My Dear Dance Partner

Should we just dance with other people and pretend that we don't exist as a couple


  • Total voters
    3
#1
My boyfriend and I have been taking dance lessons for over a year now. This includes 5 different instructors with all very different techniques when it comes to salsa and batchata. This has caused us to struggle a bit when it comes to excelling to high levels of our dance programs. My boyfriend had recently moved away for 4 months, he decided that he wanted to take dance lessons on the mean time while he was there. I personally said it was okay for that because I know for a fact that when we dance together it will be great to see what he will bring to the dancing table. I myself have flaws that needed to be corrected in order for me to get a head of my game. So we both have been taking different dance classes with different instructors.

Anyway my boyfriend has been doing some social dancing on the side too, keep in mind that it's people from his dance class and what not, but I am trying to keep my cool when it comes to picturing him grinding up with somebody in batchata or styling it out when it comes to salsa. It sort of pisses me off, so whenever we go dancing together it seems like he becomes VERY sloppy. When he turns it's like he purposely turns super wide so I stumble and trip, or he will make stupid remarks stating like " you need to go slower when it comes to a cross body lead". This stuff doesn't fly by me and then we argue about this. It's really stupid. Then he has the nerve to say all we do is fight when we go out dancing. I try to really stop and think about how this is just dancing and it's all innocent. I trust my boyfriend and I do have some jealousy issues but I personally never feel jealous on the dance floor because I enjoy doing something that I love, but most importantly I do this with the man that I love.

I personally don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my original dance partner which is the man that I love but I don't want to dance with a total douche bag who dances really poor with his actual dance partner and than perfectly with somebody else.

Does anybody else have a similar problem?? Any suggestions?? I'm at a loss for words here.
 

DerekWeb

Well-Known Member
#2
Yes, i think you should not give an option on somebody's dancing (or anything else) unless asked. My DW does not agree so we face the same issue at times. My suggestion: When you are out, dance with other people. You will learn to appreciate each other.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#3

MaggieMoves

Well-Known Member
#4
I would dance with other people. Social dancing for me is an entirely different realm of dance. My problem with my boyfriend is the opposite of yours though... He doesn't seem to loosen up that much when we go social dancing. He'll still be stuck in practice/studio mode.

You'll learn to appreciate him more when you dance with other people.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#5
If he's not willing to address your issues as dance partners, then I wouldn't dance with him anymore and focus on the relationship.
 

DerekWeb

Well-Known Member
#6
He should not critique you when you are social dancing, unless you explicitly ask or you are hurting him. If you are having specific issues on a turn, go together to your instructor.
 
#7
I had went to a different dance class with him and we had to rotate partners. One of the class members had stated that I follow from my arms instead of movement coming from my back. The guy had said that it's hard for him to turn me when my arms clinch up. After the class I had asked my boyfriend if I had ever did that to him and he had said no. Later on we were having a discussion and he had lied to me and officially said that he does have a hard time turning me. Like, why couldn't he been honest from the start.

Any suggestions with frame work ladies??

BTW for the people who have been responding to this post. I wanted to say thank you so much, you guys have been giving me great feedback and I personally think that it's time that my boyfriend and I find a new hobbies that won't make us argue.
 

Jag75

Active Member
#10
One year is a very very short timeframe to learn salsa. From my perspective you'll still essentially be a beginner, albeit an "advanced beginner" if you've been training intensively. Social dancing is a tricky beast and takes years of regular dancing to really excel at, and be able to do well with any lead/follow with little effort. Also, be very particular about your instructors. Do some research and watch youtube videos to determine which instructors to trust - there are a lot of instructors out there who are quite clueless when it comes to good salsa technique so it's easy to be fed bad information and develop bad habits.

Sorry but this is the reality.
 

Jag75

Active Member
#11
I had went to a different dance class with him and we had to rotate partners. One of the class members had stated that I follow from my arms instead of movement coming from my back. The guy had said that it's hard for him to turn me when my arms clinch up. After the class I had asked my boyfriend if I had ever did that to him and he had said no. Later on we were having a discussion and he had lied to me and officially said that he does have a hard time turning me. Like, why couldn't he been honest from the start.

Any suggestions with frame work ladies??

BTW for the people who have been responding to this post. I wanted to say thank you so much, you guys have been giving me great feedback and I personally think that it's time that my boyfriend and I find a new hobbies that won't make us argue.
If you enjoy dancing salsa don't find a new hobby. It's not the hobby that's making you argue - it's your understanding of the hobby and the proper etiquette involved. Feedback is never a good thing when it comes from someone equally inexperienced, ie your boyfriend. Only seek feedback from instructors you trust or very advanced dancers. Don't be fooled into thinking your boyfriend is equipped to provide you with proper feedback, because chances are he's not.
 

Jag75

Active Member
#12
Also you aren't properly equipped to provide your boyfriend with feedback, either. Finding the root cause of a mislead, misfollow, losing balance, etc is not straightforward and really needs to be addressed by a highly experienced coach.
 

vit

Active Member
#13
Feedback is never a good thing when it comes from someone equally inexperienced, ie your boyfriend. Only seek feedback from instructors you trust or very advanced dancers. Don't be fooled into thinking your boyfriend is equipped to provide you with proper feedback, because chances are he's not.
I would put it slightly different

In classes where people rotate (as they usually do in salsa classes) and in social dancing (where people also usually don't dance exclusively with their dance partners) everybody feel that it's easier to dance with some people and harder to dance with some other people. Reasons are many. Main reason is probably a way how each person move overall (when doing other non-dancing related physical activities, including walking, running etc, which then transfer to dancing) and compatibility of two partners in that sense. Other reason is influence of various dance instructors on the classes. Other reasons are character of each person, ego, stress from various life situations, job etc ... many of those things reflect to dancing. Including also hidden problems in relationship if it's boyfriend and girlfriend dancing.

