Can't Dance With Wife or Best Friend

#1
I've been dancing seriously for about a year now and feel like I'm just emerging from Beginner Hell into Intermediate Hell. I'm definitely not a natural and will never be a great dancer, but I lead passably well everyone in my scene except the two people I want to dance with the most: my wife and my best friend.
My wife and I started taking classes together. We've always done well with other people but are constantly in each other's way when we dance together. The frustration has sent her home for the duration.
My best friend is an awesome, amazing dancer already. But I suck to holy hell if I ever try to lead her. I'm having a lot of fun at dances, except I can never dance with her.
Thinking about giving up. Why expend the time and resources on dancing if I can't do it with the people I actually want to? Advice?
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#2
well, I think you need someone who can monitor and assess why...are they back leading?...are you more intimidated with them and leading less assertively or late?...I mean, it could be anything...I think you need to have someone knowledgable watch it to be sure...or you need to describe what happens with both to someone who might be able to at least guess based on what you are describing...FWIW, a vast multitude of people have the most difficulty dancing with those for whom they care the most
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#3
My wife and I started taking classes together. We've always done well with other people but are constantly in each other's way when we dance together. The frustration has sent her home for the duration.
my wife and I battled this for years but

we love each other enough AND loved dancing enough to push through

as a leader I "try the hardest" to make her happy when we dance and sometimes that "performance anxiety" gets in the way

I suggest you each take lessons from a pro separately then put it together in a few weeks /months/years


My best friend is an awesome, amazing dancer already. But I suck to holy hell if I ever try to lead her
ill take her off your hands............. just kidding again worried about the result?? don't be
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#4
when my husband and I struggled with this, for us, it was that I am the stronger personality, caught on faster, and wanted to back lead...for him, it was that he would hesitate and lead late or too ambiguously, so that by the time I knew what he wanted, I was already on the wrong foot...I also think that if you are "getting in each other's way" that might be a frame issue belonging to one or both of you
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#6
After only one year you are really only at the bottom of a long climb, so don't take anything personally or too seriously at this stage. After all, she is at the same stage as you are and it is very possible that she is even more in need of more work than you! I think also that your wife might really be hurting your progress if she has gone home rahter than work thru the couples' problems. This means that if you improve, she will still be where she is or worse, and then she will still think you are not good since she has not trained to the level you are - and I cannot count how many times I have been told by a rank beginner how they cannot follow something and it is obviously my fault because she can follow the 'same' move from 'joe' or 'jimmy'.

One good suggestion: make sure that when you dance with someone, that if you initiate an action, that they actually respond to it. Dance is not pushing and pulling, nor is it magical thought transference, but actually an action reaction. Stumbling backwards is not a good follow reaction to a leader forward step.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#11
I get that it is good for couples to have separate instructors....we did...but, in order to really see what is going on with that couple, someone has to see that couple...because, even though they may both have glaring over-arching issues that will show up with the pros....the major issue between the two, probably needs to be observed between the two, particularly since he is claiming a uniqueness to the issues with the wife and friend
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#13
meh...maybe...but I think someone needs to see them dance TOGETHER
sure.. after they each learn their roles its not a long time IMO I wish we had done it this way


People who dance together need one coach. How can they learn to do the 'together' part if they are separated...
after they learn their separate roles
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#14
I get that it is good for couples to have separate instructors....we did...but, in order to really see what is going on with that couple, someone has to see that couple...because, even though they may both have glaring over-arching issues that will show up with the pros....the major issue between the two, probably needs to be observed between the two, particularly since he is claiming a uniqueness to the issues with the wife and friend
yep once some of the bugs and methods of communication have been worked out somewhat​
 

DerekWeb

Well-Known Member
#20
A lesson with a pro together is a good idea.

Also, most of the husband dancers I speak with say the same thing, which is "DW will criticize me because I am her husband, but will not make suggestions to other leaders at the dance social." The wives are trying to be helpful, back leading, etc. and the dear husbands do not find it helpful.
 

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