General Dance Discussion > Crushes on and flings with dancing teachers

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by MadamSamba, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Ok...I've been away for a week or so and at the place I danced, I saw a teacher getting might cosy with one of his students (somebody told me about them, I thought they were going out together).

    Both were single, so it wasn't a problem, but it got me thinking...have any of you guys had relationships with teachers and if so, is it right, even if you are both unattached, consenting adults? Does it change things when it's over?

    While I'm not so priviledged to have spunky, hunky teachers (mine are seriously non-contenders for crushes of any sort), I have noticed that the young (and sometimes not-so-young), cute ones seem to be outrageously, undeniably flirty! One of them makes no bones about his attraction to/flings with various students at different times though he does tend to keep his distance from his private students.

    Is it just part of the job and how the hell do their signifant others cope?
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi, Madam Samba! I was wondering where you were. Glad you're back! :D

    Good luck getting any straight answers on this one. You should've seen everybody tap dance around this issue in the Does the Sex of the Teacher Matter thread! :lol:

    Let me try to give you a straight answer. First, as far as what I've seen others do, yes, I know of a few people who have had teacher/student relationships. One couple ended up happily married. The other ended up quietly separated, and didn't continue their professional relationship afterward. Hmm. Luck of the draw I guess.

    As for me. (Uh-oh. Here's the hard part! :lol: ) I had a seriously obsessive relationship with a teacher once. Love/hate all the way -- not sexual, because he was gay and sex never entered the picture. But obsessive nonetheless. It ended when he quit working at that studio, and I've only seen him a couple times since. We're studiously polite to each other, but will never be friends. Too much animosity and too much history there.

    I've also kissed one of my hetero teachers once. I think that caught us both by surprise. Truthfully, I would have been game for a fling, consequences be darned, but he didn't want it, and stopped things before they got too far. I think he'd been burned by similar situations in the past.

    As for my current coach, well, he has said to me and others that his relationships with many of his students is intimate, but never sexual (although he's straight as well.) I think he just wants to avoid trouble, so he keeps business and personal matters separate. I respect that (although it's a pity, because he's the only teacher I've ever had that I consider to be a real cutie. :cry: :lol: ) Such is life.

    But you're right. Sexuality does become a real issue sometimes.
     
  3. jon

    jon Member

    What, some teachers might pretend to romantic interest they don't really feel in order to attract and keep students? Gasp. Who would ever have thought.

    As for relationships with teachers (here using 'you' in a generic sense) (a) you don't dance as well as they do (b) you're not as attractive as they are (c) they have lots of opportunities you don't (d) why do you want to be in a relationship with a built-in power inbalance, anyway?
     
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes, jon. One of my former female teachers was a shameless and totally insincere flirt, and she used those tactics to help improve her sales numbers. I didn't much care, because she had beautiful rumba styling I was trying to learn. :lol: Plus, I thought she was pretty transparent. Anybody who fell for her feminine wiles must have been pretty naive. :shock:

    And about the power thing. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Who really has the power? The teacher, who is the "authority figure", or the student, who is pulling the purse strings? By my way of looking at it, both have power. *shrug*

    I guess I've been lucky, then. The male teacher I had a semi-romantic interaction with was very professional about the whole thing. I was the unprofessional one.
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, and one more thing. I think that some crushes are fairly inevitable. When you consider how/why many people start dancing -- during life transitions such as widowhood or divorce, and the physical intimacy of dance, it would be surprising if someone didn't fall for someone, sometime! :lol:
     
  6. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I guess since I rarely go to studios (a workshop here and there, a private here and there) I'm not really exposed to THAT environment. Being seriously involved in the salsa scene, I do see people fall for club instructors. I think it's almost unfair for those just being exposed to the dance. It's such an intimate activity to begin with and many times their first experience with it is dancing with the instructor. That's like dancing on cloud 9! Instant high, fall in love. Can't really be surprised by it.

    Hasn't happened to me yet. I'm so serious when being instructed it doesn't normally even enter my mind. I'm all about the dance at that time. Out socially is a whole different matter. :lol:
     
  7. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    I've dated and am close with a dance instructor... he wasn't my dance instructor... although he has taught me a lot. So it really is a different circumstance. We didn't meet with with a student/teacher relationship... if we had we may have become friends but I doubt either one of us would have allowed anything more.

    I would see it to be a shame for people to give up sincere potential happiness for that reason yet at the same time I feel it is also important that a classroom have a professional (albeit friendlty) environment.

    I'm not a big fan of flings in general... but if that's what you're looking for, I wouldn't risk it with a really good teacher... those are hard to find.
     
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol: I'm not into flings, per se, either. I guess it depends on how you define fling. Does budding romance sound better? :lol: :lol:

    And good point about good teachers -- a new romance is a crap shoot, but when you've found a good teacher, you've found a valuable thing. Hold onto him/her (figuratively, of course! :lol: :lol: )
     
  9. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Oh, my. This was a hot potato, but thanks for the responses.

    I've been wondering about how real these flirtations were. Only one of about five male instructors at my studio doesn't have a reputation for outrageous flirting. One is engaged, two others are taken (every so often), the other divorced and the last is undeniably single. I had an inkling it had to do with keeping a female student's interest (and vice versa with female instructors), but since I'm so not attracted to any of them, I assumed they were just flirts as part of their job, Jon. But your point is a good one...and, from what I gather, a popular strategy.

