So, I have been attempting to lead for a couple of months now. I can say with confidence that I can almost walk. There is not much else I can do, but I am working on it, and I don't try anything in a milonga setting if I am not confident with it. Those lovely lovely followers who agree to let me lead them know this, and usually it turns out fine. I use dynamic changes and try to hit musical phrases so that it is not nap time for them.
And then one night recently I danced with the Willful Follower.
A song came on that I liked, the floor was basically open, so I grabbed her and off we went. Or should I say, off she went. This was the first time in my life where I encountered the following:
Leader - leads the follower to step back with her right foot.
Follower - executes a poorly supported back boleo followed by an even more poorly supported front boleo and steps forward into an ocho.
Leader - stunned silence, mute horror
It did not matter what I led, she did what she wanted, often in the opposite direction of where I was leading. Thank god no one was on the floor, or there might have been a blood trail. I had no idea what the hell to do. At one point I just stopped moving, she did all sorts of things around me, and I was thinking "Ok, maybe she's tired herself out now and we can walk" - nope. She was not like a toddler whom you can allow to stimulate themselves into exhaustion and nap time. Oh no, there were more surprises for the remainder of our dance time. I have to admit that I really wanted to say "Let me know when you are done and we can move forward." But instead I decided to stop moving at all and allowed her to whip herself into a froth around me.
I still don't know what I could have done to contain that energy, if anything.
But I do know that until I am a better leader, I will not be subjecting myself or any dance floor to that spectacle again.