I believe you've answered your own original questions DancingGirl. Again, your partnership is young - and if all the doubt/questions your having about it comes on the heels of a poor performance/competition - it should drive both of you to work hard with objective driven goals. Give this time, you yourself have stated that your "impatient" many partnerless follows would jump at the opportunity to even be able to practice with a lead, who is working on improving, on a consistent basis. You have far too many positives going on here that outweigh the negatives - in your own statements. (-:
If a lot of coaches & judges already noticed he’s not compatible with you and explicitly expressed their opinion to you, this would concern me. Do you have a regular coach whom you trust? Would you have a discussion with him or her regarding this issue? Regarding those boys who aggressively approached you, are they better level? Better results, more experienced? Currently have no partners? Do they look good on the floor as well? Are they fast learners? Maybe worth a conversation with their coaches as well. Are they your competitors? If they are competitors, just be careful, sometimes people do so to split up a good couple, there’s nothing they could do to beat you, but to say negative things about you and make you emotionally feel bad about each other. However I do agree with others that 6 months is a way too short time to evaluate someone’s potential, should give the partnership more time to develop. Does he know his behind? You said he’s financially okay, so is he willing to spend some extra money and time take lessons by himself to improve?
I respond to the coach statement out of personal experience as well as what I've seen, with my own coaches as well as other 'pros'. Coaches, have many incentives to steer partnerships. the best coaches I've seen, never ever, try to influence the outcome of partnerships, the ones who do are the ones who have an alternate motive underneath. Money(mostly), personal attachment to other students, just general dislike or like, whatever. Coaches are people too. People are people. Take all advice with a grain of salt.
Good coaches would advice based on his/her true opinion of how he/she believes the potential of partnership. Certainly there are coaches who would advice against a good potential partner for a student if that person could happen to be his competitor’s student. Of course, if you see this kind of biased motive-driven advices, certainly should obtain opinion from a different coach who you believe to be unbiased.
i make following Dance Forums part of my dance education and i use the advice offered here a guideline for my conduct and development.
i have been in an amateur partnership for a year. we have competed a couple of times with less than mediocre results. recently my partner announced she is going to do a showcase with another partner.
she has no obligation to be exclusive to me, and this is a good opportunity to showcase her talent.
i should be happy and excited for her but i can't help feeling hurt. i think i would feel different if she were to do a showcase with a teacher. the leader she is performing with, has no partner.
i know the sensible thing is to discuss this with her, but i don't want to be confrontational and to
make her feel defensive. also, i don't want to make her feel uneasy about doing the showcase, because
i think she will enjoy it.
i feel she is frustrated with my lack of improvement. i take lessons on my own in addition to the lessons we share, and i practice on my own.
am i about to be dumped? this hurt and uncertainty is affecting my motivation to continue.
First question: what is the nature of your partnership? Are you social dancing partners or are you competing? Are you romantic partners, social friends, or is it strictly dancing?
Were you expecting to dance in this showcase with her? Is showcase dancing something that you do or are interested in?
You mentioned that the two of you have competed a few times and the results were not encouraging, apparently. How do you feel that the partnership in general is doing? Do you feel like the two of you are progressing? And do each of you enjoy dancing with the other? How much do you practice together? What I'm wondering is whether you have picked up on her feeling dissatisfied with the partnership, or she maybe has picked up that you are dissatisfied with it. Then again, at least where I am, when we have a showcase, it is not unusual for each participant to dance with several different partners -- it gives everyone a chance to try out different ideas. I currently have two showcase partners. One is a lady that I've been partnered with in lessons for several years now; she's a joy to dance with and we dance well together. But I've been wanting for a while to take a crack at doing my own choreography, and she's not interested in that. So when another lady in our social dance circle approached me about us doing a routine to choreo that we would develop ourselves, I agreed. One day a week, I practice with the one and then take a lesson with the other.
My partner is a keeper. I can tell even without weighing the positives and negatives. But just for fun, I'll do that here. I'll even institute a totally arbitrary point system to weigh the relative importance of each factor: 1 point is barely worth mentioning. 2 points is a small consideration. 3 points is somewhat important. 4 points is significantly important. 5 points is the highest consideration. I should note that others here may weigh these factors differently than me.
2 points for our height mismatch.
2 points for she and I living far apart. (She's still "local," but about 100 miles separate our homes. This has limited our studio selection.)
3 points for "jealousy issues."
1 point for her married status and my single status.
4 points for her drive to improve herself and us as a dance couple.
5 points for us having nearly identical dance goals.
4 points for us being personally compatible.
4 points for us being quite similarly skilled.
3 points for us being financially responsible.
3 points for us agreeing about suitable teachers for her, me, and us.
3 points for the friendship that we have with each other.
3 points for us being similarly "in decent physical shape."
29-8. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a run away winner!
You nailed it in one. When I am enjoying myself with a skilled follower, she seems to be piqued. But if I dance with a much less skilled partner, she is fine. She fights against the jealousy thing though. We encourage each other to dance with others. So maybe I might just lower that by one point!
A lot of it has to do with what you want out of the deal. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, and clearly they are expressing it to you, but at the end of the day you and your partner have to dance together, not these other coaches, or other people. The positive qualities you mention are quite positive indeed, are far more outweigh the negative ones you provide. Besides, those negative qualities will disappear the longer your partner dances; especially if he is a hard worker.
To me, hard work triumphs each and every time over almost everything else.
The one thing I will say is what others have also voiced: six months is not nearly a long enough tenure to tell anything in a partnership. Perhaps others will disagree, but I remember watching a lecture in which the lecturer (and I cannot recall who so I will not drop names for fear of being wrong) said, and I am paraphrasing, that no one stays together long enough in ballroom to truly achieve anything; almost everyone breaks apart too soon, and then find a new partner and there is still a period of adjustment for both persons. It takes a few years to get a feel for one another as partners and as dancers, and to get somewhere consistently on the competition circuit.
It takes no effort to destroy what is being created.... your partner sounds like a decent partner. It sounds like a conversation with him, and a coach you trust implicitly, is in order. As well as a reflection session for you to figure out what you want out of your own dance career. Perhaps a new partner is in order if your goals and desires differ. But if you guys are driven by a shared and mutual desired outcome, then a little more hard work is all that you might need.