Uncomfortable with my wife ballroom dancing with other men

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by NewMantoDancing, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. NewMantoDancing

    NewMantoDancing New Member

    Thanks for all the feedback that everyone has provided. Some has been helpful. Some has just been flames, but that is the nature of forums. What I wrote yesterday got misunderstood by some.

    In an effort to continue to learn more and resolve my issue, I reached out to another well known studio that is not in the same area where we live. I had a brief talk with the owner of the studio last week and spoke with him again briefly this week to setup a lesson time. I met with two instructors, husband and wife, that between them have been instructing for 35 years and themselves have been competing together and with others for a very long time.

    I discussed with them my issue, what I was trying to get through. There response was that my issue is not uncommon. They spoke of 3 similar situations they have dealt with this year - one where she had been working on a rumba routine with a guy and the significant other had major issues with aspects of the routine; and he spoke of two issues this year where he had been working on tango and quickstep routines with two women and their significant others had issues with the routines. In all three cases they worked with the student to make some changes to the routine or help the significant other get comfortable with some aspects.

    After some discussion about me and what I am uncomfortable with, they did 3 QuickStep routines for me. The first they did what he called a competition style, there was significant contact in form, but there was little to no sexual connotation to the routine - it was just like what I would look at on YouTube of QuickStep professional competitions. The second they did was more casual or social - she termed it as graceful - there was little to no hip to hip contact or legs intertwined, no deep dips, etc... but they did end with a dip. The third was a performance piece that was indeed very provocative and that is how she termed it. It was very intertwined, with lots of sexual connotation, etc...

    They had asked me to think of her as my wife as they did them and asked me to comment on how I felt. I was a little uncomfortable with the contact in the Competition style - but it wasn't bad. In the 2nd routine, I had no concerns at all and I found it absolutely beautiful. In the 3rd routine - yes the provocative one, I wanted to crawl out of my skin. It was a cool dance piece, but I am not at all comfortable with my wife of over 20 years being in that level of contact with another man. I have done a lot of soul searching on this. I am not thinking my wife is doing anything wrong, I have no issue with the instructor. In fact they were dancing together at a recent dance party we were at. I am just finding it very difficult to accept/understand/cope with it.

    So the routine that our local instructor has been developing with my wife is very much the provocative showpiece style. There are some pieces of it that are really cool and that I am OK with. Then there are chunks of what I saw that I don't see myself ever getting comfortable with. My wife and I have a very transparent relationship. We openly share all of our thoughts. I have been discussing all of this with her over the past few weeks. I shared the above with her last night. Understandably my wife is not happy with some of this, just as I am not happy with some of this.

    The dancing that we are doing is for fun. It is not for competition. The instructors I met with yesterday stated that in exactly the same type of situations they have worked to alter the routines to so that everyone is happy - everyone is having fun.

    These past few weeks have been difficult for my wife and I regarding this. Some of the feedback I have gotten from this forum has been very helpful. Following our discussion last night, my wife is going to think about how to proceed, how to talk about the routine with the instructor, etc... We will see where it goes from here. I am looking forward to supporting my wife as she works to put on a great routine later this fall and I have recently agreed to participate in a routine as well - one with my wife and potentially another.
  2. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member


    ??????

    A Provocative Quickstep? Um.......I can't even picture such a thing. (And, I tried!) It seems to me that this goes directly against the nature of Quickstep (and its music) which I have always felt to be fast, fun, energetic, maybe a little bouncy and flirty, but certainly not provocative.

    Nope....don't get it.
  3. leee

    leee Active Member

    That's a shame, because I love pizza.
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Yeah, even with the detailed explanation, Quickstep isn't provocative. It's just not in character with the music required. Flirty, sure.

    And there's nothing more awkward and unpleasant than social quickstep without body contact. You always end up wrenched into some awkward outside partner position, tripping over yourself as you get shoved through a lock...
    Mr 4 styles and Sania like this.
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't think I've ever danced a graceful Quickstep, so... :p
  6. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Touché. :joyful:
  7. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    When your wife performs the routine perhaps she would agree for you to post a video to help us all understand what a provocative QS looks like, help us all with this confusion. I think what you are reading as "flames" is not so much so but just our lack of understanding. Or even point us to a UTube that you would consider provocative.
    stash and Bailamosdance like this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...clearly OP has never really gotten flamed ...but that isn't the topic....issue is; I can't even fathom QS choreo that would be provocative....but, beyond that, I think it feeds the dragon to have to keep monitoring whether or not one's spouse is going to be uncomfortable with this move or that...I think the best approach is just to have listened to dozens of people who have said that unless one's spouse is already pre-disposed and is with a skeevy pro, nothing will come of it other than some personal enjoyment...heaven forbid...to note that someone is probably over-reacting and that things like provocative QS's are bizarre is NOT a flame...it is a piece of honest advice
    bia likes this.
  9. bia

