General Dance Discussion > Ask out my teacher?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Sackameno, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Sackameno

    Sackameno New Member

    I'm pretty sure I know what kind of response I will get but I figured I would get some details, maybe past experiences.

    Starting dancing not too long ago (6 weeks?). I'm taking private lessons, most likely will start pro-am to do a competition in about 2 months.

    I like my teacher, I'm not infatuated with her or anything, but she's a cool girl and we have a light, good chemistry off the dance floor. If I met her on the street I would immediately ask her out for a drink with the expectation that we would be making each other laugh the entire night.

    Is there an unwritten rule that you don't ask out your dance teacher/pro-am partner? I'm mature enough that even if we ended up dating for real and it went sour, I wouldn't let it affect my dancing. That being said, I wouldn't be expecting anything serious to come out of it, just a fun time.

    Also, do studios generally have a "no dating students under any circumstances" type policy?

    Let me know what you think.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    if you will use our search function you will find an avalanche of threads on this subject....and yes, many studios have non-fraternization policies....even if yours doesn't, ask yourself how much you will continue to enjoy the lessons if she turns you down...and be prepared...good luck and welcome to df
  3. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    "Is there an unwritten rule..."

    Nope, it's written.
  4. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Far be it from me to say "absolutely not!", but consider:

    1. Many studios do not allow fraternization.
    2. Very often what seems like "chemistry" with your pro/am partner or instructor is just a result of friendly people, physicality, and the romantic nature of dance.
    3. If dancing is your priority ("if we ended up dating for real and it went sour, I wouldn't let it affect my dancing.") I would advise against it, especially when you're this new to the scene. Dancing with your SO can put a big strain on the relationship. For that matter, a "soured" relationship can hurt a partnership no matter how mature you are.
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't a really mature person be able keep this sort of relationship professional?
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well hey, in fairness...if both are single and he thinks it's worth the risk, it's his perogative....just important to understand the complexities IMV...but isn't really a matter of maturity....attraction happens...navigating it either wa can be done maturely or immaturely
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    "I'm not infatuated or anything..."
    I hardly expect maturity in this world. When I see it, I am pleasantly surprised. The fact that he even asks shows that he himself considers there to be a possibility that asking the teacher out is problematic.

    The risks:
    1) If teacher is not attracted to him, or is already in a relationship, this puts teacher in an awkward position. Some may be able to navigate that gracefully, but not so many, I think.
    2) Non-fraternization rules makes things awkward for both if the attraction is mutual.
    3) They do go out, and the relationship crashes and burns... Do you enjoy being at the center of drama and gossip?

    If the attraction is strong enough, the solution is pretty simple. If there isn't a no-frat policy, just pick another teacher, and ask this one out. If there is a no-frat policy, depending on how it's worded, she better like you well enough to risk losing her job and the ability to work locally as a dance teacher. But you can find a way to exchange contact information, leave the studio, and then go ahead and ask her out.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    ..there is much we don't how new this relationship is and how mutual it may or may not be...there are certainly artful ways to find out whether or not there is a no-frat policy...I think most professionals would be able to navigate being asked if out if there isn't a no -frat policy...I mean awkwardness in those scenarios are a fact of life regardless...but, I think the real issue is whether or not the student will be able to remain unoffended if turned down
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    We know relationship is about 6 weeks so far. I will be happy to be corrected, but OP seems more like he's looking for approval than advice.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I stand corrected on the first count...I knew it didn't seem like it was to whether or not he was looking for approval or advice...well, you get what you get in a public forum
  11. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Ask your instructor out? I would advise not. There are a few circumstances where it might work out, but there are a lot more circumstances where it won't.
  12. Sackameno

    Sackameno New Member

    I said I was mature enough, not really mature ;)

    I'm new to dancing and being single, so I am still learning. I already realized, thankfully before something bad happened, that it's a bad idea to ask girls you are casually dating to go out with you to your studio.

