General Dance Discussion > Can't Dance With Wife or Best Friend

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by TheDave, May 3, 2013.

  1. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    there's obviously something going on here. if it's something in the mindset or expectations of the wife, there's not much the husband can do to change this. but there is one thought that's been brushed up against, but IMO not fleshed out entirely, and it pertains to the mindset of the typical male. guys in general tend to be accomplishment oriented and as a consequence they assume that to make it a "successful" dance, especially when it's with someone they want to impress, men think that they need to pull out all the most complicated and flashy figures they know. and because they're relatively new to dance, typically the choices are above the level of the partner to follow (either because their ability to follow is relatively limited, or worse, the leader's ability to lead the figure competently is equally limited), which ends up leaving the partners feeling off balance and ungainly and not likely to want to repeat the experience (unless they mistakenly believe that it's their own failing instead of it being a shortcoming of the guy being a bad lead). what i've found to be true is that women are typically ecstatic just that they can get their husbands to dance. and in these circumstances, they're content to repeat a few simple figures over and over as long as the figures are led competently and she can feel graceful doing these simple figures. this begs the question: are you consciously or unconsciously trying to do only your fanciest moves (that you may not be able to lead well enough)?
    SwayWithMe likes this.
  2. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    This has been a useful thread for me to read (as was the "Problems as a couple learning to dance" thread).

    My husband and I have been taking dance classes for about six months, and we are enjoying it a great deal. However, there is a difference between what I 'can' do with a strong leader or pro, and what he can do. I know that it will take a long time for him to assimilate all that we are learning, and I'm willing to be patient. I also know that I am very much a beginner myself. Nevertheless, I sometimes get a bit bored in the meanwhile.

    Probably the best strategy would be to get him a package of private lessons, but at the moment that isn't in our budget. I get my group lessons via a studio's work/study program, and his we have find money for--no easy task right now.

    So, what should I do? These are our current options:
    1. I advance into higher level classes, and he remains behind.
    2. We manage to budget a month of unlimited level 1 classes for him/us, which will give him more time/practice (but after the month, the special ends--so we can't do this long term right now).
    3. We remain at the same level, and at socials and practice parties, in addition to dancing with my husband, I more actively seek out more advanced students/teachers to practice with.

    Perhaps there is an option I am not seeing?
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  3. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    nope and as the male who went through im nearly my wifes equal lol i suggest option three

    option one will drive him away from dance
    option 2 would work if it was two years of lessons trust me on this one
  4. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    I believe you!

    This would be easier if we had a better budget for dancing. We have been together for seven years, and we put off even starting dance classes for six and a half because it just wasn't in the budget for us to do as much as we want to.

    In some ways, the work/study is a blessing, because it allows us to do more. In other ways, it gives me opportunities to take classes that he doesn't have, which can be a problem (hence the possibility of advancing in one style before he is ready to do so).

    Perhaps he can get into the work/study program, too.
  5. TheDave

    TheDave New Member

    Wow, Hi! I'm the original OP and it's been a year since I've seen this thread... and in that year...

    We actually tried the blindfold thing. The problem there being that, well, I know my wife when I touch her. So the blindfold doesn't actually address that. ;)

    But I ended up taking a lot of classes and going to dance weekends (yay for All-Bal weekend! So much fun!) on my own, and my wife took a more relaxing pace. We agreed that we didn't need to be at the same dance level, and suddenly we could relax together. The key for us was not to think of it as lessons or as *trying*, or *learning*, or as having to teach and critique each other, but just as having a fun activity together. We built a dance floor downstairs and have people over for parties and everyone has fun :)
    GGinrhinestones and demoiselle like this.
  6. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    You have your own dance floor? That sounds like my husband and my dream--but we live in a city apartment!

