General Dance Discussion > (Dance) Partners: for better or worse

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by elisedance, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Thank you sam. I will treasure the warm wishes. :)
  2. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    My partner is my husband. We both danced before we met. Him longer than me. While we dated, I pro-amed with 2 different pros and he had a couples partner (am-am). Not bad partnerships, but not perfect by any means. That said, he won the division championship with his partner.

    This is our first year seriously competing together. (swing)

    I could not ask for more in a partner (or a husband). I can only hope he feels the same way!

    I'm truly blessed!!
  3. meow

    meow New Member

    The first comp out can be daunting but my best advice is to have fun and enjoy. As for results - take whatever result as a point where you currently are and then work to improve from there. Never dwell on results because if they are good you can become complacent. And if bad, then use that as a stimulus.
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    We've had partnership threads here before, but not in a while.

    Let's first partner was someone I met in group class. Our class required us to pair up and practice outside of class, because every four months we had a test where we'd have to dance the class routines in front of the teachers and get evaluated. Afterwards there would be a party, so it was all very fun. That partner and I did two competitions together, but I think he really hated amateur competition because of how much it affected his nerves and stress level. It was a good physical fit, but there were problems with the emotional, finance, and time aspects of the partnership.

    I met my next partner at a social dance. He was looking for a partner and a friend suggested we get together. It was a workable physical fit -- he was the shortest partner I ever had -- but he was super talented and seemed dedicated, and definitely had the time and money. We did a bunch of competitions and were doing really well, but something got all weird (I don't really know what) and he dumped me and quit dancesport about nine months later. A few years after that he actually came into the studio and apologized for how he dumped me, though, which was both pretty cool and kind of odd.

    My next partner was a student of a friend of mine, and she suggested we get together, so we did. The physical fit was good, but at the time we had different levels of commitment plus we had coaching problems...our coach really wasn't great for us, but my partner was reluctant to try anyone else, and things just started getting too frustrating for me and so the partnership fizzled out. Since then he's changed styles, gotten a partner more suitable to him, and changed coaches, and is doing really well.

    I asked my next partner to dance with me. I had known him for several years because we'd see each other around the studio. The physical fit was all wrong (he is tall and thin, I am the opposite), but he had the time and money and is a really nice person with a great attitude, and was easy to work with. It was fun, but I started having really bad problems with self confidence and stage fright and wondering what the hell I was doing dancing anyway, so I broke up with him.

    I took some time off, and then started practicing with someone I knew from the studio who had also recently broken up with his partner. After a while we decided to try a comp. Sigh, it was wonderful. The physical fit was great, and although he was a little short on time and money he was so good at managing and organizing things that everything was completely workable. And, best of all, he became a very good friend. It was really fun, but my partner kept having problems with injuries (weird ones, it was uncanny) so he quit dancing entirely. I keep hoping he'll come back, but I don't think it will ever happen now because he went back to grad school and is working on a PhD.

    The whole time I kept doing Pro/Am, except for with my last partner. I stopped doing Pro/Am when I was with him because I felt I just didn't want/need Pro/Am any more, plus I was getting burnt out on the whole thing.

    Sometimes I think I'd like to have a partner again, but I've got so much other stuff going on right now that I'm not sure. After I lost my last partner (and let me tell you, it was heartbreaking, I even quit dancing again for a while) I eventually went back to do Pro/Am again.

    Well, one of my partners definitely had a much tighter budget than I did, but we had a deal: we split all the weekly lessons with our regular coach, and I paid for any visitors. We saw a visitor only every few months, so it wasn't a big deal for me.

    Well, my abandonment issues are my own problem, but yeah I always live in fear of being broken up with -- even by my Pro/Am teachers. It's kind of draining.

    With one partner it was really bad, partly because he was friends with a bunch of Youth dancers, not all of whom had the best of attitudes -- and partly because two of the pros in my studio were after him to dance with them! The Youths would ask him things like when he was going to dump me for someone better, and the pros would try to get him to help them teach, both of which really cheezed me off.

    That's one theme of my dancing that I'm very proud of: my partners and I have all managed to stay away from playing the "blame game." We work through our challenges and work on our dancing and try to have a good time and to not take things personally.

    In every partnership I've been in, so much more time is spent on the gentleman than on the lady. I am told that this is usually the case. So I would pay a lot of attention to what was going on, even if it wasn't focused on me, so that I could really understand what my partners was going through and trying to accomplish. While he was learning something, I looked at it as my responsibility to also learn and understand what he was doing so that I would not hinder him and so that I could help him remember things when it came time to practice.

    Ha, really I've never been in an advanced enough partnership to worry about that. We've always been in the "don't forget the choreography, don't crash into anyone, get around the floor and try to remember to smile" stage.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    reminded me of a time in a joint lesson when my attention was a bit distracted (not usual for me, to be honest) -- i think i had drifted slightly away from the two of them, my AP and my pro, while they went ad nauseum over something with my partner's footwork or frame, and my pro wasted no time in "uh... hey... what are you doing... this pertains to you, too".

    i got the message pretty clearly that every little thing has everything to do with me as well, even if it's about the guy. :cool:
  6. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    You are indeed and we are all infinitely jelous! It was one of my dreams to retire with a dance-spouse and spend months of the year touring and competing. I hope you will give us progress reports!
  7. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

  8. meow

    meow New Member

    True. But forget about age - it isn't a barrier unless you allow it to be one. And you are correct; a dance routine can be taken to a higher level by how it is danced.:)
    In Open events, I have seen what some would call 'boring' choreography but those couples would execute the dance beautifully and win. Being technically correct is more important than complex moves unless the complex moves are executed perfectly.
  9. I had seen and even danced with my partner sporadically since I started dancing. About two years in to dancing, about the time I stopped my instructor from "graduating" me out of the group classes by stepping across the room to learn the lead, I saw him following (and I mean really following) in a private lesson with, coincidentally, my instructor.

