Ballroom Dance > Lasting Partnership - What is the secret ?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancingirldancing, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Ask yourself if you'd start a business with your potential partner. IME it's surprising how the requisite personality traits overlap. OTOH, if she's a Nordic blonde, just grovel and do whatever she asks. Immediately. Without question.
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Leave it all on the dance floor.
  3. twirl2010

    twirl2010 Member

    Whilst I agree on 1,2 and 5 I think 3 and 4 elements of your personality and depend on how you and your partner work, hence not necessarily and ingredient for lasting partnership

    I was going to add something about respect and taking care of each other, but really that's part of being friends.
  4. twirl2010

    twirl2010 Member

    That sounds like a crappy situation. I think it depends what her goals are, if she wants to have fun she'd probably left the partner a while ago.

    I am curious, what does their coach say? cos she has spoken with a coach about it right?
  5. slhull.13

    slhull.13 Active Member

    This sounds like an amazing book---will look for that immediately.

    I would say IME so far, the biggest difficulties lie in switching to a completely new form communication when we get to the dance studio. For example--it's perfectly acceptable to talk in a certain way or use a certain tone (ie, sarcasm) from the perspective of the relationship, but it creates a lot of hurt feelings when that bleeds into the work you are accomplish at dance practice. It's tempting to rely on these "usual" methods of communication because they are familiar and (most of the time) acceptable, and while I agree that separating the dance partnership from the relationship is smart, it's difficult to draw the line and is much easier said than done.

    It's not impossible, for sure! I just think there's an added layer of difficulty. There are a lot of benefits to dating your dance partner though :)
  6. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    It's one of those things where I'm sure it will work itself out in time, as we get more used to dancing together he'll pick up more what I need from leads, and I'll learn how to pick up his leads better. I think it is also really hard since I haven't had a partner this semester, and although I was doing really well at comps going TBA, and learned a lot about ballroom by helping our Newbie and Bronze members (it's amazing how much you learn by teaching and having to find the answers to people's questions), so I'm kind of readjusting to having a partner again. Also, his last partner cut corners BIG TIME on her technique (her heel pulls in I-Fox made me want to scream!), and I'm fairly certain that she didn't really follow the dancing per-se but rather followed the moves (if that explanation makes any sense), so that's what he's adjusted to.
    Also, on a related note, my new partner is also my boyfriend, and so I appreciate all the advice I'm seeing on that aspect as well. What we decided when we started this was that we had to make sure that we leave the relationship outside the dance studio. I feel like the hardest part is that, especially when someone's your boyfriend/girlfriend in addition to your dance partner it's REALLY hard to separate dance criticism from personal criticism (as if it isn't hard enough in a dance partnership that is not a relationship). This is the bright side of dancing with someone from another college-- if this ends up blowing up in our face we don't have to see each other at every practice. :)
    dlibba, I will definitely make sure to come say hi at MAC. :)
  7. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Explanation makes total sense to me...might just mean we're both crazy.

    My one experience with dating a dance partner ended horribly, so I won't offer any advice on that front.
  8. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    When your dance partner is also your significant other, I find there can be a lot more issues because you think you can get away with more just because you have this tie other than dance. You feel you can lash out because you're more comfortable and vulnerable with each other off the dance floor, and consequently you don't tip-toe around each other's feelings like you would a stranger's. Since I started dancing with someone else (in addition to still dancing with b/f), I've gotten a forrest-for-the-trees perspective. I noticed that I was much more respectful and open to the possibility that I was WRONG (! who knew!) in this new partnership compared to my partnership with the SO. It's like all of a sudden, I knew what it was like to be productive-- I felt that we got so much done in each practice in this new partnership. Plain and simple, I was respectful and respected. So I started to make an effort to be more respectful and listen and be open to the possibility that I could be wrong in my partnership with my boyfriend. As a result, productive practices are finally the norm with us. I think being respectful is a HUUUGE thing, but you BOTH gotta be on board and help each other out to be that way, because its not easy! But once you both really make a concerted effort to try and remind each other, it does get easier.

    Also, one VERY helpful technique we've adopted is if one of us gets frustrated about something and can't help but start to slip back into that letting-our-anger-flare phase, we immediately forget whatever we're doing and move on to something completely different. This has helped us immensely. We've learned how to read each other and accept and respect when one of us is getting frustrated and we move on. We can both pinpoint that moment in each other when it's time to go to something else, and we know if we pass the point of no return, then we might as well leave because nothing good will come from the rest of practice.

