Which raises questions quite often. The most common one being, "But I thought we were supposed to take small steps?" You are. Especially when the floor is packed. But, if you have room, and you can support the movement, then you get to take stronger steps - which to the lay person will look bigger.
I assure you, there's a big difference between a large step and a strong step. A person who's taking large steps is one you want to avoid dancing next to, because it's almost a guarantee you'll get a high heel to the achilles. Trust me, it's not as fun as it sounds. A person taking strong steps is one who knows how to control their weight and can stop on a dime when necessary (which is quite often in the salsa world) so you can trust them to avoid surrounding couples.
"But isn't it the guy's job to watch out for other people?" Yes, however, there are a lot of people spinning around you and he's only one man. Add to that the fact you're spinning as well, and it becomes quite tricky to keep track of everyone. Pile on the little tidbit that each couple around you has an agenda your man knows nothing about, so he's basically attempting to read minds (and we know how well that works out from our personal relationships with them;). Top it with, one or more of the individuals in each partnership may be throwing their bodies through space and calling it dancing (when really it's more like human bowling) and it becomes mission impossible to prevent accidents.
As a woman reading this, you should be sweating by now with the pressure the guy deals with in regards to floor navigation. I haven't even tapped into the general pressure he feels to impress you, his partner, within your dance. That's a whole different ball game. I say this because ladies - you need to help the guy out! And protect yourself in the process:)
If you learn to control your weight; i.e. push from the floor instead of hurling your torso around and praying your feet catch up, you can stop whenever you need to to avoid a collision. So whether your lead sees the potential danger or not, you end up safe... what a concept.
To master effortless control on the dance floor, call me for a private lesson. It takes time and practice, and whether you're a beginner or an advanced dancer, you can always improve! See you on the hardwood! Hopefully stepping on less toes from now on;)