I know several couples who were married first, then started dancing (just amateurs here, several don' even compete), and have asked them about this. In general, most of them seem to think that the dancing has helped their relationship (all the couples in question are middle aged, have grown kids, etc, and have come to dancing in just last couple years) a lot. Now that doesn't mean theyd on't still have fights that any married couple does, and that these fights might not happen on the dance floor. Suspect they're actually more likely to happen on the dance floor, as you're coming back to our discussion of an emotional connection on the floor, more passion,e tc, so if a couple was upset with each other over something at home, they come onto floor, are trying to get the right emotional connection, but have that trouble still in their head from before, suspect it's mroe likely to blow up on the dance floor than say on the ride over.
As those of you who have had the patience to wade through some of my previous rambling posts know, my relationship with DH started with dancing. We had about 8 years with dancing, then about 21 years with little or none, and now about 4 years with it again. In general, we have a very good relationship with few disagreements and we love sharing almost all parts of our lives with each other. We also only dance socially (we don't consider studio competitions to be "real" because they go to such lengths to make sure everyone has a "good" outcome - and that's just fine with us).
And yet, even with everything working in our favor, we come closer to fighting on the dance floor than anywhere else. If something is not working, it's because something is wrong and it's someone's fault. It could be me, it could be him, it could be both of us, but at least one person has to change what he or she is doing to make it better. We both want to actually dance well (not just collect points for being "right" in the context of the argument) so we're both open to correction, but there is emotional weight in partnership issues. It's hard to remember to step back, take a deep breath, and focus on the goal -- which is partnership. These little moments don't happen often, and they're more likely when one of us is stressed by outside factors, but they seem to be unavoidable.
In other words, dance floor arguments between a committed couple are not necessarily a carryover from a previous interaction, but can be generated by the stress inherent in partner dancing. Partnerships (whether in dance or in life) cannot be built without finding a way to resolve differences, because there is no way to avoid differences between two people. The fireworks between dance partners who are also life partners may be more spectacular if they don't have a way of separating the two parts of their life, but there is no way to avoid the tensions of a dance partnership, even a social partnership. When you add the stresses of competition, it doesn't take much of a spark to trigger an explosion.
Interesting. Maybe I won't ask out that cute girl at the studio. Or go back to plan of asking out cute girl at the AM studio, who I wouldn't be able to dance with every week, or compete with. ;0 least not in our closed comps.
Thanks sam . . . for us, even though dancing is a major part of our lives and how we met, for relationship purposes, it is the icing on our cake.
At first we had to work through learning how to be partners in dance while learning how to be partners in life. I KNOW that learning how to be partners in dance greatly helped me to learn how to be partners in life (thanks Kathryn, Toni, etc.).
old story for some (sorry), but for those who are new here . . .
I had reached the closed silver syllabus level when I met a fantastic dancer
She was living in Philly at the time, me in SoCal, and we met at dance camp in San Fran
Attracted to, and pursued with vigor (despite never going to fall in love again!)
Introduced to parents who were overcome and also fell in love with her :doh:
Dated cross-country by traveling to comps (we were both in the consulting world which required travel)
Danced together socially
DF (dear fiance) goes to grad school
Started competing as an amateur couple
and lots more, just don't want to be boring . . .
The future is bright for this relationship - mostly because DW has the personality, background, etc., to make it work despite my shortcomings, but also because we care for each other, and have many, many other interests.
Although significant . . . for relationship purposes, it really is the icing on the cake.
Aw, that's a sweet story, Reb. Being fairly new to partner dancing, I haven't had experience with dance-related relationships, but it sounds like the same thing as sharing any other common interest. Couples meet at the gym, going skiing, being in theater groups, music groups, etc. As you say, the common interest is a good starting point but you need to have other things going for the relationship as well.
Lovely and inspiring Reb. You are both very lucky - and how sweet to have dance to share in such a way. Frankly, I am jealous! - but I don't resent it one bit.
One day maybe I will feel up to sharing something of an opposite story, well maybe not quite, but where dance was major factor tearing us appart (though in reality there were plenty of other factors and it was going to happen anyway - dance did, however, work as a catalyst).
I love to practice in the morning, he likes practice best in the evening - so we do both. We both like studios by our selves and practice at a social club though I think I favor the former more and he the latter (its pretty close). I like to work on movements more, he likes to work on steps more but, again, we both do both. Most important we both like to work a lot - as much as two people with careers can manage I think.
I imagine that major incompatability in practice needs/preferences may doom a partnership. Is that right?
I wonder how the comp will affect us though. One hopes that a good result will make us appreciate each other more and a bad one more inclined to work together - either can be a test of a dance partnership.
We have two coaches, grandfathered in from our previous solo private lessons. On the whole it has worked well up to now since mine is male and his is female and now we get both perspectives with the same cost (actually less since practices are almost free and before I would simply take more lessons). One coach is going to the comp while the other is not. the one that is not has asked a third person, a more senior coach, to give us critique - someone I have not even met yet. I am a bit worried about that 'cause we surely do not need yet another coach - too many cooks thinks me but it does not seem to bother DP much. Am I being too sensitive?
... We have two coaches, grandfathered in from our previous solo private lessons. On the whole it has worked well up to now since mine is male and his is female and now we get both perspectives with the same cost (actually less since practices are almost free and before I would simply take more lessons). One coach is going to the comp while the other is not. the one that is not has asked a third person, a more senior coach, to give us critique - someone I have not even met yet. I am a bit worried about that 'cause we surely do not need yet another coach - too many cooks thinks me but it does not seem to bother DP much. Am I being too sensitive?
elise - IMO - you work with those two coaches because you trust them - their expertise, their teaching, their style, whatever. If one of the coaches asked a third person to "have a look", I would presume it was because that coach trusted that third person. If I were the one in this situation - I would say "go with it" and trust your coach's trust in that third person. (Unless you hear something you didn't really want to hear! )
I suppose so MrB - there is a bit more though that I would rather not post - maybe thats the bit thats making me nervous. Ah well, maybe it will be constructive for our partnership - except instinct is not going that route...
Well, it all depends on the people involved. If the 'extra' coach gives a critique that is good, that's great. If he brings up things to work on and gives 'constructive critisism', also good. If he is just negative, then ignore it. Don't allow anything negative to bring you down at a comp, real or not. Trust in yourself, your partner and the work you have put in. Keep communication lines open with your partner - even about being nervous regarding the extra coach. You are a team and need to 'be there' for each other. Focus on positives all the time. Even if you muck up a move, keep going and put it behind you - don't get fazed.
Anyway, did I ever tell you how, as a cat, I have cat ESP? Well. I do and you will be fine.
How did you meet your DP?
My cousin aka. teacher hooked us up lol
How good a fit is it - physically, emotionally, financially or time-wise?
All of them, except she can get pretty emotional about a lost competition
Do you have issues with regards to paying for lessons? Fear of breaking up?
She sometimes fears I'm gonna stop dancing, I love dancing but sometimes I have my problems and although she puts forward personal interest I don't really feel like talking about it...
Is your partner supportive on the floor or does he/she blame you for any errors?
We joke about it
Do you work through challenges well or is it always a struggle?
No struggle at all. at least not from my part
What about developing your partnershp? How do you get that magical look where the couple seem to be expressing a life-relationship through dance?
Not really relationship just strong friendship.