THE ABILITY TO FOLLOW
Girls should approach the subject of learning to dance in a slightly different way from boys. It is your partners responsibility to amalgamate the figures of the dance in such a way that he uses the available floor space to the best advantage that does not obstruct other dancers that he introduces a variety of figures and that he at all times indicates his intentions to you. You should realise that these are additional responsibilities and that it makes his task of learning more difficult than your own. Try therefore to make his task as simple as possible. Learn to follow so that you can readily respond to your partners lead.
Learn also to control your balance and distribution of weight so that you feel comfortable. It is important to understand the basic construction of a dance for example the chasses of the Quickstep the heel turns and long strides of the Foxtrot and the closing on three of the Waltz.
In all dances other than those in which an open hold is used you dance in bodily contact with each other. Whether stepping forward backward or sideways your weight should be very slightly forward so that this contact is maintained. Do not lean forward but adopt the poise already described so that contact lies in the lower part of the body. This slight forward distribution of weight will enable you to give gentle pressure or resistance to your partner when stepping back and it will enable you to stay with him when he is stepping back.
Guard against the tendency to be heavy and the tendency to take the lead or anticipate even if you have a good knowledge of the subject. A well-trained dancer will follow anything and it is better to follow the unorthodox than to struggle with your partner.
The policy normally adopted by a good partner when he dances with a girl with whom he has not danced before is first to dance the simple figures; that is those figures in which he it most competent. If he meets with success he will then move on to more difficult figures You can justifiably compliment yourself when you find that your partner proceeds to dance those figures in which he is not so practised knowing that you have the ability to follow a less confident lead. However you must always expect to encounter from time to time a partner who in his endeavours to exhibit his prowess will from the start do everything in the book plus a lot which is not in the book. Such dancers are soon brought down to earth if their partner has the ability to follow well.
THE GIRL'S BOOK OF BALLROOM DANCING
By Vera Wilson