Follows, Just as Skilled as Leads
Many people think that following is less important than leading. They think it's about being "a puppet in a skirt", knowing little about what is actually going on and letting oneself be drawn around the dance floor whilst posing gracefully. Nothing could be further from the truth. Following requires as much skill, practice and hard work as leading. After all, social dance is a conversation between two people, not a monologue, and both have an equally important part to play.
Subtle and ethereal in nature, not only does following demand a clear concentrated mind and complete trust in someone you may have only just met, it also involves executing complicated dance steps (often more complicated than the leader's) and dancing proficiently without ever knowing what will happen next, something which indeed requires great amount of skill! Largely responsible for the successful turnout of their performance, a good follower must be able to respond on the spot to any improvised move in order to make the routine chosen by the leader look like it was planned all along, covering any mistakes the leader might make without disturbing either her or his balance.
Contrary to a master-servant relationship, which implies a hierarchical relationship also in skill and prestige, leading and following has nothing to do with one role being superior or more advanced than the other – even if leading implies being in charge of the choreography and knowing the footwork and routine inside out, that still doesn't make it any "better", it just implies a different set of skills and responsibilities.
Following is an art, and without all the skill needed to do it, even the greatest of leaders could only do their job half as well. If a leader feels he is the bee's knees, there could be many reasons for it, but more often than not it is because a good follower is doing an excellent job.
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