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What solo dances do you do from the African tradition?
I’ve learned the basics very easily but am frustrated with my progress as the male partners in class, at least most of them, have no rhythm. How can I really learn when the lead is struggling? We were told that the lead has control, so if he/she has trouble with rhythm, etc. for us to just go with it and follow him anyway.
How does one overcome a clumsy lead without rhythm? How can I learn and utilize the steps in this situation?
I empathize with the frustration this subscriber expresses. It’s hard enough when we’re trying to do something difficult, like learn a new dance, without someone making it even more complicated for us.
It’s also true that it’s much harder to follow leaders that are struggling with their steps. If you are listening to the music and feel moved by the beat, it’s hard to move with the leader against it.
Advice for Beginner Followers
I’d like to invite you to try on a change in perspective, though. Your goal isn’t to learn the steps. You don’t need to know how to utilize them. That’s what the leaders need to learn from class.
Your aim in class is to learn to follow. When you start advancing and when you dance with more experienced leaders, they will lead lots of other steps, including ones you haven’t learned.
The heart of kizomba is simple: it’s taking steps as one with your partner. The basics are a good practice ground for learning the difference between stepping on the spot, to the side, or forward and back; stepping slowly or on the beat – or even off it!
If you set your mind to moving exactly with your leader, regardless of whether they are doing something that makes any kind of musical sense, it will build your following skills immensely.