Partner Search: Tryout Etiquette

Hi All,

I've recently relocated to a new city (Dallas) and begun the search for an amateur Latin or 10-Dance partner. I've been lucky that a number of factors (I'm male, Dallas has a bunch of good Latin pros, and I'm just good enough that a lot of open level girls will give me a shot but just bad enough that there are also a lot of girls around my level, I've stumbled upon multiple good partner leads by accident) combined have meant that I could realistically have several tryouts in a short time. Reading up on threads here and adding in some of my intuition, I think I have a good idea of what to expect, but want some feedback on best practices before I dive in whole hog to the partner search process:

1) I'm assuming that I'll probably dance with any prospective partner for around 1.5 to 2 hours (probably 2 for any 10 dance partners) to get a feel for how we work together. I'm expecting we'll probably work on our own without a coach since I have no established relationships with area coaches. Is this a reasonable assumption.

2) I'm assuming it's ok to "try-out" more than one partner, I should just be upfront that I am looking at multiple partners in the area and give them some reasonable timetable for when I'll let them know if I want to pursue the partnership for sure. The only complication is that some leads I have may take longer to come to fruition (someone who hasn't moved to the area yet). What's a reasonable timetable to wait before making a decision? I have that slight twinge of fear that I might "settle" for a partner just before a better one comes along.

3) I'm assuming that myself and the lady I'm "trying out" with will try to throw together some sort of routine that we both can learn and practice together to get a feel for how we work when prepping choreography. Is there a better way to approach this or anything else that would be a fruitful exercise when evaluating a partnership?

4) Things I should discuss with any prospective partner include # of lessons/competitions (monetary commitment) and # of practices (time commitment) in addition to considering style and ability. Is there anything else I absolutely should discuss with every prospective partner?


Well-Known Member
There's a couple related threads on this already:

1 - Seems fine (though a coach might help)
2 - I would guess a couple of weeks? Think of how quickly you find out about a prospective job, when an employer is interviewing several candidates. On the other hand, some people take a long while to find a good partner, but if you already have multiple possibilities, probably better to try to be efficient about the process.
3 - You might want to start with just basics first, to get a sense of leading/following
4 - Discussing what goals you have is really important - what do you want to get out of the partnership and what are you trying to achieve? What priorities do you have in dancing?
Thanks for the thread links, middy!

2 - I still had to ask because the wait for job interview feedback has ranged from none (instant offer) to >6 weeks for my search. I think the biggest question mark for me is that one of my potential partners is moving back to the area at a time TBD. I guess I should just figure
3 - Good point, I'll probably aim to stick to basics/bronze syllabus steps.
4 - Also good points.


Well-Known Member
Definitely, as middy said, make sure you discuss your goals in dancing and make some judgement if your goals are compatible. Make sure that the time and resource commitment from both parties can support your goals.

You may also wish to do more than one session with your more serious candidates. Sometimes it takes a bit to see if your personalities will mesh and how the dancing feels.

Dance Ads