General Dance Discussion > Why do you want your spouse to dance with others?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Tango Distance, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    I have enjoyed learning Tango and do enjoy dancing it with my wife. My wife likes switching partners. That's fine with me. She sometimes goes to dance events without me if I can't go. That's fine with me. Myself, I'm not interested in going to dances unless my dear wife (dw) can go. It took months, but I'll switch partners and ask ladies to dance now. How I differ from my wife is I don't seek as many dance partners as possible in a night, by choice I tend to ask few or none at a Tango Milonga. For the record I do switch partners in class and at practice sessions.

    That could work just fine, but it seems dw really wants me to be dancing with a bunch of other ladies. She tries to set up dances for me, offers me to other women, tells me to ask other women, encourages me to go to dance events by myself if she can't, comments about how I should enjoy dancing with such beautiful ladies, etc. This is despite my protestations that I can take care of myself and to not worry and that I am happy. Believe it or not, I can be perfectly happy just sitting there or talking to friends and don't feel a sense of loss if I'm not constantly dancing with other ladies.

    I have asked her but got a shoulder shrug for an answer. I think it is the kind of thing where she is going on instinct rather than an analysis. My hope is for some thoughts about why she would feel that way or why you personally like your significant other dancing with others. Maybe if I can understand it I can address it somehow, or might even be encouraged to dance with a larger number of ladies. I have a few theories of my own but don't want to bias the responses by saying them. Thanks for the insights.
  2. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Your wife is wise. The more people you dance with in a social setting like that, the wider your experiences and variety of levels you will encounter. It will bring your wife a more knowledgeable dancer when you return to dancing with her.
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  3. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    What bd said. I usually dance the first 1-2 with my spouse at a social, then I make sure we go dance with other partners. If I monopolize him too long things seem to go sour. But his dancing is always much better when he comes back to me after dancing with other partners. Every single time.
  4. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    It takes time and practice to work through your issues and learn to lead. So followers suffer while we do that. Maybe your wife would like some of the suffering to be spread around.

    That's my approach when trying something new. If it doesn't work with one follow, I don't make her suffer with repeated attempts. I wait until I'm dancing with someone else before I try it again.
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  5. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Your post could have been written by my husband, except that it specifically mentions tango. I think the issue was mentioned in more than one of my previous posts here, so I think I'm qualified to reply.

    In addition to the improvement in his dancing as mentioned by Bailamosdance and Indy Lady (my main motivation) I have two minor issues.

    One is the spousal nagging obligation ... I want him to exercise a bit more.

    The other is my discomfort at "hogging" other leaders when they are in short supply. At least when DH is dancing, there is one fewer follower sitting out.

    After a few years of tension between us on the subject (I'm a slow learner) I've reduced my nagging considerably. I understand that he doesn't like to ask other women, particularly women he doesn't know well. Given the choice between a good dancer he doesn't know and a less experienced dancer he's comfortable talking to, he will choose the more familiar option.

    However, I still inform other followers that he will dance with them if they take the initiative to ask. And if he has a good reason for not accepting immediately, he WILL seek them out for the next opportunity. I don't think he objects to dancing with others, he just objects to being expected to ask them, or to me making arrangements for him.
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  6. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I feel like my husband really blossomed when he started routinely dancing with other people. He got a lot of positive feedback and of course the follows always appreciate having another lead available as they tend to be in short supply, especially a good one (yes I'm going to just brag on DH here). Also, I think the social aspect is what has kept him dancing, and all this mingling built a lot of new relationships, both good friends and acquaintances. Unless the crowd is thin, I dance with him less than a third of the time at any given social/party.

