Lasting Partnership - What is the secret ?

#1
Currently DP is the best partner that I ever have. Not that he is the most skilled but we just dance very well together. We have a lot of people commenting how we complement each other and look perfect together.

I like working with him and everything seems to be too perfect. We have been getting excellent results from the get go too.

A lot of people (who is related to us like coach, friends and family) have great expectation and anticipation of what this partnership can do. They are watching our progress very closely.

I am getting really nervous about this. Almost like something too good to be true.

I know I have touched on this subject before in general discussion.

Both me and DP want this to be a long lasting partnership and we have discussed it in many occassions.

What I am worried about is because we have been getting good results in comp it is almost expected especially by DP and our coaches.

I am worried that if we don't win or worse if we are beaten badly at the nationals that are approaching very fast we may break up.

How do we manage this super high expectations ?
 
#2
I've been together with my partner for a good amount of time.

We've had our ups and downs.... many, many, many ups and downs.
There are many reasons we are still partners, although we're not competing right now.

1. We are friends first, dance partners second.
2. We communicate about everything from our goals about dance to our fitness goals to the things we ate for breakfast. We keep each other in check.
3. Every practice is scheduled and planned out. We have a strategy going into every practice.
4. Sometimes our plan of practicing just includes goofing around and having fun like really fun (the reason we started dancing in the first place!)
5. When practice is over we go our separate ways and try not to be around each other more than that.

Our partnership is far from perfect, and the balance is tough. I find that I lose my mind the most when we fail in communicating our needs and goals.
 
#3
Jana I love love love watching you and your partner dance!!! :D

1. We are friends first, dance partners second.
5. When practice is over we go our separate ways and try not to be around each other more than that.
Absolutely agree with #1!!!
Although #5 seems funny and ironic to me... hee hee. My longest lasting partnerships have always been people I get along really well with, and often we are such good friends that we hang out a lot more besides just dancing. I feel that has helped us get to know each other more, and reduces misunderstanding when dancing gets frustrating. Maybe the best partners for me are those who think alike, have similar personalities and goals on top of the dance skills, so it's been natural for my best partners and I to be almost inseparable... Sometimes to the ire of their girlfriends... ahhahaha.

Also agree that communication, plus respect, is key. No yelling, no fingerpointing, no voice raising, and not even eye rolling and grumpy faces (still working on these... lol). If either of us even start to feel a little vex, we take a step back and very nicely discuss what WE, not you or I, may have gone wrong. There is mutual trust. If either of us has a bad day, we sympathize and recognize that the other person will be there for us too on our bad days.

DGD, why worry about things that aren't happening? With my best partnerships, we've always enjoyed dancing with each other so much so that results are secondary for us... But precisely because of the good chemistry or what not, the results have always fallen very nicely into place for us. And as long as you like dancing with each other, who cares how you place, or what other people expect?

Just think of it this way:
- If you guys have been working so well already in such a short time, things will only get better from here.
- Who's he going to dance with if not you?!!
- If you don't do well with someone you have the best connection, look, energy, etc with, who else can he possibly do well with?? And what the hell are the winners winning with???

On the other hand, I have in the past discovered the true strength of partnerships revealed by bad results... having been both the one messing up and the one horrified at my partner messing up... haha. In either case, I was pleasantly surprised that it only strengthened our partnership more... since there's motivation to make it up to the partner. Even if neither was at fault, we would aim to do better next time together, like saying "next time we are going to beat so and so, we are so much more awesome than so and so"... lol yeah we're competitive :p

LOL good luck DGD, sounds like a great partnership in the making!!! No expectations or anything from me... ahhahaha :D
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#5
Also agree that communication, plus respect, is key. No yelling, no fingerpointing, no voice raising, and not even eye rolling and grumpy faces (still working on these... lol). If either of us even start to feel a little vex, we take a step back and very nicely discuss what WE, not you or I, may have gone wrong. There is mutual trust. If either of us has a bad day, we sympathize and recognize that the other person will be there for us too on our bad days.
Unless that's what works for you. To be honest I couldn't handle having to be sweet and civil and have polite discussions all the time. If I'm in a bad mood, I'll show it. On the other hand, if I'm supposed to bottle it up and make nice if I'm really bothered, then I AM eventually going to lash out at someone or get very nastily passive-aggressive. I also tend to dislike people who try to sugarcoat--if I am doing something that is wrong, just tell me. If we're competing together it's presumably not personal. I think it's less about wanting to be happy fluffy How To Make Friends and Influence People than dealing with conflict in compatible ways. As you might gather, I tend to steamroll the Nicely Nicely types. I would have a very short partnership with a meek person. If you deal with stress in similar or complimentary ways, it should be easier to work together.

DGD, why worry about things that aren't happening?
Exactly. It sounds like things are working. And if people EXPECT you to win, so what? It's a sport, weird/bad/unexpected results happen.
 
