A human lesson:
While dancing Zouk with a great dancer, I noticed that whenever I did something she wasn't sure about, she "froze" - her muscles tensed up, she even stopped her breath for a second.
I could call this excitement more than fear, but the surprise element in combination with excitement created a fear response.
What if I created an exercise to stimulate a fear response in follows (by leading something safe, yet unexpected), and then analyze what were their fear responses: Freeze, Flee, Fight or Faint?
This is inspired by a conscious dance talk about "Fear Melters" (by Katie Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute), which help "dissolve" those types of fear with simple exercises. If we can understand our responses, and we can train the body to recognize and "melt" them automatically, maybe we can reduce anxiety, and overthinking, in dance - which is one of the hardest things to do, especially as a beginning follow.
A lesson from a thing:
I watched a video about something called "drum compression" - compression is a tool used in music production, and I won't get into what it does, but the thing is, as with many tools and concepts in art, the most common questions artists ask the experts usually are: is it good? is it bad? should I use it?
We encounter the same question in dance: Should I dance super soft, or slightly tense? Should I dance fast or slow?
As I've learned from that video, the answer ends up being quite similar: it depends on what you are trying to create! What emotion do you want to invoke, what is the effect desired on your partner/listener/yourself?
A good reminder that what is right for one art form is usually right for another as well.
Can you tell what story I was telling?