    So, you decided you and your wife didn't have to be at the same level, but you (the leader) increased the frequency of your lessons? Does that mean that she took fewer classes at a higher level, but you took more? Or do you mean that you simply decided to stop worrying about the fact that you inevitably will progress at different speeds?
  7. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I bet the latter. The male needs to take more lessons just to keep up Imo. Two to one . What we did was at the beginning we took a lesson together then a few days later I took a lesson with the female pro and worked on the same stuff. Eventually we men evolve to be come quite competent
    demoiselle likes this.
  8. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member

    There is a difference in roles, leader and follower. This give a follower an advantage in the earlier stages. You only think that you are at a higher level, but to a more advance leader you feel at about the same level as him. A more advance follower will be much easier for him to lead than you. That is the nature of this activity. Enjoy, don't obsess. Also, what Dr Dance says is good, option 3 is best. Also, let him seek out advanced followers at a social. It will help him know what you are supposed to be doing when you get better.
    IndyLady, Hedwaite and Mr 4 styles like this.
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    And yes it was boring for my wife for a bit. Like two years!! No joke be patient. Then to fix my wife's boredom we got routines and began to compete. Now we are super busy with dance and loving it
  10. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    Thank you. I know that I only 'think' I'm at a higher level due to advanced dancers/pros' skills, which is why I put in quotation marks that what I 'can' do with a pro is different than what my husband can currently do. I've been told repeatedly that I'm an excellent follower . . . but I suspect that is just something that people say to women-dancers!

    I agree about encouraging him to dance with more experienced followers, especially the teachers. Apparently, he has gotten some attitude from more advanced dancers, who simply walked away leaving him on the floor (that happened to me, also, with leaders at a different party). Really, really rude--since we informed the people asking we were beginners.

    I think it may be harder for the beginner lead to get partners at socials, though, because of this dynamic. Plus, often the female pros are leading to help make up for the lack of male students!
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    All valid points and just part of the beginners evolution. We have all been there you can tell him though that the day will come when he will be in high demand. Good male leaders are about as common as white tigers . And attract as much interest
    FancyFeet likes this.
  12. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member


    We are really having a fantastic time dancing together, and it seems that a fair number of students are a bit envious that we have built-in partners (though we do trade off in class, of course, and dance with other people at practice parties).

    Hubby is a white tiger in many other areas, and I am sure that with time he will become one in dance, too. He's perhaps even more enthusiastic than I am.
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I was too. Wife has classical dance background so she knew what it took to get better. I just got hooked immediately and it's never faded. Headed to lesson shortly. See what I mean
  14. TheDave

    TheDave New Member

    Pretty much both. I take a lot more classes and we agreed not to worry about who's at what level and just have a good time.
    demoiselle likes this.
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    One thing I will add: don't, do not, seriously, don't try to coach him or back-lead him. For beginner leads, the learning process is already frustrating enough. Let the pros be the ones to critique his dancing.

    If there are female pros dancing as leads while student leads are going without partners, say something to management. The pros need to set an example.
    RiseNFall likes this.
  16. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  17. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I would have liked Cornutt's post above more than once if I could have, though I will add that the female instructors have to balance dancing as a follower with the guys and as a leader with the women (for the most part, the followers are sitting out more).

    As you get more advanced, you won't be bored doing the simpler steps because you will have more technique to practice while you do them. I always dance a lot with the beginner leads for a variety of reasons: I'm happy to and I know they need the floor time; I'm willing to ask them to dance, a lot of women aren't comfortable asking guys to dance, and the beginner leads are often uncomfortable about asking more advanced followers; I get to practice basic technique--I need the floor time, too! So, it is a win-win situation.
    SwayWithMe and Angel HI like this.
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Bravo! An old partner of mine always says that one is not an advanced dancer until they can dance well and enjoyably with a beginner.
  19. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    I haven't read all of it and I want to add that the problem could be trying to much to dance well, for our forum member, his wife or both of them.
    When I try to do a lot of figures I step on my partner's foot a lot, when I try just to have fun and not have any plan in mind except enjoy the sensation figures come by themselves.
  20. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    Thanks! I don't think I back lead, and I will keep an eye on/leash on any attempt to coach him.

    As for female pros dancing with followers--I think it's because my husband comes with a built in follower. They do switch it up and dance with student leads, too, and also with my husband from time to time. But to a certain extent, he and I take care of each other. I think the female pros do a pretty good job of making sure that everyone, lead and follower, gets a chance to dance.

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