#6
Unless that's what works for you. To be honest I couldn't handle having to be sweet and civil and have polite discussions all the time. If I'm in a bad mood, I'll show it.

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Completely agree!! We have cancelled practices because one person was in a bad mood and we KNEW it was going to end badly. Sometimes we know when the other person is in a bad mood and we do a "fun" practice where we try to just cheer up by doing other types of dance and choreographing some funky random things together. Other times, we do yell at each other and point fingers and I have DEFINITELY stormed out of a practice before.

Frustration is normal, but after all of that, I would call my partner, we would meet up for tea or something and I would explain my frustration and apologize for being a poo. He's gotten pretty good at that as well.

A few months ago we were both considering splitting and going our separate ways, but after much talking we decided to just stop competing for a while until we get back into a normal groove. We're not the best dance partners for each other but we do communicate a lot and we respect each other a lot even through our very colorful history. :)
 

jjs914

Active Member
#8
I think, like any relationship, communications is key, as is respect. Sometimes things will inevitably get frustrating....be preparerd to work through that together. It's not easy. I've been dancing with DP for almost 8 years and we still hit rough patches.

I also think it's important for you two to decide, together, what your goals are and your expectations. Your commitment as partners is to each other. If you can work out that stuff, then the outside pressures can be secondary (easier said than done, sure).
 

Ithink

Active Member
#9
My partner and I have been dancing together for 11 years, 9 of which were at first as friends-only and the last two as partners both on and off the dancefloor. The #1 reason our partnership works (and probably the reason it hasn't visibly changed for the worse since we've been dating) is mutual respect and communication, both of which have already been mentioned.

I absolutely disagree that you can just show up when you are in a bad mood and totally let it fly in practice, take it out on your partner. If you can't be professional and control your emotions for a couple of hours, then I don't know how you can have a full-time job. Just because it's the two of you (instead of an office atmosphere), doesn't mean you can be any less professional with each other. If you can't, your partnership will suffer and you will eventually split up (or have screaming matches at practice that make everyone around you feel uncomfortable). So talk to each other, be respectful and take any issues you are having with dancing to a coach. Don't try to solve them yourselves for more than 15 minutes. If you disagree about something dance-related, you're not the ones who should resolve it. Presumably you pay a coach because he/she knows way more than either of you so why argue unnecessarily. Shelve it until your next lesson and move on.

To me, it sounds like you are freaking out needlessly here. You are successful so a lot is expected of you. That's not a bad thing but a good one. That means your coaches will be invested in your success and that's nothing to sneeze at:) Good luck!
 
#10
I absolutely disagree that you can just show up when you are in a bad mood and totally let it fly in practice, take it out on your partner.

That usually doesn't happen intentionally - it's usually a result of not realizing what a partner in a bad mood. It's also not something that happens every day. We're human and it does happen once in a while and it's ok as long as it doesn't become a regular thing and there's communication as to why something like that would happen. So, I'm not really sure you're disagreeing here ;)
 
#11
I am married to my partner, which in some ways makes it easier to be dance partners but in some ways makes it harder--if we treat each other like jerks on the dancefloor we still have to go home together at the end! On the other hand, we have a real sense of being a team, which I would advise you to try to cultivate with your partner. Ultimately it is just the two of you on that competition floor--no parents, no coaches, no family--and you succeed or fall short AS A TEAM. If both of you know that you want your partnership to last, then that's the most important factor because you have a shared goal. Hopefully, those around you will recognize the importance of that partnership relationship.

Maybe I'm biased in this because of my circumstances, but I'd prefer to work my way up toward competitive success with someone with whom I have a rapport rather than achieving instant success with someone who isn't invested in me or the partnership but just wants a partner as a tool for individual glory.
 
#13
Unless that's what works for you. To be honest I couldn't handle having to be sweet and civil and have polite discussions all the time. If I'm in a bad mood, I'll show it. On the other hand, if I'm supposed to bottle it up and make nice if I'm really bothered, then I AM eventually going to lash out at someone or get very nastily passive-aggressive. I also tend to dislike people who try to sugarcoat--if I am doing something that is wrong, just tell me. If we're competing together it's presumably not personal. I think it's less about wanting to be happy fluffy How To Make Friends and Influence People than dealing with conflict in compatible ways. As you might gather, I tend to steamroll the Nicely Nicely types. I would have a very short partnership with a meek person. If you deal with stress in similar or complimentary ways, it should be easier to work together.
LOL no I'm definitely not the nice and meek type of person... as has probably been demonstrated by some of my previous posts on DF ;P And definitely not saying you should bottle it up. I'm just saying if we know we're in a bad mood, my partners and I have learnt to better recognize that... try not to take it out on each other, and if that does happen, the empathy and mutual understanding kicks in.
Also not saying that there should be any sugarcoating. But saying "This doesn't feel right. Remember coach said you were rising too early, can we try that?" or "We're not doing this well today. Can you tell if me, you, or the both of us are doing something wrong?" work a lot better than "You suck. You did it wrong. I don't know what you did, but I did it right, so you obviously screwed up" Gives your partner (or maybe yourself) a little more room to discover where the problem lies without your partner needing to be defensive :)
 