    We chatted a bit the next time we crossed paths and talked about the various advantages of reverse-role dancing, among others, control issues for me, and, as he put it, "there's nothing like being on the outside of a natural spin turn - the guys are really missing out." (How true)

    So I offered to take him through some the next time we crossed paths at a social dance. It took months for that to happen. I even passed up a dance with my instructor so I wouldn't lose this chance. We waltzed around the room, NSTs everywhere, and each time, he let let out some kind "WOOOOOOO" or "WEEEEEEE."

    So we scheduled a practice together, and QSed for an hour, and while the dancing was great, and we were switching off leading the whole time, I got no wooos or weees on the NSTs. I asked him why not, and he said that he was having so much fun that he was trying to behave so we wouldn't get thrown out of the studio.

    We take lessons together now, with both of us working on lead and follow, so we bot hget extraordinary value from the joint lessons. We've done a showcase to, of course, I Like to Lead When I Dance (the man has an amazing contracheck, although the SFL still needs a little work on the line!). At the Independence Day Ball Camp, we startled Victor Fung when our multiple double reverses were noticeably better with me leading. Now we're toying with the idea of competing, and wishing that we could do so reverse-role. Oh well.

    It's the best physical fit I've found so far (he's at least 6 inches taller, but we have the same wingspan - perhaps I should call myself gorilla girl!), and we are amazingly patient with each other in all things - practice, performance, scheduling, etc. It's a pretty casual partnership, and as I want to put more into it than he does (and he's a bit ahead of me) I'm still taking lessons on my own with my instructor and working on developing another partnership for rhythm and latin.

    I thinking this first partnership will pretty much spoil me rotten!
  10. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    iLiketoLeadwhenIdance, it sure sounds like you've found a winner on your first partnership, particularly with your abnormal proclivities. ;)

    I will agree with your partner though, certainly some things we miss out on as leads. buddy teacher has made me do follow part before when she thought I was bored in a group lesson (others in group weren't as advanced, so she was forced to teach things that I already knew). :)
  11. I'm not abnormal - I'm ambidanceterous!
  12. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I used to help at some competitions the so-called "same sex" circuit in Northern California. While most couples were same sex, and switching off lead-and-follow, we also had some "reverse-role" opposite-sex couples who were competing, too. So maybe you can do it there, or maybe in a collegiate competition.
  13. meow

    meow New Member

    You know, going back to the original idea of this thread - I know of one dancer who has had about 13 partners. It seemed like every year there was a split for one reason or another. His current partnership is working; they have been together for about 4 years. Nothing romantic just dancing.
  14. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Nothing like trial and error, and trial and error, and trial .... to get it right eh?
    Gee, if women would have such luxury.... If it moves and doesn't stamp on your feet we hang on to it (just kiddin folks.... well, mostly).
  15. WorksForShoes

    WorksForShoes Member

    DH is my DP, and he is the one who suggested we take up dancing 3 years ago. I'm so glad he did!

    One thing we were discussing yesterday is that, while having your romantic partner as your DP is wonderful, the stakes are higher for conflict resolution. There is no going home and complaining about your DP or going to the studio to blow off steam from home. Any issue you have, you take with you, so it is essential to learn how to resolve things both on and off the hardwood.
  16. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    When it comes down to it, even the feet-stomping is negotiable . . .
  17. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Oh, i guess I could actually talk about my current partner too, rather than just complaining about not being able to find another amateur. :)

    Currently dancing pro/am, so of course my partner is my teacher. Actually got randomly assigned to her by manager at studio. If I had been asked, would have asked for other teacher (and probably could have if I had wanted to), was actually planning on asking if I didn't like my pro. Started taking lessons with her though, and never looked back. Which turned out well too, as while pro I would have asked for is an amazing dancer, and a good teacher, she's too tall for me (at least 8 inches taller), and her teaching style doesn't fit me as well as current pro. Plus she just left our studio a few months back to manage Jesse's new studio. So would have ended up being reassigned to this pro anyway. :) But we look good on the floor height wise, and personalities mesh well, so that even in my first comp, jsut a few months in, had a better connection than i would have expected, and just gets better all the time. Obviously, not the connection I might have with an amateur partner, as I purposely keep msyelf somewhat distant from pro, since she is my teacher (and because I already hang out with all other pros in region for FA, don't need to add another studio I can't dance at). But overall, very happy with my partner, and I just hope she's still teaching when I get back in the country. I definitely wouldn't be doing as well as I do now if I had gotten one of other teachers in area, and also just wouldn't enjoy myself as much as I do with current pro. Good match, in height, dance connection, and personality. Of course, horrible match talent wise, as she's way better than me, but that's to be expected.
  18. meow

    meow New Member

    In AM partnerships, one of the main issues can be effective communication. If that is lacking, problems can easily set in.
  19. Alas, we are well out of the collegiate category, and very far from California - we're in the DC area. I have already been reserved for some same-sex fun comps at dance camp, though . . .
  20. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Not kidding Meow. To paraphrase the old real estage adadge - there are things crucially important in AM dancing - communication, communication and communication.

    The rest is all patience!

    We're developing a pretty good communication I think - I am just intrigued to find out how our partnership will be affected by the first competition. I'm fairly confident that it will make it stronger, however things turn out. But lets see. I suppose the toughest challenge to communication is whether it can survive a good drubbing!

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