Clamping down on the follow’s hands
Using the pressure of your middle and ring finger or an open hand is much better than clamping down on a follower's hands. Of course this does require the ladies to know how to match the tension he’s offering, so you don’t disconnect during a move, but it’s much preferred to squeezing her hand. Squeezing hurts and makes executing patterns that much tougher. One of the first things I mention in every introductory dance class I teach is to not squeeze the ladies’ hands.
Too much force
Many leads, including many pros, use too much force.The right amount of pressure is the minimum amount of pressure necessary for leading that move. When leads are too aggressive we feel it in our joints. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked out of the nightclub with sore shoulders. Being a lighter lead has many benefits. If you aren’t cranky and pulling you have the ability to move faster and pull off more complicated patterns.
Being off time
Lots of dancers dance off time. I understand it can be really hard to hear the 1 in the music, but it is a really important thing to strive to do.The highest levels of dancing include musicality. Additionally, even the most basic level of dancing includes an understanding of the music. You and your partner should both be dancing to and interpreting the music as you dance. Expecting a follow to keep up with the rhythm only you seem to be dancing to is unrealistic. Here’s a helpful tip for anyone struggling with timing: Search for Salsa Timing YouTube videos. I will include a LINK TO A PLAYLIST HERE. You can find songs that will tell you where the 1 is, count out the full salsa timing i.e. 123, 567 and even tell you where the one is in popular or classic salsa songs.
Not minding their space
Dance floors can be fun, yet hectic spaces. Everyone is looking to carve out a little corner of the room so they can dance without being stepped on or elbowed. Since leads are deciding where the dance goes next, it’s their job to make sure they don’t send a follow into oncoming traffic. Followers will avoid dancing with reckless leads that crash them into other people or aren’t mindful of furniture, so please try to be aware of your surroundings.