On Following.

Last night, Kelly and I took our first tango class.  While I learned something about dance, it also got me thinking about how life needs good followers.

This first class focused a tiny bit on footwork, a little on balance and a lot on leading/following in the dance routine.

In our society, we focus a lot on leading and the importance of a strong leader.  But in  last night’s class, the teacher focused equally on being an effective leader and on being an effective follower.

We are all required to both lead and follow in life.  But without effective followers, how could there be effective leaders?

It seems tango may have something to say about life as a whole.  An effective follower in tango must:

  1. Give the leader enough resistance to be able to feel where the leader is going next
  2. Be (physically) flexible throughout the dance
  3. Trust the leader that they’re not going to run you into everything
  4. Be in sync with the leader so you don’t step on toes (literally)

I could apply these to business, to academia, to any relationship really.  Whether we have a preference or not, sometimes we lead and others we follow.  Have you thought about how effective you are at following?


And some day, Kelly and I will dance like this:



3 responses to “On Following.

  1. Let’s just hope my ability to follow (or lead) while dancing is in no way reflective of my ability to follow and lead in life 🙂 Great post! I used to always be a “balancer” (I don’t think that’s a word, but it’s me anyway)- following and leading depends on what was needed at the time. Since college I’ve had a lot more practice being a leader… hope I can still follow as well. I’m loving your blogging every day!

  2. PS. I do hope very soon you and Kelly dance like the picture… but please do not grow your hair like the guy, Kelly is much better looking than the girl anyway so it doesn’t make sense to follow his style 🙂

  3. Kelly, thanks so much! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it — I’m having fun blogging every day. I actually really like the term “balancer”, and I think there’s power in that as it means you’re aware of what’s needed in situations.

    PS – I was totally going to make a joke at the very end about growing my hair to be like the guy!! But don’t worry, I’ll take your recommendation 🙂 Our tango instructor had long hair like that — it must be an Argentine thing!

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