I am extremely sensitive to any type of verbal criticism, even if it's the constructive type. My primary love language is words: they can heal or hurt my heart instantly. However, some of the most dramatic positive changes in my life have come out of my taking in constructive criticism and making changes when I saw the benefit.
In dance, I haven't had too much feedback yet as to things I could be doing better, but I knew it would come eventually. And it did . . . in the form of these dreaded words: heavy follow. Yikes! Crippity crap, what does that mean? It doesn't sound good, whatever it is. I also have this sinking feeling that I remember reading somewhere that the way we dance reveals the way we live. And so, I have been reflecting on this issue of being a heavy follow, whether it is in dancing or relationships or life. Fortunately, if I keep myself from throwing up from the temporary pain of having to listen to something I am not doing perfectly, I can usually learn from and correct said mistakes.
So what is a heavy follow? A heavy follow is difficult to navigate. This could be for several reasons: too much tension in the arms or in the body.
This article does a great job explaining it and the reasons it might happen, complete with diagrams! In my case, I had too much tension in my arms. The lead is then having to do more to make the follow "follow."
A heavy follow tries to "help" her lead by second guessing what he is trying to do. A heavy follow has trouble fully trusting a lead, so she doesn't allow herself to just give in to his leading. Instead of water transforming to fit a vessel, the heavy follow remains rigid and, therefore, remains outside of the place he wants her. A heavy follow has trouble relaxing because she is afraid of making mistakes.
I can tell you this, whether in dance or life, I don't want to be a heavy follow, but I look at this list above and know these are some things I struggle with. If I can tackle these issues and allow my Healer to transform me, one gentle knife stroke at a time, I will be a new creation, and a new dancer. I am now diving into this new challenge and trust I will come out a better follower and woman for it.