A question for the followers...If you see a leader dancing with an inexperienced follower, and things are not going well, does that color your opinion of his lead, or effect the probability of accepting a dance with him?
The first part of this might be the obvious, that it gives you a perception of his lead. The lead itself, in and of itself. Good, bad, average. A state of grace.
The second part of this might be more abstract/nebulous and go more to this leader's mindset. Either he's a "tango angel" taking a newbie out, and this garners a positive vibe within you - affecting your mindset.
Or it could be that he made a mistake in his selection of dancers, or it could be an accidental pairing due to failed cabeceo (he meant to invite someone else) and you should not hold this against him.
Or it could color your opinion/perception of this leader more deeply. Do you now view/perceive him as a "lesser" leader?
All this in a view milliseconds of sensory inputs and responses. Perhaps even un/subconscious responses. There must be leaders that you just have a feeling about. You don't really know what in particular it is, but you just don't ever see yourself dancing with them. Right?
For me, if I see a follower dancing with a leader who I know is a hack, well, I'm trying to figure out what I think. Call this a post of self-exploration. This would be a follower who I haven't danced with yet. A follower who I first perceived as someone I want to dance with. But now I see she has accepted a dance from Mr. Hack, Mr. Wonderful.
Ah, now it's all coming back to me. My post was rapidly fizzling before my eyes/fingertips. I was wondering where the hell I was going to go with this.
There was a woman who always raved about Mr. Wonderful. Mr. Wonderul blew into town on occasion - blew in on his own wind. Mr. Wonderful wore red suede shoes. Mr. Wonderful thought he was hot shit. He "knew" he was hot shit. There was no other possibility in his self-absorbed little mind. Mr. Wonderful had a curious knack for being able to collide, like an asteroid, with the one other couple on the dance floor - 30 feet by 50 feet - 1500 square feet. His collisions were not isolated incidents. Ten couples, ten collisions. Four couples, four collisions. Collisions were an integral part of his tango vocabulary. Gancho, sacada, colgada, collision.
The woman swooned over Mr. Wonderful. "His lead is fantastic" she would say. The other women would say "His lead sucks. He's too harsh."
He always did way too much. It didn't look too bad, but you could see the weakness of his lead. The weakness of his lead was his forcefulness. He was a "handsy" leader. The woman often lost her balance.
I never danced with the woman after Mr. Wonderful came to town. Not just because of this, but mainly because she was a bouncer, a popper, a bopper. Yeah that's it, that's the perfect term - "bopper". She would bop and hit my chin and cause my teeth to slam together. I thought to myself, "Self, you should get a rubber mouth guard for this..."
Anyway, what's the moral of this post?
Obtusely, resist the urge to rave about a leader to other leaders. We might get our little feelings hurt.
What do you think (or feel) when a leader, who you thought you might like to dance with, but never have, now looks like he is struggling with his current partner?
Don't be a bopper. No up and down/vertical motion in your walk. Be tuned in to your connection, if you feel yourself sliding up and down on the lead's chest, or his cheek, or bumping the top of your head into his chin, that is a sure bopping symptom. Schedule a private to get yourself "de-bopped". Kinda like being "de-flowered", only better.
Does Alex "think" too much and read too much into things - as in "Shut up, stop thinking, and just dance Alex..."?