I helped with some classes last week and came upon a realization. At the end of every movement each dancer needs to be secure, balanced and in control. If a girl is in closed position with a guy and she does not feel that way after a turn and just continues on from an unbalanced state, she will fall into her steps instead of deliberately placing her steps. She will go too fast and end up ahead of the guy's lead and he will be incapable of leading her. A leader who doesn't want to over control his partner will be forced to ignore the music and follow his follower's timing.
To lead means to come before. You cannot lead someone down a trail if they are 100 feet ahead of you. The lady needs to stay behind the guy. The guy needs to stay ahead.
How does she stay balanced then? Use the guy. It's up to the guy to provide what she needs to gain that security. But the girl also needs to recognize the team and use her man. She is not on her own. It's not entirely up to her to find the balance. Ideally she won't need him, but if she does lose her balance, then he is there for her. If she has to choose between falling into her steps and using her leader for support, then she needs to use her leader for support. She has to be willing to look to the guy for help when she needs it.
I know that for today's modern independent woman this might feel like a step backward, but this is a partner dance. We are a team. We help each other. This is especially true for the guy since he is the leader and the dance is literally and figuratively about the girl. (See my past posts for more explanation.)
The first priority for the guy is to help the girl. But he can only be there for her if she uses him.
#1 Guys: Be there for the girl. Be a team player.
#2 Girls: Use the guy. Be a team player.