I have been mulling over what Alex said about judging followers by the leaders from whom they accept invitations. This is a tough one for me.
On one hand, I know just what he means. I have found myself making mental notes about other followers who consistently dance with leaders I can’t stand. Putting up with guys who fling you around, or who talk you through steps, or who wear fedoras and get melodramatic. (Alex, that last one was just for you!) I wonder about the follower for accepting these dances repeatedly.
But I know what it’s like to have a leader you don’t know invite you to dance. I’ve accepted dances without having watched the leader beforehand, found myself in the middle of a tanda that isn’t agreeable. I have danced with a not-so-hot leader because he was kind to me at the beginning. And I dance with leaders who have such different styles that they can’t stand each other – but I enjoy dancing with them to different kinds of music, for different reasons. They each have great technique, even if they have different ways of dancing.
I hate drama. I get frustrated with some of the small-town-esque gossiping and infighting that happens. And I certainly can’t spend my time at the milonga worrying about what one leader will think if I accept a dance with another leader. I know that it’s hard if you are watching a follower you don’t know dance with a leader you don’t respect, but if she looks like a reasonable dancer why not give her a chance? You’d be dancing with her, not the other leader. If a leader rejects me because of anything aside from my dancing, my personality, our connection … well, that’s his loss.