Your Vital Edge: Do You Have the ‘Moves’ to Attract the First Follower?

Last time I spoke about the “Principle of the First Follower”; that to have a movement, or a following there needs be the first person who joins. My point was that the vitality of the first person (the leader) is what attracts the first follower into his orbit. Without the generative energy of the first expresser (the sun) there would be no role for the reflected light of the first follower (the moon).

This outdoor rock concert video demonstrated how spontaneous leader/follower/movement happened. It also expresses the essence of Your Vital Edge: one person imbued with a passion, it could be any idea or concept that is all consuming and he wants to share it. Then this person begins to express it – whatever it may be. At first, there is no one watching. People actually seem to be uncomfortable with this ‘odd’ fellow not conforming. Then one brave soul joins him, then another; a trickle of people are attracted. The beginning trickle turns into a stream of people and then a flood of folks flock to join this dance.

As a student of human motion and a teacher of neurology of posture for over 30 years, I’d like to point out another lesson imbedded in this video. There is another part of this video experience that needs to be examined. Go back to the “First Follower Video” and carefully look at how he was moving. Notice that he dances alone for the first 18 seconds or so that the camera is on him. We do not know how long that cameraperson has been watching before deciding to film the strange fellow. Notice that as his first follower comes into camera range the follower begins to raise his hands overhead. Then the leader or first expresser (for want of a better name) demonstrates that movement to the first follower and they both dance with arms upraised. The second follower joins after watching for about 30 seconds and the first movement he does is raise his arms as did the first two dancers. About a minute later a small group joins and they all start dancing with arms upraised. The first expresser had demonstrated dancing with upraised arms and everyone that subsequently joins duplicates the movement.

Why is this important or even worth mentioning? Movement is the first language and humans are super sensitive to the nuances of stance, position and motion, consciously and even more so unconsciously. (It is one of the first things I teach my students who want to refine their speaking skills.) Awhile back a college (I apologize that I can’t remember which college) did a study where they had students of both sexes rank the dance “moves” of videos of other college aged students. They gathered the data and made two avatars, one an avatar of bad dance moves and the other an avatar of good dance movement.

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As you can see the bad dancing avatar is very stiff and constrained, with repetitive jerky steps and little to no arm motion. While the good dancing avatar has an open body posture with synchronistic movements of arms and legs; there is also several times when the arms reach above shoulder level and overhead.

As we will see next time the type of movement displayed is either inviting to others or actually repels people. Do you think that there would have been a spontaneous group dance (and viral video) if the first person was dancing like our bad dancing avatar? Stay Tuned!”