Thoughts On Leading

Men dance with their brain, women dance from a kinesthetic feeling, explains Peter DiFalco, a Master Instructor whose entire career was devoted to performing and instructing dance. His insistent word to followers: Never chat with the leader on the dance floor because he has enough things to think about without having to socialize with you.

It is true on the dance floor as in life, the leader has great responsibility. In dancing, he must lead the follower through the current step at the same time as deciding the next step and preparing to lead it. He must also navigate the couple around the dance floor which at a social dance means avoiding potential collisions with other couples on the floor.

I frequently tell leaders I dance with that they have the more difficult job; as a follower, all I have to do is follow. (They usually disagree with me, thinking that following would be more difficult. I wonder how many of them have ever actually tried it!)

In order that I not discourage potential new dancers here (particularly leaders), I understand that some of these responsibilities become “second nature” over time. Do leadership skills in life and marriage become “second nature” when practiced consistently over time?

In Take the Lead, the 2006 movie starring Antonio Banderas, the instructor explains to the student leader: The lead is an invitation not a command.

A dance lead is not pushing, pulling or dragging; the lead must be communicated clearly so the follower can execute the move by her own effort.

How do these dance principles correlate to marriage? According to Biblical principles, a leader is a servant not a dictator. Godly leadership encourages and empowers followers. It does not belittle or threaten. A Godly husband recognizes and values the individuality of his wife. Without this, the dance analogy breaks down. There is no grace in coercion and intimidation.

Copr. 2009 MarriageDance

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