The 5 Biggest Leader Mistakes in Kizomba

Here you will learn what followers really think are the biggest mistakes leaders do when dancing kizomba, kizomba fusion or urban kiz. 

Originally, this was my plan - to talk about the 5 biggest leading mistakes in kizomba. I was thinking a bit more technical tips, but some other tips too. I had it all ready, I knew what I was going to talk about, but then I asked a question on my Facebook, to get a bit more insight.

“Followers, in your opinion, what are the biggest mistakes leaders do in their dancing?”

I made the exact same post, but for followers. Anyway, the answers I got from followers were a bit different from my original plan.

The answers I got related more to other things, not the actual leading, but more things like attitude, connection, feedback, musicality etc.

So, I decided to include more of that, and instead call it the five biggest leader mistakes. 

Just to be clear, this is not scientific at all, and it is not in any specific order, but it will give you a really good idea of what leaders in general are not very good at on the dance floor.

So, let’s get to it!

Number one is what I would like to call:

Understanding the follower
This is something that seems to be missing a LOT. The leader starts dancing, without really feeling the followers level first. It is more or less full speed forward.
No connection created.
No understanding of how she moves or how she understands the leading.
And no care taken to how reacts to your leading or the kind of dance she is in the mood for.

Whatever he wants to do, he will do.
If the follower is not on that level - doesn’t matter.
If the dance doesn’t fit the music - doesn’t matter.
If there is not enough space around him to do what he wants to do - doesn’t matter.
He will do whatever he wants anyway!

So, the first thing us leaders have to get better at - we have to listen more to the follower.
We have to start slowly with just basics. Simple things. And then we slowly build. She follows us, but we have to follow her too. We have to pay attention all the time to how she reacts to our leading.

It is like you take a step, check, she is with me.
Step, check.
Step, check
All the time!

Of course, it doesn’t go that slow, but you get my point.

For me, if it fits the music, I like to challenge a bit. So, I slowly build up and make more complicated moves. And I try to find the level where she is just on the edge of what she can do. She needs to focus all the time, but things work out. She is just on the edge. This is the state of flow. When it is not too easy, but also not too difficult. This is the state where you lose track of time.

And if you get to a point where she doesn’t understand a move. I usually do this. I do the move once more, and try to be really really clear. Normally, a move doesn’t work because I have relaxed too much, and my leading became too sloppy, or I really reached her limit. So, I focus and try to be as clear as I can and do that move once more.

Why do I try a second time? Because I want to give her the chance to do it right when I am at my best. Usually, it works the second time. If not, I don’t do it again. I will not stand and force her to do something and make her feel bad.

Which leads me to the second mistake:

Correcting the girl on the dance floor
Some seem to tell with words, or facial expressions when something goes wrong on the dance floor. And apparently many also try to explain and show in detail the moves or steps they want the girl to do while dancing. Like “You have to do this!”.

If you have to explain a move, it is not social dance. Then it is choreography. And, once again, we are back to feeling the followers level. You can challenge her, but just to the edge of her capabilities.

Make her think that “I didn’t know I could do that”. Don’t make her think that you think you are her teacher. We are all beginners at some point.

And to be honest, if you need to explain a move to her, the problem is probably more on your side.
Either you didn’t lead it well enough - or, you didn’t feel her level well enough so you picked a move that was too hard for her to follow. Both are faults on your side.

And here, the third biggest mistake

Too rough leading
Many girls complain about too rough leading. Guys holding too tight. Too much force. To me, dance is art. And art is not created with force. Art is precise. Art is delicate.

We have to lead as soft as we possibly can to make a move work. Of course, we need to be a bit more clear with beginners. But, we never need to use real force or do something that feels uncomfortable.

And ladies, the best tip I have for you to make guys use less force is to give a little tension back. You respond to tension by giving tension back. Also, don’t adapt your own frame too much. Don’t change the angles of your joints too much. The more you adapt and change the angles, the more force they guy will have to use.

But of course, it also comes back to the first point about making moves that are suitable to how the girl is following. If she is not responding with tension when you give tension, there are a lot of moves you as a leader need to avoid. Because we should not use force in our dancing.

Ok, we have come to the fourth biggest mistake, and it is just as valid for girls. And just like the other tips here, it is valid for any dance.

Bad hygiene
When we dance, we need to take care of our hygiene. And maybe even more so in dances like bachata and kizomba which are pretty close.

We need to take a shower,
use deodorant,
take a new shirt or top,
and maybe one extra.
We need to think a bit on what we eat, if we smoke, or if there is bad breath for other reasons.
Bring chewing gum or mints.
And if you sweat, bring a small towel.

This can happen with girls too, guys can suffer from it too. But in general, I think guys are worse at this than girls. So, guys, let’s step up our game!

The last tip came a bit as a surprise for me. And there were quite some girls mentioning it, so I have to put it in here! It is really a no-brainer, but here we go:

Say “Thank you!”
Wow! Is it this bad? People don’t say thank you for the dance? I heard that it happens that the girl says:

 -Thank you!
And the guy replies:
 -You are welcome!

No, no, no!

When you finish a dance, the absolute minimum requirement is that you say thank you too! Even better if you smile. A genuine smile.

So, that was it! 

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If you want to get this a little more visual, you can check this video:  

See you on the dance floor!

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