Ballroom Dance > Do you believe in chemistry between partners ?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancingirldancing, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. itsthisgirl

    itsthisgirl New Member

    ok i quit after page 3, but here's my newbie opinion. I've actually seen this and recently experienced it. i have a 'chemistry' with one of the dancers there, but it looks like a hot mess, but we get lost in the dance for that moment and have a great time. Then theres one of my instructors, it couldnt be more cold when we started. ice was warmer, we bumped into each other, tripped over each other. BUT as time has gone by with minor adjustments on both of our parts (mainly mine) we are moving much better and theres connection. Chemistry, what a tricky thing! put us in practice alone and its cold, stick us in front of people who are casually watching and we kick into performance 'show off' mode and you'd think we were life long friends about to get hitched. If you are looking to perform, give both of them a few test runs, people change in front of a crowd. That 'chemistry' might disappear.
    ALSO this chemistry...its it emotional? if so be VERY careful with that. I view dancing as a business deal, never mix business with pleasure or you will fall on your tail (most of the time).
  2. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Yes, you have to treat a partnership like a business deal, but at the same time, that changes things a lot. Most of us dance for fun and because we enjoy it, not because it is our job and we make money off of it. I would rather dance for fun with a guy that is not good and enjoy it and maybe not place as well than dance with a technically very good guy that I don't get along with very well. I suppose if your priority is placing well and getting high marks, it makes sense to go for a technically more advanced person, but if your goal is to grow as a dancer and enjoy it, I'd dance with the guy you enjoy now. The enjoyment makes it easier to push through the difficult technical aspects.
  3. itsthisgirl

    itsthisgirl New Member

    i agree mindputtee but theres also a difference between enjoying it and having emotional feelings. I enjoy dancing with my friends, but theres no attraction 'feelings' there. If theres actual feelings then that should be entered with caution. If its just that they dance will together and can in a sense 'feel' each other and you are out to enjoy it and grow from it then by all means go for it! I guess for me, because I would like to become competitive, I tend to detach from feelings and look at who can push me to the next level and I can learn from. I can fake the chemistry while performing. And as many have said, sometimes theres a growing period. You need a moment to grow together. AND as long as you remain respectful with common goals you can work through it, you may become good friends, you may not, and you may just have it as a professional partnership in which neither have a personal connection but can make it work nicely. Try playing with the first guy while dancing, maybe he's shy so he's not willing to give that connection.
  4. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    No, he's definitely not shy. I've known him for longer than I've known DP actually. I get along with him fine as a friend but just dancing together we kind of clash. He started dancing a little before me and kind of had an air of superiority and wouldn't take correction well at all. We clashed when it came to partnering, but were fine when it came to just being friends.

    There's no emotional feelings between DP and I (at least not as far as I know...) but we bonded over a mutual addiction for Doctor Who and we just joke around and have a lot of fun when we dance. It makes it more of a fun activity than just hard work (even though it still is hard work.)
  5. MissKitty

    MissKitty New Member

    I think chemistry is important, but it can take time to develop, its not always instant!
  6. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    As a pro am competitor, I'm not sure what you mean by "chemistry". He is teaching me to be a better dancer, I am learning to be a better dancer, I'm not sure there is chemistry, but there is familiarity, knowing each others styles of communication and expectations. At my level, I think learning the dances takes precedence over chemistry, but there can be a good connection and comraderie, if that is the same thing. The best comps have had that.. where I feel that we are in sync, but I would not call it chemistry.
  7. Andreth

    Andreth Member

    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. A dance partnership is an odd thing, because yes, it is in one sense like a business relationship, but then again, I think something has to happen on a much deeper personal level in the sense that this is an art form and meant to evoke emotions as all good art does. It's a tough thing to navigate though, because it could potentially harm the partnership if it gets too personal (or in some cases enhance, depending on the situation)...but I think there can be a sort of emotional/spiritual connection between two people that adds a huge dimension to their dancing and is what I think of when I think of chemistry. It's hard to describe though...perhaps that feeling of being completely comfortable with and trusting in your partner and achieving a sort of artistic unity of vision when're both trying to portray the same thing and you're on the same page in your efforts to do that. You're sensitive to each other's movements and expressions and you know what the other is feeling and you respond to it. It is an emotional connection I would say...not necessarily romantic, but one that you don't often find outside of a romantic relationship perhaps. An ability to be in sync and in tune with each other's emotional interpretation and expression, I suppose I would call it.

