A young gentleman parted some wisdom which resonated strongly with me today. “People will remember what you say for moments… People will remember what you do for weeks or months if you are lucky… What will make a lasting impact and what they truly will remember is how you made them feel.” As I filmed his speech, I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and say, “Halle-freakin’-lujah!” haha How does this statement relate to West Coast Swing? Everything. You may not recall certain patterns you danced with someone. The way you make someone feel when you dance with them will stay with them for awhile.
My main goal on the dance floor is ensuring both my partner and I enjoy the dance. Some of best dances I had are not even the ones with the flawless technique. My leader took care of me on the dance floor. They watched my every move and had a conversation through movement with me. I always try to contribute to the partnership as well. I add a response to their call, I flirtatiously throw in some styling. I will get little side notes that me smiling added another layer to the dance (I love post-dance comments like that).
The flip side… It is not pretty. Trust me, I have been there. I have had leaders berate my tech, they attempt instruction on the social floor. There was even one guy who kept asking me “Are you sure,” each time I asked him to dance. I know it is not just the men… I have seen ladies with expressionless faces or their body language reads “DON’T DANCE WITH THIS MAN. DON’T DANCE WITH THIS MAN.” Yes, I have been guilty of this… haha but I think we can all take away from that gentleman’s statement by being more aware of not just our dancing, but our behavior towards our partners.
Remember in the last post I talked about the leader who flashed the big smile at me when I was nervous? I have danced with this man on several accounts now, and he is still one of my favorite leads. Why? From the first moment we danced when I knew nothing to now, this man still makes me feel like for 3 whole minutes I sparkle (yes… I feel like glittery rhinestones on the dance floor haha). I really do appreciate a leader with an open mind and heart about his follows. Forget the ranks.. Forget the titles… If give a little in the partnership, I assure you the other person on the other side of your arm will remember those dances, maybe even for a lifetime.