You’re supposed to gancho there, he whispers as I once again walk straight through a lead I could almost-but-not-really feel. It’s a back step into a gancho.
No, it isn’t. Not like that, it isn’t. This is what I think to myself, what I wish I could stop and say in the middle of the song. If you are dragging me from step to step, not giving me time to fully complete a step let alone enjoy it, I won’t do every step you ask of me. Sometimes it is because you don’t give me the time to do the step you asked. Or you don’t give me my axis to do it while remaining upright. Or it’s because I am stubborn, and your lead is making me ornery, and I just refuse to go along with it.
In any case, my advice to leaders is to breathe. Take your time. Don’t rush. If you feel rushed, your follower probably feels it even moreso.
I often find this rushed feeling coupled with lots of arm action. Pulling me to the next step. Pushing me into place. Off balance. Rushed. Frustrated. Trust me, your follower can get there without your help. I don’t mean to abandon the lead altogether, just to lead without pushing and pulling her where you want her.
If she isn’t doing it, chances are you aren’t really leading it.*
*Disclaimer: This isn’t always true. Maybe both of you are great dancers and she just missed the lead, for whatever reason. In this case, it’s probably a blip on both of your radar. But it could also be that you are leading above her head, which means that you are leading the step well but not paying attention to the follower and her level. Equally frustrating.