sambanada

Active Member
#14
I am married to my partner, which in some ways makes it easier to be dance partners but in some ways makes it harder--if we treat each other like jerks on the dancefloor we still have to go home together at the end! On the other hand, we have a real sense of being a team, which I would advise you to try to cultivate with your partner. Ultimately it is just the two of you on that competition floor--no parents, no coaches, no family--and you succeed or fall short AS A TEAM. If both of you know that you want your partnership to last, then that's the most important factor because you have a shared goal. Hopefully, those around you will recognize the importance of that partnership relationship.

Maybe I'm biased in this because of my circumstances, but I'd prefer to work my way up toward competitive success with someone with whom I have a rapport rather than achieving instant success with someone who isn't invested in me or the partnership but just wants a partner as a tool for individual glory.
I too, married my partner ;)
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#16
LOL no I'm definitely not the nice and meek type of person... as has probably been demonstrated by some of my previous posts on DF ;P And definitely not saying you should bottle it up. I'm just saying if we know we're in a bad mood, my partners and I have learnt to better recognize that... try not to take it out on each other, and if that does happen, the empathy and mutual understanding kicks in.
Also not saying that there should be any sugarcoating. But saying "This doesn't feel right. Remember coach said you were rising too early, can we try that?" or "We're not doing this well today. Can you tell if me, you, or the both of us are doing something wrong?" work a lot better than "You suck. You did it wrong. I don't know what you did, but I did it right, so you obviously screwed up" Gives your partner (or maybe yourself) a little more room to discover where the problem lies without your partner needing to be defensive :)
I prefer "No, wrong, do it again." To me being nice sounds like condescending. Not "That sucks, you obviously screwed up", but not "Tee-hee, remember what the teacher said?" either. I ultimately don't care who's wrong (it's usually pretty clear anyway, and as I usually dance with a teacher 99% of the time it's me), just that it gets fixed. Possibly why I hate social dancing-you can't say anything and you're expected to chitchat.

Different mental process. For me, whether or not you're smiley-happy is irrelevant. As long as it gets done. I hate when I have to be perky at work, it's draining. My default setting is not happy-smiley. For me, I couldn't handle a partner who needed to get all Mr Rogers about fixing things. If I'm wrong, just say so. You don't need to be defensive, just blunt.
 
#17
I prefer "No, wrong, do it again." To me being nice sounds like condescending. Not "That sucks, you obviously screwed up", but not "Tee-hee, remember what the teacher said?" either. I ultimately don't care who's wrong (it's usually pretty clear anyway, and as I usually dance with a teacher 99% of the time it's me), just that it gets fixed. Possibly why I hate social dancing-you can't say anything and you're expected to chitchat.

Different mental process. For me, whether or not you're smiley-happy is irrelevant. As long as it gets done. I hate when I have to be perky at work, it's draining. My default setting is not happy-smiley. For me, I couldn't handle a partner who needed to get all Mr Rogers about fixing things. If I'm wrong, just say so. You don't need to be defensive, just blunt.
For me, with a teacher/coach yes, "No wrong"

With a partner, I try more of "That didn't work, it felt like whatever" I try very hard not to assign blame to my partner, especially when it is my fault.
 

waltzguy

Active Member
#18
I would say there's no secret. Like others said, it requires all the things a romantic relationship requires. Also, every couple is unique. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
 

madmaximus

Well-Known Member
#19
my little "how-to-keep-a-partner-for-a-long time" list:

you should have

flexibility to compromise
discretion when to criticize
honesty when communicating
vision in understanding their potential
wisdom in accepting what your partner is not,

and most of all
the courage to admit when you're wrong





m
 

Dancebug

Well-Known Member
#20
Somewhat related issue.....

Does anybody have advice how to deal with a most difficult partner,...a partner who is highly critical, always quick to find faults than trying to see what is improving, also conceited on his own dance level, and blames everything on his partner? If his partner refuses taking constant belittling and criticism, he threatens to stop the practice and leave. Then normally his partner backs off and apologizes. This kind of partner should have been dumped a hundred years ago. But for some reason I see he is still kept. I do not think his partner has self-esteem issue. It is just that there are not many male dancers. I do not see him changing, so I think his partner needs to come up with some strategies to cope with him, if she still wants to dance with him. Whenever I see her refusing his criticism, I am like Yay. Then I see she always ends up apologizing. Not good.
 

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