders really enjoy that if they change the amount of pressure or tension or activation that they give you, that you change your response to be properly calibrated to theirs. Give and receive and spin such that you don’t overpower your leader but rather meet them with the exact level of strength that they are asking for.
That concludes the list for advanced tips and theory! Please let me know in the comments here or on youtube if you have any questions!!