    IME, both leads and follows benefit from switching partners a lot. I cringe/heart sinks when I see a couple who refuses to rotate in a group or dances exclusively with one another at party (there may be valid reasons, but it seems that it usually is just beginners uncomfortable with the idea of doing this with other people). You really do get more bang for your buck and improve faster if you dance with a variety of people. I don't know the exact reason why, thought it's been postulated above, but I've observed it countless times.
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  7. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    This one, for me. With the fact of bringing a partner, I get more dancing in than if I had come alone. I'll dance with any leader who asks, but I'm uncomfortable asking another leader if DH is sitting out, knowing that that leader could instead be dancing with a follower who's had less chance to dance that evening than I have. Instead of nagging DH about it, though, I'm trying to manage the issue by working on my own leading.
  8. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Learning to lead is on my agenda as well. DH and I plan to switch roles when we start private WCS lessons again in a few months. I doubt that I'll switch in group classes at first because we usually have more leaders than followers. DH is not likely to switch for classes because he is 6'3" and not slim. We have some shorter leaders who recently moved out of the beginner class and might not be comfortable with the challenges of the size difference. One other couple switches for the intermediate class but the leader is not as big as DH.
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  9. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    What everyone else said! I would definitely have a calm conversation with her about what makes you uncomfortable, though-setting you up, offering you, etc. I did that kind of thing to my ex, he didn't like it and told me so, and I stopped.
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  10. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit. As a ballroom dance addict myself, I am all about dancing as much as I can in a night, improving, etc. My boyfriend is learning to dance because he wants to be able to dance with me. He has no desire to be an amazing dancer or dance with other people - he just enjoys dancing with me. He doesn't mind me dancing with other men, because he knows what dancing means to me. But neither one of us are under any illusions that he is learning to dance because he wants to be a great dancer. If we go to a party together (and we have), he is perfectly willing to join in the group classes and swap partners, and he enjoys the fun of it. But I don't push him to get better, to take lessons, to dance with other women, or really to do anything other than what he has made clear he is willing and wanting to do. Dancing is MY thing, and it's something we enjoy together, but that doesn't mean it's HIS thing. If he wants to sit out dances, that is entirely his own business.

    In other words, there might very well be a reason in her own dancing why she wants you to dance with others, as everyone has indicated above. Or she might be imposing her own thoughts and desires of dancing without regard for what you want out of it, which may eventually cause resentment and make you want to quit dancing altogether. Time for an honest self-reflection of what you want out of dancing, and an honest conversation with her if those things aren't in line.
  11. CaliChris10

    CaliChris10 Active Member

    If you are off dancing with lots of other partners she doesnt have to feel guilty about doing the same. Could be one explanation of why she wants you dancing with other ladies.
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  12. davedove

    davedove Well-Known Member

    Exactly, people want different things out of their dance experience. It may also be that this gentleman doesn't feel the need to dance ALL THE TIME. Maybe he's perfectly happy to dance a couple of dances and then sit and talk for a bit. As hard as it is for many on this board, not everyone has to be constantly dancing to have fun at a dance.:p
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  13. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    DH and I did this a few years ago so I can lead basic figures in most dances. I started leading because I got tired of sitting on the sidelines when there was a surplus of follows, and before I developed enough confidence to seek out a lead (instead of waiting to be asked). Of course, there is a certain amount of judgment involved in being a non-pro female lead.... I don't ask strangers or advanced follows (unless I know it's OK), as sometimes there can be ego issues there. However it is very informative and helped me understand how it feels to be on the other side, and that I was way too hard on him in the beginning.
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  14. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    I'm thinking the same. For that matter, I've had a couple of foot injuries over the years and a left shoulder injury that gets to me after keeping my arm up for too long; I pretty much have to sit out for a while about every third song, and if I push it, I'll be sidelined longer. Most of the time, I remember not to push it.
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  15. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Dated plenty of guys like this, and I agree on all points. Plus you can try some silly things with him that you might not otherwise be able to do with someone else.
  16. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    What, you can't dance 10 jives in a row? I'm offended!

  17. davedove

    davedove Well-Known Member

    No, I have to break it up with a samba or quickstep.;)
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  18. CaliChris10

    CaliChris10 Active Member

    In all honestly I don't want my man to dance with other women(outside of our circle of friends/family). I know there are a lot of people here who feel that if you trust your partner there is no problem. I guess I am wired differently. When we go out it is to latin clubs & I just don't feel comfortable with my man dancing with strange women and he feels the same about other men so it works out. The only time I happily send my guy off to dance with another woman is when I really want to dance with a particular lead ;)
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I can see how a club might be different from a studio environment. Different set of expectations for most of the people there.
  20. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Well, in most clubs, the other men are going to be uncomfortable dancing with him too, so it evens out. :p

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