Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by TheDave, May 3, 2013.
TRUTH!!!! *touches bruise on left cheek as reminder*
Specifically what dance(s) did you do together that did not work out so well? Is it possible that one particular dance did not suit either or both of you? Have you asked two ladies which dances they would like to do, specifically with you? A simple dance to pleasing music can be tremendous fun. Not everyone wants to perform in exhibition -- unpaid.
Dancers with long years of training also have preferences for dance type and music.
I cannot imagine a woman being foolish enough to do that...I don't know about men in that regard
Kidding. Tho the Mrs can be feisty
no, I meant a woman being foolish enough to compare their spouse to their pro...
Would that that were the case....
It depends. There is a process, the learning spurts and plateaus happen at different times for different people, and leaders and followers have different milestones that can have a significant impact on the partnership as they are passed.
And as to comparisons, DW and I do that all the time, not in the sense of "teacher is better than you", but in the sense of "when teacher does this figure, I experience this, and when you do it, I experience that...". Neither takes it personally, particularly since neither presses such issues.
if you do it PM me the results; i don't track threads regularly. obviously, if your wife wears a particular perfume, etc. she'd have to desist or everyone would have to wear it, etc. of course, it might be easier to experiment when the follower wears the blindfold.
Not always, although it's certainly very common especially at the early levels. But before you go sadfacing too much - it's NOT fun for followers. What's more frustrating than always being told "you have to fix X Y and Z"? Always being told "sorry, you can't start working on your stuff until your partner fixes X Y and Z!" Bleh. It's quite rewarding when you get to a point when your coaches start saying "it's your fault this time!" - then you can actually work on things!
It's not always "ugh, my pro does this so much better, why can't you do it like him/her!" Most people know that's not a very smart or constructive thing to say. But it's easy to say things like "I don't know, it just doesn't feel the same," or "s/he does it like this." Sometimes this can be constructive, if you know what you're talking about and are actually working on that bit of technique... otherwise, it can just be frustrating.
Hopefully, the lady was working on those things while that man struggled with his problems. Too often, the lady gets a pass and don't try as hard. When the man is fixed, the lady has to suddenly do alot more and cannot.
That's my point - for followers, it's often not possible to work on what they need to do until the leader is up to snuff.
That is true. Not trying to brag, but in most classes I learn the move very quickly and have always had good connection and leading skills (even in my very first class). Many more times than I can remember, a lady would rotate to me and after we go through the move she would cry out in glee, "I finally got it!" And more lately ladies when they rotate to me tell me, "Now I'm going to be able to do it." Yes, the ladies cannot do their part until they are led correctly, so in the meantime they find that they have to fake it, which leads to bad anticipation and back-leading habits.
But I've found that there's another facet to it. Regardless of how good the leader may be, he will do better with some partners than with others. Whenever the teacher rotates to me, I do worse because of exam anxiety. And if the wife/SO is at all judgmental about how well you perform, or if you at least feel that is the case, then, yes, it will be more difficult to dance with them.
I remember one advanced Lindy class where one woman just radiated a very negative "what do you want?" vibe. I realize that it wasn't about me. I realize that she was tired and was probably fighting a headache, but she would hit me with The Look (that look when a woman is just plain fed up with a guy, a look that many married men are very familiar with) and I just could not assert myself with her. Married and formerly-married men, you know what I'm talking about here. When your wife gave you The Look, you did just about anything you could to keep from crossing her. It was "walking on egg shells" time.
In another take, there was a short story in a martial arts magazine (I studied karate and aikido while in college; it was aikido that taught me the feel for the connection in dancing and which made me a good leader going into my very first dance lesson) about "the heart-less sword." Bypassing the story itself, the secret to winning a sword duel was to have a heart-less sword. If you go into a sword fight with a lot at stake, your worrying about the outcome will hold you back and you will lose; your heart is in your sword. But if you go into that fight without thinking about the outcome, then all your mind and energy can be devoted to the fight and you will be able to win. Around the same time, a fellow college student shared his secret to doing well in exams. You study all you can beforehand, then as you are waiting outside the classroom you might review some of your notes. But then a few minutes before the door opens, you put all your notes away, you relax and you say to yourself, "F**k it!". You set your attitude and you go in to the exam with the attitude that you don't care how well you do. Thus your mind is free to take the test and is not distracted by worry.
