Self Preservation

Defense Tecniques from the Most Common Offender

It’s called the arm-breaker, the Apache, or hammerlock position. It is commonly used in swing, merengue, cumbia, bachata, and salsa dancing. When executed correctly, it’s perfectly safe. However, if the lead does it wrong, it can cause serious damage to the follow’s shoulder.

Strain of the pectoral and rotator cuff muscles of the chest and shoulder girdle.
Torn rotator cuffs.

Subluxation of the upper ribs of the back.
Dislocation of the shoulder.

To avoid this injury, leads should move the follow’s arm (or their own when putting themselves into hammerlock position) down to their side before placing the follow’s hand comfortably below their waist on the small of their back. If a follow feels pain from a lead trying to pull his or her arm up in this position without going down first, he or she can push his or her shoulder down and lock it in place to help avoid further injury.

Undue Force

If you find yourself dancing with an aggressive dancer who is attempting to lead or back lead you by forcefully pushing and pulling you, tell them you like a really light lead/follow. If they don’t lighten up, go into defense mode and use more tone/tension in your muscles than you would normally. This type of dancer is likely to attempt to force you into dangerous positions. Keep your frame rock solid, keep your weight over your own feet, and resist any dips or tricks they may try to lead or back lead

Too Close For Comfort

Women- if you are dancing in closed position and a man tries to pull himself closer to you than you would like to be. Move your left had from the top of his right shoulder to the front of it. Then you can push against it to keep him further away. Also, remember you can always walk away in the middle of the dance.