While reading practice tips on a website for guitar lessons I came across the quote below,
“The more you think, the more you stink (practice until it becomes instinct).” – Justin Sandercoe
This stuck out to me as a lead, because in my mental inventory of moves I have two types; moves I lead almost flawlessly and moves that sometimes work. For example, thanks to some help from Nick Williams I am extremely confident in leading six count side-passes and they are a bread-and-butter staple of my dancing. This contrasts to a swingout with a double inside turn which only works probably 70%, and flows smoothly 40% of the time.
When I lead a sidepass, it is a move I don’t spend a second thinking about. It almost comes to me naturally as breathing. Unlike the swingout with the double inside turn I mentioned earlier. Getting my hand on the follows back early enough, keeping my steps small, not letting my shoulders collapse forward, and other things are distractions I have to constantly pay attention to when leading that move.
I find when I have to think about things when I dance, it often causes hiccups that cause my follow and I not to look smooth. My advice is if you want to have dancing that looks smooth, practice until you can do things without having to think about them. That is when you truly own that motion.