I had a really interesting experience last night, dancing with a deaf follow. I didn’t realize it right away, but she didn’t respond when I offered my name or respond to my conversation at all. And then I realized in open position, she was getting ahead of the beat. I experimented a bit with loosening and firming my left-to-right connection but wasn’t able to transmit the beat to her as effectively as when we were in closed and I could use my right hand and forearm (I suppose I don’t actually have any idea what her level of hearing loss actually is, or how well she could feel the beat in open; I just know when she was on and off the beat).
I’d like to experiment in the future with lead and follow classes where the lead hears the music through earbuds while the follow has ear plugs. How effective do you think you’d be at staying on beat with these limitations?