Long Distance Competitive Partnerships

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dlliba10, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    I think before you look for a partner, you might want to join a group class nearby to figure out some of the answers to your questions.
  2. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    What are your local opportunities? How much do you want a partnership? If you strongly desire one and there's no one in your neighborhood, then you should definitely go further afield. That's assuming that there really is no one in your area and you're not being too picky (a very real problem for a lot of people).
    If it's your first, I'd recommend having few expectations, at least initially.

    We've been dancing for almost three years (eek!...gotta start looking for an anniversary present). Four years ago, I was in a pretty bad drought. Two respected acquaintances had actually suggested her, but I didn't pay any attention to them because the distance was an hour... Then I moved. She contacted me. I kinda wrote her off at first because of differing expectations... In retrospect, the hour-long distance should have been perfectly acceptable.
  3. frotes

    frotes Member

    Hrm I guess my question didn't really come out the way I wanted it to.

    I was mainly curious about peoples experiences and was hoping some people would share their story about finding their first partner. I've already read through most of the big threads on partners in the past, but I am always interested in hearing more.
  4. frotes

    frotes Member

    Awesome! that was the kind of response I was looking for.

    My local opportunities should be pretty good, I am in Southern California and about 1h away from LA or SD. I started off looking only about 30 minutes away but it seems I should extend that to about 1 hour from what other people have been saying. That would give me some much better opportunities then. I really want a partnership because doing pro/am, I can only afford about 1-2 comps a year and I really want to do more than that along with having someone I could regularly practice with.

    I was trying to be vague about my expectations in order to see what kind of suggestions people might respond with but I guess I phrased some things badly.
    My current expectations would be being able to take at least one coaching a week and doing about 2-4 hours of practice. I would aim to do at least 2 comps a year but probably more like 3-4 for now. I am extremely dedicated, I currently dance/practice about 15h a week and take 2 lessons. I currently dance rhythm and smooth and am aiming to do 9 dance but the reason I said I wasn't 100% sure about those styles is because I am finding a lot of people looking for competitive partners are doing standard or latin. And I would be willing to swap if the right partner came along.

    My main points of uncertainty are: How big of a deal is distance in the long run? How important is finding someone that competes in your dancing category? I am willing to start from scratch and work through it if the dancing feels good but I am not sure if that should be more of a last resort consideration or not.
  5. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    If the dancing is good, you will wonder why 'distance' ever was an issue. It has never been an issue for us, and we have been dancing together since we started. We didn't have the luxury (or the ego) to think that the potential partner didn't 'measure up' to the quality we perceived at the beginning as ours... didn't think that we knew how it would go, or what would be 'convenient' or 'workable' - we just tried as hard as we could to make it work. That, in itself, is the hardest part; the honest evaluation of our skill set at that moment in time was a difficult thing to swallow (the fact that I was not the great dancer I thought I was or that somehow a great dancer would dance with me lol). If I had thought that my perspective at that time was real, I would have probably never found the partner I have had for over a decade.

    Dancers are made not born, and your journey has just begun.

    You will feel like you are 'starting from scratch' with a partner anyway - learning how to dance with someone, interact with someone, and find your personality as a partnership takes a lot of effort, a lot more than pleasing your Proam coach, a lot more than considering only your dancing - it is the interaction of the two of you that will make the partnership 'speak'. Be prepared for delight and for hard work.
  6. bia

    bia Active Member

    Distance matters as one possible influence on your lesson and practice time, with other influences being each partner's dedication (how much time they want to spend practicing/money they are willing/able to spend on lessons) and the compatibility of your two schedules. A larger distance can be overcome if both partners are highly dedicated and have flexible schedules. But even a tiny distance may be too much if you're never off work at the same time or if your partner has radically different ideas than you do about reasonable amounts of practice.

    I'd say that when looking for your first partner, it makes sense to be somewhat picky about personality (no soulmates needed, but it's important to get along) and approximate degree of dedication (there exists an amount of time and money that's acceptable to both of you). These matter much more than level or style (since you say you'd be willing to switch). As far as distance, start looking nearby for someone nice enough and equally-dedicated enough. It sounds like you shouldn't have to go too far, since you already mention ladies who are looking for partners. But if nobody nearby works out (given a real try), that's when you can start expanding your search radius, and distance might come into the picture.
  7. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    That depends on your expectations of the partnership. I think you indicated you wanted to practice 2-4 hours a week and do 2-4 comps a year? Will you continue to do pro-am along with am?

    If you want your am partnership to be competitive at pre-champ or champ level you are probably going to need more than 4 hours a week. If you're doing it just for fun and/or aren't concerned about things being finished or polished in the partnership for the comp floor, you can manage on 4 hours a week and the hour commute isn't as onerous. If you need more practice hours, then it most likely increases the frequency of your commute, thus shorter commute is better.

    If you continue to do pro-am, especially if you're at a high level, it will be doubly difficult. Usually you will have two sets of routines, one for your pro-am one for am. You will need to work both sets of routines to your level of expectations.

    Depends on the frequency of the times it's traveled and who travels it.

    That depends on the individual....some might not mind at all switching styles. For me, my heart is in one style, and though I could do well in the other three, it would take a lot for me to give latin up.
  8. frotes

    frotes Member

    My plan was to start off doing am/am slowly and see how it goes while continuing to do pro/am so that is why I listed those numbers. But if I found a good partner, I would swap to doing am/am full time. I strive to dance/practice 10-15, one way or another.

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