Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made. Ted Shawn

In the Tango, Meringue, Rumba, Waltz and all other forms of dance, women have the role of following. Men lead.

As a student of dance, instead of perceiving following as
a role of submission, less than or weakness, I’m aware of what going on beneath the surface. It’s my opportunity not to forge ahead, push, or force things to happen, as I’ve done in the past. I’m honing my intuition to guide me, naturally.

Inevitably, when I attempt to lead my partner I venture off course and step on his toes, trip, stumble and fall. I become aware that in the moment before this happened, I felt self-conscious and quickly go into automatic thinking, “What do I do? I’m not sure. Why doesn’t this feel right? Uh oh, I’m not in the zone. I’m caught in my head trying to figure it out. I’m not having fun!”

When I fumble off course my instructor will gently and playfully say, “What just happened, Joelene? Were you in your head? You were thinking really hard about the pattern, rather than letting it happen from what you instinctively know from our lessons, weren’t you? You got in your own way! Stop that!” We both giggle at how difficult I made it.

My male partners consistently tell me that the role of following is much harder than leading. Interesting. Why is that?

My heart’s wisdom knows there’s a rhythm and flow to life and I am a part of it. Life supports me and brings to me only good and positive experiences. I trust the process of life to bring me my highest good, but the mind cannot fathom this and the ego dislikes it even more!

Human beings complicate things by our obsessive and desperate need to be in control, feel safe, comfortable and have a guarantee. Perhaps following requires a silent attunement and observation that can be easy.

Through receiving and allowing comes a surge of wisdom that you are insink and intuitively orchestrating an elegant rhythmical pattern of steps that come together and create a perfect and divine flow.

When I give myself permission to connect with this soft, gentle energy – collaboration occurs as I move through a dance pattern, much as I am learning to do in life.

When one follows, be it in dance or in life, there’s a relying on the unknown, release and reciprocity.

As you move gracefully together in an open, relaxed posture – be it with a human being, a situation, or simply with life – your natural, intuitive, but purposeful footing, creates an exquisite movement that feels like an enchanting flow with your partner.

What if you applied a light hearted touch with yourself as you learn and dance from one level to the next in recreation, creativity, business and relationships?

I invite you to play and practice with both roles, compare and contrast, and explore the grace that emerges from stepping into the unknown.

To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.
Agnes de Mille