by Joel Dominguez a/k/a Joel Salsa (excerpted)
1) One can’t enjoy dancing if he/she is not in time with the music. This is the main reason for disconnect with one’s partner and simply by correcting this problem, one can avoid many of the points that follow.
2) When either the leader or the follower dances as if he/she were on his/her own, doing 1,000 moves without taking into account one’s partner, who also wants to enjoy himself/herself. There should always be a connection between the leader and follower.
3) Leaders who don’t protect their partners on the dance floor is a very common problem, especially in crowded places.
4) There is a time for everything and the idea is not to style every single beat. A follower’s first priority is to be able to respond to the lead and know when the leader allows time for styling.
5) In a spin, it is easy to lose one’s balance, and not keeping your balance is one of the causes of bad leading and, as a consequence, difficulty in following. For followers, the same applies – a follower with poor balance will not have the time or the connection required to respond to the lead. Sometimes this happens and the person who is out of control doesn’t even realize it.
6) Holding onto one’s partner’s hands. Leaders have to be able to flex their hands and wrists to maintain a comfortable, easy to follow connection for our partner. For followers, the same concept applies – if they hold onto the leader with their thumbs, the leader is unable to rotate his/her hands as needed to lead effectively.
7) Pulling and pushing – instead, the leader should lead (invite his/her partner) and the follower should follow (accept the invitation). Leading and following is a question of harnessing one’s body’s own movement to create momentum that one can use to dance.
8) If one person ask another to dance and it turns out that the follower is a beginner and the leader starts doing advanced moves, the follower will feel like this was the worst dance that he/she ever had. By the same token, if the leader is a beginner and the follower was expecting more, it is bad-mannered to look bored and desperate for the song to end.
9) When going out dancing in a club or a social or a party, and knowing that one will dance all night, at a minimum, one should arrive fresh and take some extra shirts/tops so that one can change if one sweats a lot.
10) Sometimes we forget that the goal of social dancing is to have fun because we are so concentrated on doing incredible turns or seeing how fast a leader can spin his/her partner.