Partner tryouts...tips?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ThisIsNotMe, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. ThisIsNotMe

    ThisIsNotMe New Member

    So, I've just organised my first try out with an AM partner. I think he's a lot better than I am, from what I've heard, and I'm really lucky to get a try out with him, because as a guy, he could pretty much have the pick of partners.

    For the record, it'll be at his studio (which is about two hours from me), and he initiated contact. We're around the same age, but he seems to be more experienced, from what I've been able to gather.

    I was just wondering if anyone had some tips for making a good impression, and all that sort of thing? How do you handle a try out?
     
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    look, it's a very good sign that he initiated...most dancers seeking a partner would be well advised to be willing to dance with a less experienced dancer who has good instruction, potential, and is highly motivated...be friendly, talk about your goals and how you tend to learn and process info, focus on your basics while you are dancing, and acknowlege your faults without being overly apologetic....do alot of listening FIRST......good luck
     
  3. Laura

    Laura New Member

    This is obvious, but first impressions are important. A try out is sort of like a job interview. Dress in a nice practice outfit -- wear a skirt even if you always wear pants when you practice. Make sure your outfit is comfortable and fits well, you don't want to be pulling down a shirt or up a skirt all the time because it might make you look more nervous than you really are. If you have a choice of shoes, wear competition-style shoes rather than heavy-heeled practice shoes. Do your hair and makeup simply and neatly.

    Most of all, remember that you are there to check him out, too. You aren't there to see if he wants to dance with you, you are there to see if you want to dance with him. Aside from determining if you like his dancing, also see if he's someone who you think you'd be comfortable spending a lot of time with in the studio. You don't have to be best friends and you don't have to adore his dancing (especially since, as you grow together as dancers, you will each come to like the other's dancing more and more). But if you can't stand to be around the person, think carefully as to if you can commit to a dance partnership. Sometimes partnerships between people who don't get along work for a while, but I'd imagine that it takes a lot of commitment to do that.
     
  4. icequeen

    icequeen New Member

    I've been doing partner tryouts recently, and agree with all of the above suggestions. Above all, be pleasant, direct, and honest. Keep in mind too that he may not be that much more advanced than you, if at all. I had a tryout with someone who marketed himself as a competitive gold-level dancer, but I would have been surprised if he placed in bronze finals.

    On a related note, does anyone have tips about how to convey to someone that you don't think you are compatible as dance partners? If the other person thinks you're compatible, but you think you are not, what are some tactful ways of "rejecting" them? Do you tell them right away, in person? Do you tell them why?
     
  5. lil glam gal

    lil glam gal New Member

    just be yourself :) I've went through the process of going through tryouts just over a year ago until I found my perfect partner :) Just dance how you normally dance...
     
  6. dandy

    dandy New Member

    Be yourself, be open to new things but above all have a sense of humour.
    Good luck!!
     
  7. meow

    meow New Member

    It is good that he initiated the tryout. Go in, be yourself. If he wants to form a partnership from the tryout and you are not sure, than suggest another tryout in a week or so. No decisions have to be made immediately. Usually, a tryout is with a coach....if it is at his studio then it will be his coach taking the tryout. Be honest about your goals and the hours you are prepared to put in to practice etc. Good luck!

    Most dancers, to some degree, have ego's. This isn't a negative because if they didn't they wouldn't be able to perform the way they do. But you must be aware that no-one likes to be rejected. And no-one would be happy to hear that they aren't considered compatable or good enough to dance with. If after a tryout you know you don't want to partner up, then say that you still have some other tryouts lined up. That gives both parties time to think (and perhaps reconsider) and have other tryouts. Be polite, thank them for the tryout and say that at this time you are unable to make a decision until you have completed all the arranged tryouts. Most dancers know what this means and they get the 'message' without their ego's being bruised.:)
     
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i don't have a lot of experience in this departmet as others here do, but it seem so me that it would be the same as with prospective romantic relationships, in which case candor with gentleness always seems to me the easiest route.

    "the chemistry's doesn't feel right" is hard to argue with, because it's all subjective. or maybe just highlight the differences -- differing goals, body type, technical approach, level of commitment or availability, etc.
     