    bia Active Member

    NewMan, the thing is, in your original post, you wrote in to ask how to get over your feelings of discomfort, not how to get your wife not to dance in ways that make you uncomfortable. The people here were very happy to help with the stated goal and to reassure you that your feelings of discomfort were common and surmountable. I give you credit for making the effort to understand, and I also think it's a very good thing that you're planning to work on a showcase dance yourself. But at this point, I think it's just a question of time. For most of us, growing up as non-dancers, we became socialized to interpret certain amounts of body contact and certain body movements as romantic or sexual and appropriately restricted to those contexts. But in the dance world, as we've been discussing at length, that contact and those movements do not have the same meaning as in the non-dance world. For you to know that in your gut and be comfortable with it requires a new process of socialization and acculturation to the dance world. That doesn't happen overnight. (Have you ever lived in a different country? If so, how long did it take you to get over the culture shock? Me, the longest I've ever lived somewhere else is a year. That wasn't enough.) So at this point, I would encourage you just to go on with an open mind and with trust in your wife and in the strength of your relationship, and see how you feel a year or two from now.

    I think everyone here on DF knows former dancers who no longer dance because their SOs couldn't handle it. If you want to see flaming, come back here and tell us your wife is one of those. I don't know, maybe we'd just be really sad. But we're here to tell you from experience that hurting your wife and your relationship that way is not necessary. Now that you've gathered the information, just hang in there for a while longer.

    (BTW, if you don't believe that dance is a culture, go read SDSalsaGuy's anthropology dissertation on the subject.)
    SDsalsaguy, Dots, stash and 3 others like this.
  10. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    This is the most "provocative" dance that includes quickstep I can think of, but it's because of the non-quickstep parts. The quickstep figures themselves are pretty typical.
  11. bia

    bia Active Member

    That example is interesting because it really demonstrates the theatrical angle -- explicitly, given that it's based on a broadway musical. Which raises another thought experiment for the OP -- what if your wife were doing community theater instead of ballroom dancing? Would you have similar trouble coming to terms with the actions and illusions required by a role? If yes, well, then you can dump this thought experiment, because it's not helpful for you. But if not, maybe worth thinking about why you see a difference?
  12. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I just thought of that, too. Most actors probably have significant others/spouses. And they play love scenes that are far steamier than the body contact in ballroom dancing.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I tell my engaged clients all of the time; "if you are insecure there is nothing that anyone ELSE can do to prove to you that you shouldn't be....you have to choose not to be...even if it leaves you vulnerable to being wrong...because you cannot sustain a relationship without trust...and if YOU don't have it, then YOU are the one responsible for changing it and it can't be done by trying to control OTHERS"...and if it isn't about trust...if it is just about the newness of seeing your wife dancing with someone else, you are still going to have to handle it inside yourself
    SDsalsaguy and Sania like this.
  14. Sania

    Sania Active Member

    My thought exactly!

    I also remember Melissa Dexter (former U. S. National Latin Champion) coming to our college club for a workshop long ago. Almost the first thing she said to the audience of Newcomer and Bronze dancers about dancing was: "It's an acting job"
    SDsalsaguy, stash and Mr 4 styles like this.
  15. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    I agree with the treating like acting thing. In fact, I am FAR more comfortable with body contact in ballroom dancing than I would be portraying a physical love scene of some sort (meaning a kiss or something on that level) with an actor in a community play.
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Yup.
    Really good bachata can be the same thing. And WCS....!
    stash likes this.
  17. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member


    Wayne Bott and Laureen Baldovi did an incredibly provocative WCS in the invitational jack & jill at Capital Swing years ago.
  18. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    lol Wayne pulled a move on Tessa Cunningham that she nor the audience will EVER forget at GPSDC a few years ago
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Haha...I know this must be the one...picking up around 2:15 -

    Well, to the OP...for the time being, it would be wise to hold off on this kind of social dancing. BUT...I would not be surprised if in some years' time you find yourself embracing & deeply enjoying it, and reflecting with a smile back on "the early years" of adjustment you're going through right now to the pseudo-intimacy of partner dancing.

    Provided a couple has a solid relationship, partner dancing can bring so much joy into one's life, and a kind of celebration into one's relationship. The physical aspect does become more clinical...but still those "3 minute crushes" during a wonderful song can be just so delightful. Just good clean fun. :D

    Wishing you a fun future with lots of good dancing...and diminished angst. :)
  20. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    That's the one. :)
    samina likes this.

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