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Waltz Lesson 3:Leading and Following.
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How to Keep from "Popping the Clutch"

Remember the days when you first learned how to drive a manual transmission automobile? If you were like me, it probably took you a long time to be able to start the car smoothly. But eventually we all learned how to ease in to gear by letting out the clutch gradually.

The beginning of a dance poses a similar problem. Many men don't give their partner any clues that they are about to begin, and by the time they actually start moving their partner feels a sudden jerk. Dancers call this "popping the clutch".

To prevent such bad starts, become familiar with the principle of leaning. A lean prevents you from "popping the clutch" and getting off to a rough start. By preceding all movement with a lean, you decrease the potential for false anticipation by your partner and build her confidence in your ability to lead. Ladies, by tapping into the manís lean, you will be able to correctly anticipate the direction he wishes to go. The amount of lean directly corresponds to how large or how small the step will be. If the man leans a lot, get ready to take a big step. If itís a small amount of lean, take a shorter step. Pretty simple!

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