Our wife/SO and dance partner are the most important women in our life and we earnestly want to do our best by them. That can be a lot of pressure that can get in the way. I think that we need to get past that anxiety in order to actually do our best by them.
Very good points. Your comments sound like a very good way to handle any kind of performance anxiety.
Glad to see a fellow fan of the "f*** it!!" philosophy
Attitude accounts for a lot. Speaking in public is something that most people dread, some fearing it more than they fear death. When I was a Cubmaster, I had to MC the pack meetings every month. It was easy, because I just took the attitude that they were all my friends, so I had nothing to fear.
I heard someone experienced in creationism debates describe how he took the opposite approach. As soon as the first creationist audience member booed him, he knew that nothing he could say would make them like him, so now he could relax and have fun. Also, either he or another debater was a university professor in evolutionary biology. He enjoyed participating in those debates because he had the entire audience's attention, whereas he couldn't get the students' attention when he taught the same thing in the classroom.
I'm really late to this party. I have a different take than many others here.
When I started (mid 40's), my wife went to some of my classes. I had never danced. The first couple years she could dance with the instructors and look pretty darned good. She would practice 10 minutes for each hour I did, and still keep up. I'd see her be great with others, then "just OK" with me. Like many follows, she had done a little dancing in high school, some musical theater in college, took fitness classes too. Dancing was easy for her (compared to me) and she had little ego in the game. It was all fun for her.
Yes, I did have to do way more than her. It was not fun dancing with her for me, I could see the boredom compared to her dancing with the more advanced guys. I hated being her worst lead.
She stopped going to classes for a while. That gave me a chance to work on all my stuff, and make my mistakes, and do some things over & over & over with women I didn't care about. It took me far longer to get "reasonable". (I'm still working on that...)
Later when dancing with my wife, we had a blast. Because I grew into a decent lead (took some time) today it's a different world. It's far easier to dance with a S.O. for most guys when they are actually ahead of their partners a little.
Side note: Just saying you'll "never be a great dancer" (in one of your earlier posts) is an issue way beyond this discussion, but something that you can/should change. Not helpful to decide you'll "never be good" at something you're learning, no matter where you are today.
Many guys just take more time, and while grooving some things over and over, it's boring for their wives or their SO. It helps to be ahead and have the confidence that "you know that you know" some aspects of the dance. Or that you know MORE than your partner. (The advanced partners tend to be happy if you're on-time and comfortable as a lead, even if the dance is less complicated...)
To answer your question directly: Yes you can shorten the time with smart practice, good coaching, making a project of it like other goals. There are 20 things you can do to get more done in less time. That said, it still takes time.
One major rule of dance (or other skill development): Most people OVER estimate how much they can get done in a short period of time (a week, month or three) and highly UNDER estimate how much they can get done in a year or three. There is a multiplier effect for those who stay in the game a while. Learning new dance moves often makes the next dance skill easier. Not always "easy," but easier.
Frankly it's absolutely worth it. Over time you became stronger, and THEN you have great time. Plus dancing keeps you young in many other ways, so you are healthier and in better shape for everything else you do as a couple. Mentally, physically, socially, and more.
The returns continue to grow over time. I agree with many of the others here: A year is just getting started.
Maybe your situation is different, but I highly encourage you to stay with it and learn to find your own fun. The paybacks with your SO multiply over time, but for most guys a year simply not enough time.
Your mileage may vary.
Please let us know how it's going!
I´ve got the same story as Don with one exception, I started dancing as a single. And speaking frankly, only those dancers (of my cohort, male or female) survived on the dance floor that started as a single! Why do you find it worthwhile dancing with your wife. There are so many other desirable things you can share with her. But if you really want to stick to dancing: build up your own little clique. Make dancing your own canoe. You will not only improve on the dance floor, you will also grow temperamentally. Dancing is a school for life, and of course, dancing is social learning in the first place.
I suspect I mentioned it in my post but I want to be very clear:
Almost everybody has issues at points that makes us feel like quitting. That is normal. Dancing improves so many things in life IF you use it that way.
The easy thing is to go watch TV. A few years from now that rarely pays off with much positive.
Most of us guys have to work on ourselves FIRST. It has a positive spill-over effect for so many other areas, it's worth it.
It's very hard to be a great partner if you're not up to speed yourself. So many attitude and physical areas get improved by learning how to learn, and dance is an excellent vehicle.
I do hope you let us know how you're doing.
If I missed anything, fire away!
Ain't it so true!
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