Ballroom Dance > Problems as couple learning dance

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Jongleur9418, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    If more experienced women are actually counting to him, he probably is off time. Of course, their counting doesn't help, since by the time he can process what they say, he'll be even more off time. So, good on you for avoiding that!

    What can help is if he counts to himself, silently. Some coaches feel that the man should always be counting the music to himself whenever dancing. I think it's useful for at least the first few years.
    FishyOne and Jongleur9418 like this.
  2. Ailuene

    Ailuene Active Member

    Oh, that makes a lot of sense! I guess you learn something new every day! :D
  3. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    Also something you might think about trying if the timing issues start from the beginning of the music-- what I always tell my Newbies when they're having trouble counting. A good way to agree on timing is to squeeze each others' hands in time and wait until you agree on a timing to start (so like if you're doing cha-cha, for example, you'd squeeze out "2-3 Cha-cha-Cha if that makes sense). If you're just social dancing then it's not to say that timing doesn't matter (blasphemy!), but it matters less than it does on the competition floor so I definitely agree with everyone above who has said to follow his time, regardless of whether it's right or not.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I empathize with the responsible on time woman who accustomed to handling the timing...but I will say that now that I have accepted my is to respond...NOT to initiate... at least not at that is SUCH a pleasure
    Jongleur9418 and FishyOne like this.
  5. Jongleur9418

    Jongleur9418 Member

    I agree! It feels like a sightseeing passenger instead of a backseat driver.
  6. FishyOne

    FishyOne New Member

    Hello Folks,
    I'm the husband, now with my own account.

    You guys have been great. We've had a couple of intense days working with this, but at the moment we are having a lot of fun dancing together. She says my timing is usually fine now and that I normally self-correct when she leaves it to me.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I actually think it feels more like loving the person you dance with and responding to what they are asking by providing what they need...because you still have plenty to do that YOU need to do
    FishyOne and cornutt like this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and, no offense to wife, but she is also probably not nearly far enough along to be the most objective person in assessing do the best you can and it will have to be enough until you get is a long process...accepting that will go a long way in eliminating frustration....we all long to have arrived at an advanced place in our dancing...we can't let that spoil where we are ...glad you guys are both willing to keep trying
  9. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I agree with Fascination (I think) but would amplify on that. Your wife/partner should have patience with you and work with your timing. But you need coaching to make sure your timing is truly accurate and to improve on it.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes.....and that you learn the technique that will allow you to stay on, sometimes it isn't just a matter of what we hear but of who we can stay or go at a a particular time...and how to slow ourselves down on the slow parts or speed up on the fast is a work in progress,,,
  11. FishyOne

    FishyOne New Member

    Snapdancer and Fascination,

    You seem to have gotten a bit lost from our intent in starting the thread. We weren’t asking about how to improve my connection with the music, there are many other threads here about that and we wouldn’t waste your time on such a redundant post, but rather how to improve our dance relationship and ameliorate its negative effects on the rest of our relationship. And we have gotten great value on that from this thread and the suggested book. Our dance relationship has been transformed in two days. So thank you all. Your input has helped us get past a sometime painful disturbance in our relationship and a huge issue in our dancing relationship.

    As to my connection with the music, this is something I’ve been working on for 2 y now with my primary teacher as well as several other teachers and coaches. I’m also learning a lot from Don Baarn’s videos. I’ve also read all the threads on this issue that I could find here and made use of a number of suggestions. I walk 5 miles several times a week, walking to dance music, hitting every beat, counting the music, tracking the phrases and paying attention to how the instruments change during the music. All the feedback I’ve gotten from teachers is that I’ve made incredible progress. As far as the counting women, that was almost a year ago and they were all part of a group that takes group lessons together. The single women tend to have big attitude and even started counting before I started dancing when they noticed that I was nervous. So I’m pedaling as fast as I can, believe that I’m making progress and have had that confirmed by my wife and others.

    I suppose everyone always needs more lessons but we have had a lot of lessons in different configurations and found that for us more lessons are not necessarily more efficient or effective at getting better so we have dialed back a bit, though we dance more.

    So the recommendation that I need more lessons isn’t really helpful.

    The dance relationship stuff, though has been life-changing and makes us very happy that we brought this issue here.

    (Just to be clear, I’m not trying to defend myself here, but just give feedback on what sort of discussion was useful and to make clear to any future readers or lurkers, that the oft-heard “work harder” isn’t necessarily the right approach when dealing with couple issues, being at most only part of a solution.)
  12. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    Well, Fascination. Seems we don't know how to properly behave on the internets. I hope a site moderator doesn't notice.