    SwingK, I'm not after a fling at all (nor am I against it in general!), but the issue had been popping up here and there and, I was quite surprised to hear that one instructer had kissed one of his students, then bonked another one within a week! :) He has since moved on to another student... :roll: He's the studio spunk and everyone seems to expect it, but, as mentioned, he never makes moves on his own private students.
     
  10. jon

    jon Member

    As an offshoot of this discussion: I sometimes feel a good deal of sympathy for teachers and competitors, because their lives are so very much on public display and subject to rumor and discussion behind their backs - even the folks who try hard to keep their private business, private. This is something most of us may be target of to a degree, simply because dance communities are small closed environments, but the pros get by far the worst of it.

    (With rare exceptions involving unethical or dangerous behavior), it isn't anyone else's business whom a pro dates, whether they're pregnant by their boyfriend, or which phase of an on-again off-again romantic relationship with their business/competition partner they're in (just to pick a few examples of stuff I've head other dancers disclose about well-known pros during casual conversation). But many folks seem to feel compelled to gossip about such things. I think it's worth making an effort to not start or spread such gossip.
     
  11. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Jon, you are right, people in the profession seem the targets of gossip moreso than most others, perhaps because, at certain levels, it's such a competitive industry and competition, while bringing out the best in some people, brings out the worst in others.

    Either way, it's nobody's business what anybody else does or by whom they are pregnant or that they are pregnant at all, as long as they're not hurting anybody else. Regardless of the industry, gossip, at it's core, is about belittling other people and making yourself feel bigger in the moment and that can't ever be right, right?

    I'm not being sanctimonious because it's not like gossip has never passed my lips, but when you look at gossip in the bare light of day, that's what it is really, isn't it.

    You're right about teachers' lives being on display, but it's up to them how much they disclose. One of my teachers is incredibly private. I know nothing about him, except that he used to be a teacher and I've been dancing with him for a year. Another teacher on the other hand discloses every detail about his daily life, from references to the day he lay in bed and realised the woman he was sleeping next to was never going to be his wife to how his teenage daugher is driving him crazy. It's up to individual teachers how much they disclose and students/friends etc should respect it.

    *Madam Samba steps down from her soapbox* :)
     
  12. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    I think one of the biggest factors in the dance-teacher crush (I've had two, one of which did turn into a date but nothing more) is that we are sort of physically starved in our society ... Not everybody is but for most of us, having so much physical contact is a big deal especially as a new social dancer. For single folks -- how often are you touching others (in a non-sexual way) on a daily basis? I rarely do. I mean, I pet my CATS but ---! :)

    So, that is a big breakthrough. Not only are you touching someone, they are guiding you, teaching you, in a fun, musical way, and as you get more "into" your body, you become more aware of every nuance your body, and theirs, can feel and evoke.

    So not only do our crushes contain an element of awe for the teacher's skill and admiration for their style, they really are compounded by what I think is generally a lack of physical contact.

    Just my theory =)

    The teacher that I dated briefly was really a fun and engaging character -- and the "Dance chemistry" between us was so powerful -- truly inspiring ;-) hehe! I truly admired his energy, innate musicality, and natural leading style. But I've learned that dance chemistry does not mean it was meant to be, so since then have been able to let little dance obsessions (mostly on non-teachers since I've been basically "untaught" now for a few years) roll over me.
    Melissa
     
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey mellody43! Good to see you back. :D

    I think you're right about the physical contact thing. The obsessive teacher/student relationship I had, I think was partly about that. I was ending a long term relationship, was lonely, and when I got to dance school, my teacher gave me multiple hugs every day. He was a jerk, but very generous with physical contact. Of course I formed an attachment to him, jerk or not. :?
     
  14. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Having read it this far I feel somehow compelled to share my story. :wink: I am not even sure if there is a point to be made.... but here it goes.
    While he was not officially my teacher, he was my mentor in Salsa (& more). I met him as a complete novice at dancing (& life in general). I had just started college (uni as we call it), while he (being much older) was already an established Salsa dancer whom everyone FIGHT to have a dance with. Needless to say I got a huge surprise :shock: when he started showing interest in me (ME?? silly little me??)
    This was the biginning of our on/off love/hate saga that dragged on for a whole decade (I am sure its a great story for tele novela, but I will spare you the details). All this time I have wasted a vast amount on energy on the relationship, instead of being able to concentrate on my dancing.
    As youngsta wrote:
    Being seriously involved in the salsa scene, I do see people fall for club instructors. I think it's almost unfair for those just being exposed to the dance.

    I think the in-built power imbalance somehow took away the equality that should have been there in every healthy relationship.
    Now, ten years on, I am single & never been happier. I give 100% to my life long passion of Salsa as a lifestyle. I pledge to let nothing stand in my way :D !
    Girls, take it from me. These relationships/crushes can potentially do more harm than good.......
     
  15. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    Go salsachinita! GOOOO! :D
     
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Good for you,salsachinita. You go girl! :D I'm glad you're finally free. It's hard letting go, isn't it? And you're right. Some of these relationships can be so damaging. Fortunately, you come out not only stronger, but wiser. I'm glad you haven't let it ruin salsa for you. :D
     

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