General Dance Discussion > Dance Instructor Questions

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by tango, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. tango

    tango New Member


    I just discovered dance about six months ago and I must say at first I was a little hesitant, but after a few lessons I can't see why I ever was. It's been great.

    Now I have a question regarding my dance instructor. First though, my girlfriend and I decided to take up dance prior to our wedding and we couldn't be happier with the service the studio is providing. Also, our dance instructors are great as we are evenly split between two. However, my girl friend thinks that our female instructor has a crush on me. I'm not sure though, but it could be. Because of the instruction and adjustment of body positions she precives some of it as flirting. I precive it as good instruction. There are other signs but it's probably part of the sales technique too.

    Anyway, my girl friend says she is ok with this and doesn't feel threatened by it, but I just wanted to check and see if it is common for an instructor to develop crushes on students? Any suggestions to put my girlfriends mind at ease?

    Thanks and hopefully I can contribute to this group.
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi Tango!

    Welcome to the forums! :D

    Tough question you ask there, and I suspect you'll get many answers.

    First, congratulations on taking up dancing and on your upcoming wedding! :D

    Now, as to the question of flirting/crushes between teachers and students, it's hard to say. Your fiance may be right that your teacher is flirting with you. But, because dance is very physically intimate, it's often hard to tell what's really going on. Dancing in another person's arms several hours a week can be a touchy thing, and maintaining a professional, but not personal relationship requires a delicate balance.

    Since your fiance is there with you during lessons, I find it less likely that the instructor is hitting on you, and more likely that she's using a sales technique to get you to buy more lessons.

    I say this because most studios have a teacher/student non-fraternization agreement. Teachers are not allowed to mix with their students socially, at the risk of losing their jobs. It's unlikely your teacher wants to take that risk (although it is possible, it's unlikely). The other idea here is that, in the studio system, teachers are not just teachers, but, in most cases, salespeople as well. Their job is to read your motivations as best they can, make sure you're having fun, and then sell you lessons. I suspect that's probably what's going on here.

    Bear in mind, there are exceptions, and, of course, some teachers and students do end up romantically involved. It just doesn't happen often in a studio situation, for the reasons I mentioned above.

    The real key here is, is your fiance okay with what's happening between you and the female instructor. If so, dance and have fun. If not, get another teacher. Your relationship with your fiance is far more important than your relationship with your teacher, at least this early in your dance career.

    This is just my opinion. Anyone else have thoughts?
  3. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to the forums tango :D

    I think pygmalion has it fairly well spelled out. Also, just so you know, it is most often the students who have crushes on their instructors and not vice versa (and hence the sales tactics in question).
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    First, welcome to the forums tango! I like your username. The ballroom style of tango is my favorite dance (and I also like the Argentine style, too).

    Do you think that maybe you are one of the female teacher's best clients and she is just trying to be really nice to you?

    Also, I've always been a pretty open person. Maybe you should discuss your concerns openly and you may find that you will even have a better working relationship with the instructor as a result.
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Look at all that time you've wasted . . . now make up for it! Dancing for the both of you is a wonderful way to keep a relationship exciting!
    Why not use both instructors . . . you will need help from both and your gf will too!
    If she "really is OK with it? And if you are not seeing it as a come on . . . do nothing. If she IS bothered, you need to say something to the instructor, if you want to sustain your relationship. If, it is a "come-on" for you and you take off with it, then you need to end your relationship . . . cause you just screwed up and lost a good dance partner!
    Actually, with instructors, the reverse is sometimes true. As students, just as in grade school, we can fantasize or have a 'crush' on a specific teacher. Ask my wife . . . I have a crush on an instructor that I take funky WCS dance privates from . . . but that's as far as I take it!
    Flirting is fun on the dance floor. Just leave it there after you've walked off!
  6. Taita

    Taita New Member

    ummm..... not sure what to say here :shock:

    care to elaborate Pygmalion? :wink:
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I agree with Vince A.

    Flirting on the dance floor is lots of fun, and especially in certain dances, it's essential to finding the spirit of the dance (my opinion again :lol: ). I flirt all the time, with my coach, my friends, guys at the dances and clubs I go to. It's no problem, because the flirting stops the minute the dance is over.

    So it really does boil down to your fiance. If she's really okay with your relationship with your teacher, have fun.

    If not, like DanceMentor says, talking it out with the teacher is also an option. I've had several disagreements with my current coach over various issues, and while we've had a few huffy moments, to date, we've always been able to resolve our issues by talking them through. We're only humans, after all, and a relationship with a dance teacher is just like a relationship with anyone else. Conflicts arise, and are usually best resolved by talking through issues.

    If your fiance is uncomfortable in any way, move on. If your studio is anything like the one I started in, there are several female staff members. If you need to, pick another female teacher that your fiance is comfortable with. That way, you get to keep dancing, and keep your relationship with your fiance in tact.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Don't worry, Taita. Not suggesting that tango will leave his fiance for the dance teacher. Just implying that your relationship with your coach does gain importance over time, as dance gains importance in your life.

    No harm intended.

    By the way, thanks for posting. I thought we'd lost you. :D
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, I was afraid we'd have to send all the peasants out looking for a taita in their hay stacks...nice to have you back with us!

    And I understand exactly what pygmalion is talking about. While dance often starts out as something one does, being a dancer can also become part of who one is...including shifts in both conceptual and practiced structures and balances.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks, SD. Yes, your relationship with your teacher and the role dance takes on in your life, does shift over time.

    Sorry for any confusion, tango. :?
  11. tango

    tango New Member

    Thanks for the Opinions

    Well, it seems like it could be a crush but I think it's partly sales technique. She's very professional about her work. Anyway, my general rule of thumb is probably the same as the studio and that's never put yourself in a situation where anything could happen. Plus, I'm pretty open about talking to my girl friend about this kind of stuff and being open probably makes it easy to just dance, especially at parties because most of the time we get there do a couple dances and then we dance with everybody else and then leave with a smile.

    Someone mention using both instructors, which is what we are doing (and on a side note it's great because we get two different perspectived to dancing) but I think that's what triggered the thought that she might have a crush. Early on we had only the one instructor then we spent about a month with a guy instructor. Now it seems we alternate lessons between the two fo them.

    Oh well that's life and it does making dancing a little more fun at the parties when theirs a bit of tension (good) between us. That's probably what dancing should feel like all the time. So I'll consider myself lucky.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Cool. Thanks for the feedback, tango.

    I hope all of our back-and-forth discussion helped you. I also spent a long time taking lessons from two or more instructors. It really helps.

    Best of luck to you and your girlfriend. And stay with us in the forums. Please don't go just because your question is answered. We have much fun here, and we'll have even more fun with you here! :D

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