    And reflecting on this, I would agree that the real problem with the OP's situation is not the lead's timing -- no matter whether that's defective or not.
    FishyOne likes this.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. But the proper issue isn´t also much more flattering: “work for a longer period” ! There just is that discrepancy in learning speed. Seems that nerve connections in the male brain are fixed really slowly. Be patient, it´s simply a question of time. Once I was so frustrated that I did not got or master a certain move. I left that move and started working on something else. Finally I forgot about it and over night (after five month or so) it suddenly was part of my intuitive vocabulary. The cerebellum works in the back ground.

    And don´t want to repeat myself: but also build up your own dancing environment (focus, peers, address book, teachers).
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am only going to note the following, in as gentle a manner as I can....

    1) neither snapdancer nor I originated the topic of your struggle with timing and how it may or may not impact your dancing with your wife...we responded to that only because, if it was of no relationship to the problem, it would be a mystery as to why it was brought up
    2)no one would question or doubt that you are putting time and effort into solving the timing issues, some of which can be done on your own.... that being said, it isn't solely a matter of moving to the beat.... sometimes a lack of technical proficiency on some aspects of dance can make it near to impossible to step on time without some advanced, if you have found private lessons to be unhelpful, you may seriously need to re-evaluate the calibre of your instructor...and it is also possible that you would both need that lesson as once she has begun to move, you have no choice, etc....sometimes folks can't even see on their own how what they did on a preceding step guaranteed that they are going to mess up the timing on the next one, etc....that is not something you can easily monitor about yourself

    I am perfectly content to not respond to issues on timing...I would only say that posters are going to address what is posted, particularly that which is brought up by the original, if you would like to constrain conversation to this or that, you will need to also monitor harm, no foul...but I would also suggest that you may be closing yourself off to other productive things about which you may not be able to imagine at the moment....still, that is your prerogative and I respect that...
  15. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    It's pretty normal for threads to drift to other topics once the original topic is addressed. No need to pay attention if you've got what you need. Us long time forum members just get long winded at times, because we like to talk about any aspect of dancing.
    Jongleur9418 likes this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it didn't drift off topic...they brought it up....I rather suspect that while commentary was geared toward his wife's growing edges, commentary was felt to be more welcome and appreciated...bottom line; they brought timing up as an issue related to her backleading, which is part of their cited issue....while I agree with your basic premise about threads drifting...this one didn't.... if you care to have a read
  17. Jongleur9418

    Jongleur9418 Member

    From the wife-OP:

    Hi, guys! We don't want to drift the topic to whether or not we are drifting, do we? To me, as long as we've heard each other on that matter we may move on with or without agreement.

    This thread has been great as I learned a lot from you guys. I truly appreciate all your advice and suggestions that I may not easily get elsewhere in such an efficient way!

    Thank you all very much!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Warren J. Dew and FishyOne like this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no we don't, but, aside from myself, I am not going to have members who addressed YOUR issue (including timing) in good faith be chided for having done so...and yes, we can now move on
  19. vit

    vit Active Member

    Well, ok, thread concentrated on one of various questions mentioned by OP, probably not most important one, but it's only page 3, so on further pages, all other questions can still be discusses or whether OP whether someone else can make additional questions or repeat existing ones

    I also went through this - I was competing in ballroom when young, then quit for almost 10 years, then started dancing again as hobby dancer with GF that was a newbie in dancing. Wasn't easy for me at all for various reasons (she wasn't very talented, some of our teacher were indeed not good and I needed a time to realize that etc), but survived somehow ... Probably because I had enough opportunities to dance socially with girls that were really good dancers, some of them way better than I ever was, so I gave my GF plenty of time to improve and she eventually did ...

    I witnessed many times a situation when someone, whether man or woman, danced with partner 100x better than he/she, had a great dance and concluded that he/she is far better that the partner because he was able to lead her much better than own partner / she was able to follow him much better than own partner. Of course it is easier to dance with a real dancer (in most cases) than with own partner that is an amateur dancer but it doesn't prove that one partner is better than another ... it takes two

    These things are usually easier if partners rotate on the classes (in my area, we rotate in salsa, WCS, but not in ballroom ...) because tension between two doesn't accumulate. Also, what happened to me several times on salsa or WCS classes, I sometimes "got" some figure with the worst follower in the class ... strange but it really happened. But even if partners don't rotate on the class, there are big differences among teachers in their ability to control 'tension' between partners - some of them are actually making everything even worse ...
    FishyOne likes this.
  20. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    The solution to your problems are so simple I'm surprised nobody suggested it: share partners.

    If you dance exclusively with each other you will always have friction because ladies learn faster. Let the lady get her fix of more advanced dancing by dancing with other dancers.

    Pro/am isn't the answer because you will not learn to lead/follow properly.

    I have seen couples come and go. The only ones that last are the ones that aren't possessive.

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