    The dance teacher I came up with quite a few ideas in my head about why it wouldn't be a good idea, but I was curious to see if anyone had any real world examples or advice from actual experience. This was of course assuming there was an absence of a no-frat policy, which I'm not sure about but this is a really good studio so I imagine there is.

    If it was one of those things where I was saying to myself, "I really like this girl, she's the kind of girl I'd want to marry." I wouldn't even be discussing it, because I would know that has the potential to end really bad.

    This is a teacher I haven't been dancing with long, we're not committed to pro-am yet (I may not decide to do it, or pick a different partner all together). And the type of date I imagine is almost more on the friend level, just having a good time, without really any expectation that it would go anywhere. I don't "like" her, I just think she has a fun personality and a lot of fun to joke around with. I'd rather take her out and be able to have an actual conversation without being on the clock @ $100/hour.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    having said that, I wouldn't even bother...there are lots of other people to hang out with for fun...and it gets very messy to begin to expect free time with someone you normally pay
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I remember the first time one of my students actually said something so insulting like that to me... "ya know for the price of a lesson I could take you out for a real nice dinner and movie". I suggested he find a new teacher.

    Because in the end she is a professional, and her job and her INCOME need to be respected.
  15. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Isn't that almost always true? How often does a man's first date end up being the person he celebrates a golden anniversary with, without ever dating anyone who didn't work out?

    I agree it's much more likely not to work out, but some instructors do end up marrying students.
  16. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Warren, that's true, but if you're asking out a woman that you don't know that well, and she says no, you haven't lost anything. If you ask out a woman that you've been that intimate with (in the dance sense), you're putting the existing relationship at risk.
  17. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Think about what you just said.
  18. BenjaminT

    BenjaminT Member

    If you're honest to goodness attracted to your teacher. Stop taking lessons. If she asks why, explain. You're probably looking at a %95 chance of there never being a relationship. Pile onto that the chances of a relationship actually working long-term.

    Dating an instructor, period. Are you prepared to leave that studio, and possibly quit ballroom for that person? I can rant and rave about how unfair and just plain wrong it is for studios to say to their (single) instructors, "You're only allowed to date, marry, etc. non-dancers." Get it through your head, it wasn't enough of a concern for the studio owners to prevent them from enacting that policy. They are not going to say, "*Sigh* Well... Oh, okay. You kids have fun!"

    In theory, the no-frat policy is to protect the studio. In practice, it cuts both ways. If a student is attracted, confessed, and is snubbed for something other than "not interested," everyone here would advise to do what would likely happen anyways: leave. I don't think we're ever going to see an instructor or student complain or be hurt because their studio didn't have such a policy...
  19. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    It's hard to know if she would be interested in something like this. And while I don't have any advice on the romantic notion of this type of scenario, I have experienced wanting to be in the company of my dance instructors (both my instructor and his wife) away from the studio, simply because these people are doing everything I want to be doing in the dance world. That's just so cool. And I love dancing and wanted to be around everything that had anything to do with dancing, including my instructors. They are living my dream after all and are just really neat people. Who wouldn't want to be in that type of company? But I would never ask or assume they want the same. In fact, I'm sure they see adoring (in a non-infatuation type way) students all the time. Most they probably can't wait to send on their way, occasionally there are probably a few that they would consider friend material outside of the studio. You won't know which she considers you unless you ask. But beware the consequences.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    exactly....I would simply never initiate that....having learned the hard way...I have been dancing with my current pro for 4 1/2 years and I have only extended a dinnrer invitation to him once and that was very recently at a comp on behalf of another student and myself who had also already texted him....I have always tried to appreciate that my pro's needs and interests are very different from my own...and usually, I think in both cases (past and present pro), it more often invloves a beer and a ballgame, not dinner with a couple of chatty women...I like my pro (most of the time), he can be alot of fun...I am very happy to see him every monday but pretty happy to leave him by tuesday evening :)...and I have no doubt that he feels the same way, sometimes long before that :)

    ...but we have all pretty much beaten this horse to takes your chances, you pay the price...up to you
    pygmalion likes this.

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