by Joseph Baker
Advanced ballroom dancers dance with long flowing, confident strides rather than with tentative stutter steps. Beginners tend to dance with tentative small steps. A common fear is one of stepping on the follower’s toes. The unfortunate consequence is a dance that is stunted and awkward-looking.
When in proper body alignment and with proper stepping action on the part of the follower, crushed toes will likely never result, no matter how clumsy the leader might be. Here’s why. When in a closed hold, the leader’s body is slightly to the left of the follower’s, such that the leader’s right foot is pointed between the follower’s two feet. Thus, their feet are on different tracks.
Mor important, though, is that the follower should take all backward steps reaching from her/his hip and extending to the toe. When a follower dances in this fashion, it is nearly impossible for the leader to step on the follower’s toes.