Question By User rawr4me
I’ve been told by different teachers I have a weak frame in multiple Latin dance styles. The main comments are to use the lats to have my shoulders back and down, also to stand up straighter and look up. (Plus engage the core, etc.) I notice my frame collapses when I’m dancing with people much shorter than me because instinctively I am reluctant to straighten up and seem even more like I’m towering over them. (Also some compensation for having my hands much lower.)
I acknowledge the importance of having a good frame but I am curious how much it affects the lady. Dancing with a follower with poor frame can be really awkward so is it as severe for a lead? And is there a way for me to observe what difference it makes during a dance? (Because at the moment I can only remind myself to have a good frame but I would remember even more if I could recognise signs of how my frame is affecting someone in the moment.)
The frame is your communication channel. The follow hears what you are doing and you hear what the follow is doing. Understanding where the follow is and what happened after you lead something is critical.
A weak and/or inconsistent frame means the information is not clear and something completely wrong. Leads and random movements can no longer be distinguished from each other. And when your communication channel is untrustworthy, well, it cannot be trusted anymore and follows have to start guessing. This makes the dance experience worse overall, but also makes it hard for you to lead anything. Follows will be slower to respond.
The frame is your word. Don’t break it.
Also on words: a term like “strong” frame can be interpreted to mean many things: clear, tense, uses strength (in a good or bad way), … Sometimes it means more than one thing at the same time.
The shorter person thing is hard at first. Your frame is the first thing you naturally sacrifice but actually is the last thing you should sacrifice.
Bend your knees to meet an appropriate height when leading something. Do not break your frame. When finished, stand at your normal posture. Keep your frame. You may have to keep your knees bent a little.
same as how it feels to dance with a weak frame follow. It feels like you can’t communicate anything to them. Its actually better than having a rock frigid heavy frame though. And it also sorta feels like the partner isn’t enjoying the dance.
long story short, basically its her frame position and movement. You can feel a lot about whether she is going to be able to execute something, in what position she is, etc etc just from your connection. And then the icing is feeling her body movement and meshing it with yours is next level. EDIT: sorry I said ‘she’ but i mean any follow
It’s hard to lead a follower with a weak frame, since there is not enough tension to give leads to. Compare it to a uncooked and cooked spaghetti. An uncooked spaghetti you can turn the whole straw by only pushing one end. With the cooked spaghetti its way harder.
Good posture simply makes your dancing look better.
Making a habit of trying to stand straight helps, but I highly recommend exercises like those mentioned in