It’s Tuesday so, OH YEAH, it’s Beginner Tip Tuesday time.. Today the advice is simple, less is more.. This is advice that everyone should take into account throughout their whole Lindy Hop life but it’s especially helpful when you’re starting out.
In the beginning you’re learning new moves and new variations and it’s all very exciting and, of course, overwhelming.. You’re desperate to try out new things and often feel like you have to impress or not bore your dance partner on the floor.. Because of this you’re likely, as a lead, to try and lead a lot of moves and as a follow to try a lot of variations or just freak out in general about “not getting the move wrong”.
First of all let’s deal with that pervasive mindset that you need to “impress” your partner or at least not “bore” them.. Dancing is about enjoying yourself, it’s about having fun.. You don’t need to worry about impressing someone or proving yourself.. Keeping the dance nice and simple is often the best course of action because here’s a big secret, you’re more than likely not the only one freaking out in the dance…EVERYONE worries that they’re getting it wrong or that they’re “boring” to dance with.
The key to a fun dance is often about taking the pressure off and just enjoying the experience.. When I’m dancing with someone my focus is simple, I want to make them feel good about themselves.. This means taking care of your partner; leading things they’re comfortable with, leading things that are fun and of course being encouraging on the dance floor..
Even though many leads are convinced they have to have a MILLION moves to impress a follow, I have never in my life ever heard a follow ONCE complain that a lead only did basics.. In fact I’ve often heard the opposite, that a lead barely led any basics and they were thrown all over the place without getting a chance to recover.
Connecting with someone on the floor is the goal.. Connecting with each other, connecting with the music and having a good time.. Keep it simple to begin with, enjoy those basics, enjoy spending time with someone on the floor.. More often than not they’ll be thankful for the chance to relax and not have to worry about getting that “tricky” move right.