Last time I took a salsa class (i.e., for "wellness" credit in school), Torgo's wife was one of my dance partners because there were only a handful of "leads" in the class, and too many "follows." But I recently won a salsa class at a fundraiser, so I've been brushing up.
It's the second week, and halfway through the entire rotation of partners in a circle, two finally told me I wasn't following, I was trying to lead. Which was true, so I admire them for having the guts to actually verbalize it. (It's a comment I got often in college from a friend who was trained in ballroom dancing, and finally refused to dance with me altogether by the end of sophomore year.)
The salsa instructor (who is very cool, btw) explained it this way: "The 'leads' direct and control the dance, the 'follows' smile and make it all look good." All of course, as once said of Ginger Rogers, backwards and in heels.
Putting aside the inherent gender politics in formal dance, my challenge for the next four weeks is to learn the intermediate steps and moves, and learn how to follow.
Damn it, I can do this!