Salsa > Help, my dance partner gets on my nerves!

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salsera1234, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. salsera1234

    salsera1234 New Member

    Sorry to bitch about my dance partner, but I need your advice.
    We take an advanced class together once a week and meet private once a week to practise. Don´t know if it matters, but in the beginning he wanted "more" from me, but has now understood and accepted that I am interested in dancing only.
    OK, he has changed so much.... when I first met him, he was really dancing with "Sabor", he was concentrated on me as his dance partner and we had a lot of fun. That is my main reason for dancing - fun!
    He, on the other side is getting more and more overambitious... he talks about our training in terms like "we have to work (!! work!!??) hard. If I have one week no time, it is a major catastrophe. He is talking all the time about what a great dancer he is (he is good, but not great!). He lost all his feeling and does not concentrate on me as his dance partner anymore. Instead he is looking at the crowd and is controlling if everybody is watching us. He likes to "spice up" our dancing with intros and everlasting shines which are getting so much on my nerves, all to attract attention.
    I want to do salsa social dancing and have fun. Don´t care about the crowd.
    He wants to be the one everybody is looking at and is not even the best dancer!! He is putting lot of pressure on me to perform triple spins (I can´t!!) to make himself look great (instead of practicing and performing HIMSELF a triple spin)! He behaves like my drill instructor.
    All girls will know how difficult it is to find a good dance partner and I am willing to make compromises, but it is getting to much. If I want to talk to him, he just does not react, if I openly critizise him, he is offended.
    Have you ever had similar experience and how would you solve it?
    I woudl be grateful for your opinions and advice.
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi salsera1234. Welcome. :-D

    I've never been in a dance partnership like what you describe, although I can say that it does sound like something is out of balance. I suspect other DFers will have lots to say aout your dilemma. :cool:

    Just want to say hi and welcome. And, if you're looking for discussion specific to salsa, you might want to check out salsaforums dot com, as well as dance-forums. :)
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

  4. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    "I want to do salsa social dancing and have fun."

    If that is what you truly desire, I think your answer is right there. Sounds like your partner is more interested in showcases, perhaps comps.
  5. salsera1234

    salsera1234 New Member

    Thanks for the answers so far, but looks like I have to express my self better (sorry, not native English speaker).
    I don´t want to just dump him, cause I live in a small town and good dance partners are few and far between. But yeah, maybe I will have to...
    That my partner is into showcase - ha, exactly, he would love to go on stage and perform. But fact is, that neither he nor me are good enough for that and way too old to ever get to this point.
    I wonder if there are no golden words I could speak to him and he would become like he was one year ago....
  6. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    I think communication is very important in a partnership. If there is something your partner is doing, you should talk about it.
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    It's a hard spot you are in. A partnership is a team. If you can't communicate, there is no team.
  8. atk

    atk Active Member

    It sounds to me like your and your partner's expectations are not presently aligned, nor are penalties for violating those expectations.

    You might consider talk with a mediator (such as your teacher), separately, then all three of you together. Ideally, your mediator will be able to understand your needs and your partner's needs, then help the two of you work together to understand each other, generate some ground rules and a create a plan with milestones. You can also come up with penalties (eg. $5 into the new dress fund for swearing; beatings with a wet pool noodle for failure to practice).

    If you can come to a set of mutually accepted expectations, you may be able to enjoy a more constructive partnership.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi salsera, welcome!

    Your situation is not that extraordinary. First and foremost I´m a tango dancer (leader) but nevertheless I think the rules of the game are identical in our communities. As long as I am dancing I saw so much hope and disappointment, joining, changing, breaking and parting, also loving and hating. Our hobbies got to do with humans, that makes it easy and complicated at the same time.

    Finding a dance partner is to achieve a win-win situation for either of us.
    For most of us guys it means:
    to find an attractive girl friend, or
    to get attention and affirmation on the dance floor (especially from other men!).
    (but by NO means at all: simply easy "social dancing and having fun" as you wrote above.)