  9. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    When I've tried out partners, the first thing that always impressed me:

    1. Clean SATIN shoes (to try out with).
    2. Really worn-out practice shoes in her bag (especially if dramatically worn out on the toe tip, the shoe-facing side of the toe box, and most especially the shoe-facing side of the heel box).
    3. Big plus if the heel-wear is perfectly centered and is not biased to just one side.





    m
     
  10. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    Exactly what you said, and in person:

    "I don't think we're compatible."

    The dancing compatibility is easy, it's the human factor that's often the hurdle.





    m
     
  11. Natalka

    Natalka Member

    Ha! TOTALLY true!
    One additional REALLY important factor is finances...
    Just like in marriage, money can be the cause of a divorce. So make sure you are also financially compatible and agree up front how many lessons you want to take from coaches, travel, etc... and that you will split things 50/50. Otherwise, it will cause tension and fight down the road...
     
  12. meow

    meow New Member

    I agree. Some dancers can afford much more than others so be up front about what you can and can't do. Also, remember that is a partnership where you have to make decisions together. No-one is the boss. Courtesy and respect is the way to go.;)
     
  13. ThisIsNotMe

    ThisIsNotMe New Member

    Hey, thanks everyone, I'll keep all of that in mind. On a different note again, it's become pretty clear to me that, while most things that I've gathered from the quick chat we had on the phone, and from text messages seem to be good - like our height (which never happens for me, cos I'm short), goals, amount of time wanting to work, number of lessons and all that sort of thing. The only thing that I really think might be a hurdle is the levels of dancing. He's been dancing for three years, with experience at some really good studios, is studying with his uncle, who's a well renowned teacher in our area, and is working in a dance studio, teaching (i think, from what i've gathered). I, on the other hand, have been dancing for a little over two years, take one group and one private lesson each week, have competed in one individual event in a competition, and can be considered an absolute beginner when it comes to quite a few dances. I've touched on a lot of dances, but by the same token, have not touched quite a few. I've only really done technical work on a couple of dances.

    I feel like there's no way I can ever live up to him, and don't want him to come to the try out thinking that I'm better than I am. I feel like I'm somehow misleading him. Do you think that I should send him an email or something to make sure he doesn't have any misconceptions about my dancing?
     
  14. piimapoika

    piimapoika Member

    Well if he reads this forum, he'll know already. Seriously, don't send dthe email. It would sound as if you're having second thoughts about the whole thing and are really hoping he will call it off.
     
  15. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    Have you told him factually what your background is? That's all you need to do.

    You said he initiated the contact. Has he danced with you or seen you dance? If so, then you know he likes what he's seen.

    Some leaders actually prefer a slightly less experienced partner. Presumably, she'll argue less and be more amenable to adjusting her dancing to his. He may find your less experience a benefit.

    Don't apologize for your dancing. Just do your best and stress how dedicated to dance you are and how much you want to learn.
     
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i've been told by a man experienced with many partners over 20 or so years of dancing that it is ideal for the man to have more experience than the woman (i recall anywhere from 3-7 X more, probly depending on how hyperbolic he felt in the moment ;)) because of the extra challenges inherent in learning how to lead, floorcraft, and on-the-spot choreography. there's also the general tendency (as told to me by numerous male pros) that women learn more quickly than men...:cool:

    if you guys are on the same wavelength personally, find that you enjoy working together, and are moving in the same direction technically, his bit of extra experience could be a perfect match for you.
     
  17. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    Interesting
     
  18. swan

    swan Member

    Very true. I had 2 partners like that ;) So go for it. Worse is you won't end up dancing together. What do you have to lose? If he's only been dancing for 3 years, that's not a whole lot of experience. Your 2 years is a very small gap to close. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    exactly. his three against thisisnotme's two... negligible diff.
     
  20. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    You have to be careful with our fragile male egos. ;)

    It is true. I love practicing/learning with a follow who is better than me, as I feel they can give better feedback as towards helping me improve, but I wouldn't want to partner with one. Not just an ego thing, but the other way around too, I'd feel guilty that I was holding back a better dancer. May jsut be me though.
     

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