The 5 Biggest Follower Mistakes in Kizomba

In this post you will learn what leaders really think are the biggest mistakes followers do when they dance kizomba, kizomba fusion and urban kiz.

So, the biggest follower mistakes - this is something I really know about. I dance a lot, I teach a lot, and I give many private classes. But, to be really, really sure I also took some help from Facebook and asked this:

Leaders, in your opinion, what are the biggest mistakes followers do in their dancing? In terms of technique, attitude, anything...

I made the exact same post, but for leaders. Anyway, guys gave a bit different answers than girls did. It was more focused on technique than the answers that girls gave.

So, let’s get to it!

First mistake:

Not keeping your own balance 
This is really bad for the leader because the follower needs to rely on him for balance and it can even pull him out of balance.

There are several different reasons. Some of the reasons can be:
- Feet are too far apart in taps
- Not walking on a line
- Too far from leader
- Too big steps
- Stepping too early

So, try practicing on improving those things! 

Mistake number two:

Not following the chest / right leg
This is a problem that I have experienced more and more the last year or two. Basically, when I walk back, the lady doesn’t really follow my chest or body going back. I have to pull her forward with my right hand. So, every step back I take will feel heavy because I have to pull her with me. If you have someone to practice with I suggest dancing without hands sometimes. Just follow the chest of the lead, also when he goes backwards. In socials, you can focus on following the direction his body is moving more, also when he walks back. To make it easier, you can try to stay close to his right leg, with both your legs. That way you will be searching for the line to walk on and walk in a more natural way. 

Mistake number three:

The left arm
When we dance in closed position, this is not a problem. But as soon as we move out to a more open position, you need to slide your arm down a bit along the arm. And, you need to keep connection along the arm as much as possible. More connection there means more information can be transferred. You will be able to react faster when you need to walk back. The frame will not collapse. You will be able to react to tension and give tension back. And you will be able to react to blocks much faster.

Mistake number four:

Just like Bruce Lee said:

“Be water my friend”

You have to be able to adapt. You have to be able to react to anything. If you are constantly guessing, you will be wrong some of the time. Or quite often. If you think “Ahh.. . saída, I know this” you will be right sometimes, but also be wrong sometimes.

So, relax. I am not saying “Don’t think” because you have to think. You have to focus. But not on the exact move the guy will do. You need to focus on the direction he is leading you, how much intention he is sending you in that direction, the tension in his frame etc. Listen to his lead and take the step you need to take to find balance.

Mistake number five:

In a way, everything we do in couple dancing needs to follow this rule. If I lead a step that is "size three", I need the girl to take a step that is "size three". If I want to do a spin in bachata in three steps and then collect on four, I don’t want the girl to make a triple mambo spin and collect on four. Whatever I lead needs to get the right response. In terms of size, speed, direction etc. And this goes for tension too. Sometimes followers are not reacting to these changes in tension. And, then the leader has to compensate. Let’s just say a move needs a total tension of 6. If the guy is giving a three and the girl responds with three, all is good. But, if she is like spaghetti, zero, he will need to give a tension of six himself to be able to do that move. So, girls, please help us and respond with some tension when you feel tension. All the way from the frame, down through the core and to the feet. When the tension is relaxed, you relax again.

And guys, if the girl doesn’t have the tension needed. Don’t compensate, don’t use too much tension or force. Just skip that kind of moves.

Ok, I will give you a bonus tips:

This might sound strange, but I want you to

Suck the caramel
My God!! What do I mean by that?! Well, there is a Swedish expression “Suga på karamellen” and directly translated it means “suck the caramel”. But, we use it metaphorically like to enjoy something, to enjoy the current moment, or not to rush too much. In dancing, it can happen that I make a move and I slow down. Sometimes in tarraxinha, and sometimes in other moves I want to do slowly, and the girl just does the move and boom, she if finished, long before me. This has to do with the anticipation and also listening to the intention of speed the leader is sending. There is usually a signal to slow down before. Also, try to listen to the music for hints. If the guy is doing a lot of slow moves, it is probably because he is actually listening to the music! =)

So, ladies, listen to the music.. .. and wait a bit. Don't rush into moves. Suck the caramel! Enjoy the moment!

That’s it!

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If you want to get this a bit more visual, check the video below: 

See you on the dance floor!

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