    I'm lucky in that I am good friends with my partner outside of dance and was before we started dancing together, but this partnership is the first time I've felt totally comfortable and able to let go when I'm dancing, and also felt like I've had a unity of expression with my partner...he hears the music and responds to it in a certain way, and in general that's exactly how I would have responded too, and so my follow is an extension of his interpretation. Of course, getting along well and having the same general approach to our dancing also makes working together that much easier and more fun, but that I wouldn't so much chalk up to chemistry as just general compatibility in terms of personality and work ethic. I think chemistry in dancing goes a bit deeper than that, though I'm still not 100% sure what it is precisely, even though I know when it's there and when it's missing.
  8. itsthisgirl

    itsthisgirl New Member

    Sometimes you do tend to clash with people. I've had a lead that everyone likes, i HATED, and i hate when he asks me to dance at socials because it feels more like work because i have to force it. I've also had the opposite where i swear he could let go of me and i'd do everything he wanted me to do. I guess like it was stated before, what are your goals? If its to push to become better and do well technically then go with the first guy. If you are all about having fun go with the 2nd. Technique can be taught to a certain extent, but i'm going to go out on a severe limb here. Someone can teach me the notes to sing, but i cant sing no matter how much someone teaches me and no matter how much time i spend practicing...i just dont have 'it'. Now that doesnt mean that i dont sing, i'm Celine Dion in the shower and i have a blast, but no one can teach me 'talent'. Does that make sense?
    So just evaluate your goals...and get a feel for both. Maybe if you give the first guy a shot you will grow into him.
  9. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    I have gone back to the original question and I think that while the definition of how much technical experience is necessary for a student partnership, an amateur/amateur partnership, a pro/am or a pro/pro varies considerably - I believe chemistry is vital to create the artistry of the dance and emotionally connect with the audience which includes the judges.
    Olga Foraponova and David Hamilton have an Advanced Smooth DVD that is entirely about artistic expression. They describe their own way of approaching each dance when they had a pro partnership as each round is danced differently as a new moment in time. Is it a heavy waltz or light and upbeat? In that split second of the beginning have to have formed an emotional, spiritual, energetic field of "chemistry"with your partner and trust that they will react in a way that you can then react to and give back to him.
    I was told when I started dancing that the best we can hope for is to dance our own personalities. Dancing may make us more sensitive, more creative, more giving - but,if someone isn't capable of making a temporary emotional connection to the music and their partner - the audience will read the dancing as cold and clinical - even if it is technically perfect.
    I placed well when I first started ballroom dancing because judges and coaches told me that they could tell that I loved to dance and they could "see my soul."

    The ideal is when the technical ability of both dancers matches an emotional energy connection to their partner and to the character of the dance. I've had the opportunity recently to dance with a few pros and coaches and in one instance a very experienced technical Standard pro and I had an instant "connection." This doesn't mean a romantic connection. I could literally feel what he was asking me to do lead follow through his movements. I am going to work with him again because this merging of technical expertise and the ability to create a connection is extraordinary. It is that feeling of moving effortlessly through space that had been described on other recent threads.
  10. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    This, absolutely.
  11. jjs914

    jjs914 Active Member

    Dancerdol, what a great post!

    I love this though in particular. DP and I are at a point where we are making a lot more adjustments to choreo and how we dance various pieces oursleves, and this is such a good reminder that what we do should feel true to who we each are and to our partnership and it's connections!

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