    I find its also helpful to talk about these sorts of things with your partner BEFORE going to practice, too. And then remind each other when you begin practice. Helps you both switch into "dancing mode"
    Sania, RiseNFall and Warren J. Dew like this.
  9. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Interesting... In what Slow Fox figure does the lady perform a heel pull?
    vit likes this.
  10. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    Natural turn. However it may be possible I screwed up my terminology and meant heel turn, to be honest, our team has used the two words interchangibly and I'm guessing I've been misinformed. Either way, she had a habit of sticking her right foot out and about 3 inches above he floor (eep!-- admittedly the first time I competed I-Fox I didn't do heel turns because I didn't know the dance well enough to know they were there, however, she knows they're there and just sticks her leg out anyway. Does the same thing in Natural spin turns in Quickstep).
  11. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Meaning she doesn't "brush" her feet? For shame! :eek:
    Stick the Grey Book in her face.

    Earlier I wrote that you should run away (quickly!) from a partner who thinks s/he doesn't need lessons. To add to that, anyone who believes a step is done a certain way but cannot or will not explain why... there's trouble ahead. I've had partners who thought they were good dancers, but could not explain why something was correct, or not, aside from perhaps "well, it works for me" or "everyone else does it like that" or "so-and-so told me to do it that way". Trouble! You must remain open to new ideas, new explanations, new *layers* in your dancing that alter how you think and move as you move up in the ranks. Or, you WON'T move up in the ranks. And never stop working on the basic movements in each dance and take them for granted. I don't care if you're Bronze or Gold -- beat those Waltz natural and reverse turns to death.
    ajiboyet likes this.
  12. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    As a sort of response to nikkitta's comment above........ I'm just gonna quietly and politely stick up for those dancers who are unable to articulate things well but insist when something is right or wrong.... for the ones who let criticism roll off easier, and have a slightly harsher approach to practice and communicating with their partner..... I was and still am and will forever be one of those people...... (and this is putting aside the extra twist of romantic relationships, which was the focus of my earlier post) .....

    I think its really important to recognize what type of a person are you in the context of practice, and what type of person your partner is. Are you the dominant one, or is your partner? are you both always vying for that dominance? or are you both passive, always listening to each other? I think recognizing what "type" of partner you are and what your partner is, and then working together to compromise is helpful... I will pull sections of Mengu's earlier post from a few years back because he is better at articulating this notion than I am:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  13. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    OK, I see your point. But the partnership needs to have some way to communicate. Saying "Hmmm, you're going outside partner too soon and are too square and it pushes me off balance when we try that step" is more useful than "That's not right. I don't know why; it just isn't." If you can't at least start to be able to break the mechanics down without having a coach present, it's not good.

    I get that some people can consult the Grey or Red books and read through it and pinpoint potential issues, and others need to actually see it danced, and others need to FEEL it danced. That's something that needs to be discussed and acknowledged so each can adjust to the other's learning styles, where possible.
    cornutt, Sania and dlliba10 like this.
  14. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    Oh I totally agree. I was just trying to make the point that ALL kinds of people should be respectful and understanding of how the other works, and work together to communicate and compromise-- the bending and compromising shouldn't be expected ONLY of the perfectionist-type partner, otherwise its an uneven partnership. But working toward clear communication is obviously a given-- Poor communication is bad in any partnership! (I was kind of responding to your earlier post, but also kinda not haha)
    nikkitta likes this.
  15. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    am/am......... marry her

    pro/am.......... pay them well:p
    5678dance and stash like this.
  16. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I started dating my current dance partner (and still current bf :p) before we became partners. I think that helped a bit with our dance relationship. We try and keep it all business, though I am guilty of being cutesie...

    Anywho I think something that has helped us with the argument issue is having a great coach that we can go to who can help us work through things amicably and without blaming each other. When things start going into full blown arguments (two hot blooded italian mixes=very short tempers), we take a break, cool off and then try to resolve it without fighting. If that doesn't work, we save it for our coach to blame both of us, bop us on the heads, and then move forward with the lesson.
  17. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    That is awesome. My DP/BF and I also used to save issues to bring to our coach, but since we've moved we don't have easy access to our old coach anymore. But yes, that's awesome, and very helpful!
  18. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Didn't work for us. Issues associated with getting married caused us to quit dancing together for 2 years. By the time we took another 2 years to recover from that, we needed to switch focus to the "having kids" thing.

    A coach who works on the couple as a couple can probably help a lot. Coaches who only work on the individuals can be an extra point of stress on the partnership, though.
  19. Entangoment

    Entangoment New Member

    Ummm, no.

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