So feedback from other people you dance with has a value. Problem, however, is that people usually, even after years of dancing, don't know what is actually the problem (their and partner's) and how to correct it and that people tend to take feedback personally and that people are not able to express that feedback in a way that won't hurt the partner

Good dance teachers are able to minimize these problems among people dancing, especially in private classes. However, as you said, it's not easy to find a good one (the same in ballroom and other genres), as a teacher is also only a human with his own problems
 

vit

Active Member
#14
I had went to a different dance class with him and we had to rotate partners. One of the class members had stated that I follow from my arms instead of movement coming from my back. The guy had said that it's hard for him to turn me when my arms clinch up. After the class I had asked my boyfriend if I had ever did that to him and he had said no. Later on we were having a discussion and he had lied to me and officially said that he does have a hard time turning me. Like, why couldn't he been honest from the start.
Ideally, each partner moves mostly on his/her own and has own balance. So ideally, arms have to be relatively relaxed, but still able to "transfer" leading from leader to follower. However, problem is that during early stages of learning, leader doesn't know how to effectively lead the follower without using a force, and follower doesn't know how to follow without relying on that force. It can even make a kind of closed loop here with problems escalating. It can take years to settle down, although I attended also some classes where teachers were able to deal quite effectively with these things even with beginners - there are big differences among teachers

So if someone in the class said he has problems leading you, this information has value. It means that probably several other people think the same, but politely don't say it. Some other are even not aware where the problem is, which could be the case with your partner, so it doesn't mean he lied to you when he didn't say it previously. But, when there is a problem, it's usually on both sides, just that it's not 50:50 but can be 45:55 or 40:60 or more. In cases like that, try not taking it personally (whether you get feedback or not) and be aware you won't get the solution from the partner on the similar level like you, but just a blurred picture indicating that something has to be improved somewhere, not necessarily with you being the main problem. In that case, don't argue who is right and who is wrong, just ask a teacher for opinion or to dance with you and tell you is there and what's the problem on your side. Also, have in mind that 2 teachers can also have (and usually will) different opinion about the same problem

As about you and BF, my advice would be to dance with him and dance with other people. Every person is different and when dancing, you have to make some adaptation to each person and many times to compensate for others' faults to have satisfactory dance
 
Last edited:

vit

Active Member
#15
or he will make stupid remarks stating like " you need to go slower when it comes to a cross body lead". This stuff doesn't fly by me and then we argue about this. It's really stupid.
Hard to say what actually happened without watching it, but one of possible scenarios would be

- guy said: you need to go slower when it comes to a cross body lead
- guy should say (if deciding to make a comment): several other followers went slower through cross body lead than you and it was a kind of easier for me to cope with this move that way
- possible diagnosis: guy was quite inaccurate with his leading, so some girls panicked and rushed too fast into CBL, some were a kind of ok and some went too slow
- possible solution: guy has to improve his timing of the steps and of the leading, way how he is using the body and arms to lead it; girl has to improve her timing and learn how to deal with unclear leading without panicking
 

Jag75

Active Member
#16
The cross body lead should have the first three steps (when dancing on 1) where the follow should not yet cross her partner - this is probably what he meant, but again it's impossible to know without watching. Again though I'll re-iterate that it's not the student's place to provide verbal feedback.
 
#17
I personally, want to thank everyone who has been giving me great feed back! These suggestions have made me realise that our dancing will only get better with time and try not to get "too serious" when it comes to social dancing. Recently my boyfriend and I have been dancing with other people and also been working on our improvements.


If you enjoy dancing salsa don't find a new hobby. It's not the hobby that's making you argue - it's your understanding of the hobby and the proper etiquette involved. Feedback is never a good thing when it comes from someone equally inexperienced, ie your boyfriend. Only seek feedback from instructors you trust or very advanced dancers. Don't be fooled into thinking your boyfriend is equipped to provide you with proper feedback, because chances are he's not.

That is very insightful! Thank you.
 
#18
One year is a very very short timeframe to learn salsa. From my perspective you'll still essentially be a beginner, albeit an "advanced beginner" if you've been training intensively. Social dancing is a tricky beast and takes years of regular dancing to really excel at, and be able to do well with any lead/follow with little effort. Also, be very particular about your instructors. Do some research and watch youtube videos to determine which instructors to trust - there are a lot of instructors out there who are quite clueless when it comes to good salsa technique so it's easy to be fed bad information and develop bad habits.

Sorry but this is the reality.
I agree. We had wasted our time with one instructor where we just didn't benefit from her! And sorry it's been more like a year and a half. I guess you can say were advanced beginners.
 

JoeB

Active Member
#19
When a follow doesn't do something the way I expect, I'll generally try it again, then if the same thing happens, I'll stop leading that particular move until we can step aside, then say "I'm sorry; I meant to lead x. What were you getting from my lead and what do you expect for x?" 90% of the time, it comes down to a difference in styles. That's a shared responsibility to find a happy medium, but it's the leader's responsibility to keep it from being an issue on the floor.
 

Dance Ads