    Next you should communicate your demands and then try to arrange and to agree on the next steps. And if only one of you wont get that win-feeling, this relation may have no future.
  10. salsera1234

    salsera1234 New Member

    Hallo Artisan, I also had the idea of talking to our dance teacher... but I like to discuss issues directly with concerned persons, not about third party... and somehow it is all so ridiculous.... like squealing.... and that because of my supposed-to-be-fun-hobby. But I keep this option as "final try" if things get even worse.
    Feudal Lord, thanks a lot for your response, which helped me a lot. Yes, you are right, all men are show-offs, much more than women are, how could I so totally forget about this. After he can´t have me as a girl-friend, he wants now at least maximum output in terms of social affirmation, I understand.... I will try to have a little more patience in future with my poor dance partner... he´s just a man and others won´t be any better.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. Put up with his bad behavior because he's just a poor, egotisitcal man? Not sure I buy into the reasoning. But yes. Dance partners are hard to find.

    If you choose to stay with this partner, is there anything you can do, to make your dance life better?
  12. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    I'd second speaking to the instructor. I appreciate that you don't necessarily want to involve another person in a partnership dynamic, but if you're taking classes together and/or lessons together, it's the teacher's problem too, yes?

    Also, it's been my experience that men/leaders will sometimes listen to the very same perspective from a teacher they perceive as an authority figure, when they won't listen to it from a "woman who is just a partner". Go figure. *ironic smile*

    Good luck.
  13. Salsacore

    Salsacore New Member

    he should just find somebody else and stop dancing with you
  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    A similar argument applies to women/followers, of course.
  15. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Rereading this thread...
    Perhaps things are different in Germany. Around here, the primary reasons for a regular dance partner with whom you have no romantic involvement are performance or competition. And these both generally mean making a commitment to practicing regularly. Social dancing generally means dancing with different people, otherwise it's not social dancing anymore.

    I would guess his romantic interest was from the very beginning. That would be why "he was so concentrated in you as a dancer". If I were in his shoes, being rebuffed romantically, and then finding that you weren't interested in performing or competing, my reaction would be "then what's the point? I don't need a regular partner for social dancing."
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  16. You shot him down two for two.
    1. Possibility of a romantic relationship.
    2. A serious dance partnership with the goal to improve and perform.

    Are you maybe disatisfied/frustrated with your own progress?
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  17. azzey

    azzey Member

    Yes. You two are simply on different paths.

    I know many people on both paths ; The social one-or-two-nights-a-week have fun path and the all-i-want-to-do-is-salsa-7-days-a-week path.

    The later ones often become instructors, like me.

    You should:
    - Go out and social dance with *many* different people.
    - Relax and have fun.
    - Not worry about improving or being pushed to do so.
    - You will find your own path to where you want to be at your own pace.

    He should:
    - Get himself:
    1. A dedicated partner who wants to put in the same effort that he does.
    2. Many partners who he can rotate through on different nights of the week.

    I've tried all of these in the last 10 years of dancing.

    I have to ask, why do you want to be his partner if he obviously wants many things from you that you do not want to give? No relationship is perfect, but you need to have balance. Give and take.

    It would make a lot more sense for you to find another "social" fun dancer who is relaxed about learning like you are.

    Generally, relaxed social dancers don't have one dedicated partner. They just go out to socials and get to know everybody. That way you get to dance with a lot of different guys and learn at your own pace.

    Now, if you don't want a relaxed social partner and you do want a guy who is more dedicated but not so stressing, you will need to either search for a better one or be diplomatic and agree to trade some things that you want and he wants. Compromise.

    However, there are many ways for you to improve and most don't require a dedicated partner. Taking a private lesson every now and then with a good instructor, then going out social dancing a lot would really help you on your way, if that's what you want.
  18. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    The solution: dance with girls.
    It's 2012.
  19. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    Basis for my comment was
    a) what I've personally observed, and
    b) the fact that her partner is a man.

    since the OP was looking for suggestions specifically applicable to her personal situation.
  20. princeghana

    princeghana New Member

    The little i can add to what my friends said so far is
    Is fun when you are dancing and realize people are looking at you, it make you wanna do more styles and even sometime forgot about your partner, it happens everywhere even here in Ghana is the same, so my dear, the best thing is, sit him down, not in public but you can ask him out as a special date and talk as a salsa couple, that is the only way or else he wont listen and it will be the best for both of you and you especially, because he think he is doing what he want and you are complaining, he also have his issues too, so just try this and let us know how it goes ok

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