Urbankiz DOES NOT require a stiff frame to lead blocks or touch steps!
This topic continues to be the main misconception I have to disprove in a lot of my workshops around the country. I believe followers are not given enough opportunity to practice interpreting and responding to subtle signals and cues.
In the majority of the cases I follow in workshops and private lessons, it’s almost like there’s an unconscious lack of trust not only in the follower but in their ability to lead. Leader's should NOT treat their followers like clumps of mass that have to be forced to come to a stop.
Followers have ears, eyes, and a nervous system that provides with me a sense of touch. The goal is to communicate a cue that the follower can interpret as a stop and then the followers then proceeds to stop themselves.
There’s a lot of trust, refinement, and listening on both sides of leading and following to find a nice, calm, and balanced common ground of understanding and presence. During my last set of workshops I taught I found myself using the words "skin ears" as a cue phrase for the followers to listen carefully through the areas of skin that were connected in the frame.
One skill or awareness that I’ve really been trying to build into my dancing is intentional exhaling, through the excitement, adrenaline, creativity, imagination, etc.
Exhaling relaxes your central nervous which is located in your spine. A relaxed spine should have a ripple effect at the top and bottom of your spine.
The ripple effect of relaxation from intentional exhaling at the top of your spine should travel from the neck/shoulder blades area down to your fingertips.
The ripple effect of relaxation from intentional exhaling at the bottom of your spine should travel from your pelvis and hips down to your toes.
Here’s a picture of me going on a mini-rant and providing an example of the amount of energy it’s possible to lead a block in an opposing direction, from the followers’ pinky!
For more on this topic, here’s a blog on the difference between stiffness and stillness.