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Who takes the lead?

Just a quick note today as I’m running off to some more yoga teacher training this week. It’s been crazy intense. I’m exhausted and my body feels as if I spent an hour in the spin cycle of my washing machine.

Tonight, Jim and I go to our beginning Latin Dance class. This is Day Four. And we’re not so good. Yet. We signed up in order to have another date night during the week and do something special and fun. We love love love music. (Although love of music doesn’t actually translate into talent for dance. Who knew?) We are indeed having fun but it’s also shining a bright light on the weaknesses in our relationship. You might have a VERY hard time believing this but…I have a hard time not leading. Yes, yes, yes, you can pull your chin up off the floor. I am sure you’re shocked. But, I ask you this: how are women supposed to manage so much in our lives (the household, the family, the budget, our careers, our wellbeing, the health of our loved ones, everyone’s schedules, etc) and then toss on a pair of high heels and relax? I think once I learn how to chill out and let Jim lead me around the dance floor, not only will I be a better dancer, but a better partner in life. How about that? Mambo as metaphor for marriage.

In my defense, poor Jim doesn’t have much rhythm (yet) and he gets frequently frustrated with himself and the situation. Not The Situation…just the situation. I find it especially difficult to give up control when I’m not entirely certain of my safety. It’s easier for me to take a leap of faith when I know I’ll be caught. But when I have a 75% chance of being dropped on my head, it’s another story. However, I am slowly but surely learning to trust that it’s ok that we’re going to trip every now and then, that we don’t have to be the stars of the class, and that I might lose a few toenails in the process.

One day, I hope to just run and leap into the strong arms of my trustworthy husband, without holding myself back. Because right now, I think the only one who’s putting Baby in the corner is me.

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Your comments

  1. Maria Falcon says:

    I know exactly how you feel, it is very hard for me to dance and follow…I can dance and lead very well, but I find it very difficult to follow because I lead and protect myself so very well in many other aspects in my day to day life. Who knew the Mambo would change the view of a marriage. Have fun dancing, keep me posted on your latin dancing. (Have you ever tried “ZUMBA” on your own?)
    Didn’t BABY finlly come out of the corner?

    • admin says:

      HA! I’m actually getting a little better at letting go. The instructor danced with me a bit and I have started to understand how to just trust that he’ll take me around the floor and I’ll be safe. Of course, Jim doesn’t yet have the same skill level as the instructor. So, I’m not quite so free and laid back when dancing with my own hubby. Isn’t that odd?

      I haven’t tried Zumba. I have some friends who adore it though. Wait…once I did Aqua Zumba with my mom. That was fun.

  2. ellenpie says:

    oh Robyn… How true! and it’s worse if you’re a single forty-something completely unaccustomed to men leading anything!

    My cousin’s husband asked me to dance at my sister’s wedding. He actually joked “You know, you could relax and let me lead. I’ve been dancing since before you were born – I know how!” LOL! He was so right! It took the entire song, but eventually I let go enough to let him lead – or let him think he was leading anyway. :-)

    • admin says:

      I think part of letting someone lead is actually knowing dance steps. I had a horrible problem with giving the man the lead until I figured out that there was something very specific I SHOULD be doing while he’s leading me around the dance floor. I kept thinking I needed to be a dishrag and relax, but the truth is, we’ve got a very specific job to do while they’re leading! xo

  3. skye says:

    so, I’ve been struggling with your post for a while, and then today I read another post which I think perfectly illustrates my philosophy:

    http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/partnering.htm

    I quote from the site: “Women do not “follow,” they interpret signals they’re given, with a keen responsiveness that is not passive.”

    and

    “The best dancers now know that a part of great leading is following. (I prefer the term tracking — he leads a move, then tracks her movement and stays with her.) He is perceptive and responsive to her situation, as he watches where his partner is going, where her feet are, where her momentum is heading, which steps flow smoothly from her current step. He knows and he cares what is comfortable for her, what is pleasurable or fun. He dances for his partner’s ability and comfort.”

    In other words (or in my own words) – you both lead. And you both follow. Being one role in dance does not excuse you from being the other.