Connection is not a Lead

West Coast Swing Online Connection

Many beginning WCS dancers make the mistake of confusing connection with a lead. At the end of every pattern, the partners should connect during the anchor by stretching away from each other. However, this connection is not yet a lead, even though the partners are pulling away from each other.

For followers, confusing connection with a lead results in rushing the anchor and getting ahead of the lead. Leaders can also rush their anchor if they immediately try to lead the next move when they feel the follower connect into the post/anchor. Thus, this drill is designed to build your comfort with connection, and especially with the idea of waiting until the stretch before the 1 to actually lead/follow the next pattern.

The Drill: Without a partner, stand in anchor position in front of a refrigerator. Grasp the refrigerator door and perform an anchor triple. During the anchor, you should feel a pull from the door’s magnets as you move your center away from the door, but you should not yet be able to pull the door open.

The door should remain closed until you roll onto your heel for the last & count of the anchor. At this point, you have hit your maximum stretch and your leverage should open the refrigerator door. Do not pull the door open with your arm; the force to open the door should come solely from you settling your weight back.

For followers, this drill replicates the connection you feel during the anchor, as well as the need to stretch away from the connection even further during the & count prior to the 1. For leaders, this drill simulates the feeling of your follower connecting through the anchor and then your body lead moving the follower as you roll into your 1.

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