Uncomfortable with my wife ballroom dancing with other men

#1
I am looking for some feedback to get me past uncomfortable feelings I have regarding my wife ballroom dancing with other men in a performance setting. Social dancing and performance dancing seem so different. The amount of physical contact is very different. My wife and I both enjoy dancing and attend group classes where we dance with others. I have no uncomfortable feelings with this. When it comes to performance dancing, the social norms of space and contact seem to get thrown out the door.

If we were to take Quickstep group lessons it would be one thing. If my wife is doing private lessons to prepare for a Quickstep routine at an event, the amount of contact between my wife and the instructor is very uncomfortable for me. She has shown me how they hold each other. How there hips and torsos are connected. How there legs are intertwined. Based on my upbringing, my views on acceptable personal space and contact, social norms, this just feels so wrong.

My wife is really enjoying dancing with me now that I have started and she really enjoys dancing with her instructor/partner for the routine they are doing. I want to be totally supportive of my wife, but need to be able to understand and get past my feelings to be able to do so. I am not jealous of my wife and I do not suspect any inappropriate behavior. It is simply that I cannot get over the amount of physical contact that my wife is having with another man.

I welcome your feedback.
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#2
It is simply that I cannot get over the amount of physical contact that my wife is having with another man.
you will get over it

just be glad she isn't doing rumba!!:eek:

quickstep has the 5 points of contact you need them all to do the dance well.. trust me as a male leader standard dance frame is not sexy don't worry

its just performance art

oh and find a hot teacher and give it a try yourself:D

Based on my upbringing
in the words of DOI suck it up and get over it:D
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#4
When it comes to performance dancing, the social norms of space and contact seem to get thrown out the door.
Close contact is most certainly not limited to performances in the world of dance.

Balboa, and early swing era dance done in Southern California, and revived in the 80s? is one example of a dance that is danced pretty much torso to torso, as was shag, another early swing era dance.

In Argentine Tango there is a style called by various names such as close embrace/milonguero/apilado. It is popular in the center of Buenos Aires and a subset of AT dancers worldwide. You should be able to find videos of how legs can be intertwined between partners, and that happens more in the other styles of AT than in the close embrace.

"Blues" dancing is another example of social dancing in close contact (from what I hear).

That doesn't change how you feel about your wife being in close contact with another man.

I can tell you that probably things that "look" "inappropriate" don't feel at all that way when you actually dance it. In other words, the mind is in another place that is mostly concerned with the movement and (hopefully) the music.
I can also tell you that I probably share some of your upbringing on acceptable personal space and contact, and social norms. In my case that has changed a whole lot as I've traveled and realized that other people have different standards.

It might help to replace
I cannot get over...
with
"I am finding it difficult to get over..."
That way you are acknowledging that you want to go in that direction (the longest journey begins with the first step - now second step...), and you seem to be thinking that if you are asking for feedback.
 

dancelvr

Well-Known Member
#6
You are correct when you say that social dancing and performance dancing seem so different. They are. For the style of dance you are speaking of (International...Quickstep being the example given), physical contact through the body and legs is the nature of the beast, especially at the performance and competition level.

Speaking solely for myself, I find the physical contact through the torso, hips, and legs to be necessary for correct technique, counter balance and especially for communication. I feel the vast majority of my dance instructor's lead through his body....not his arms as some might think. And, I've done this for long enough, that this sort of contact is as natural to me as a handshake, and I think nothing of it.

I do understand how you feel, however, and if I had a significant other, I'm cannot say for certain that I wouldn't feel a little bit of the same thing. But, perhaps you just need a little while to get used to the idea? You may, in time, become desensitized enough to feel more comfortable with the situation. My best to you and your wife. :)
 
#7
This is great feedback so far. I totally agree with "finding it difficult" vs "cannot" . I am trying really hard to understand more and get past my feelings. I have learned a lot in the past hour. I had asked my wife about why so much contact had to be involved and she couldn't explain it. She has danced for years but is new to ballroom dancing and for me just understanding that to be able to do intermediate or advanced steps basically requires 5 points of contact makes a lot of sense. We were just talking at lunch about having me ask my dance instructor to introduce me to the 5 points of contact so I can gain more comfort in this.
 
#8
Thanks for the comment about 5 points of contact. From the social dancing lessons I have been doing, I have only learned about 4 points of contact so understanding that there are 5 and that all 5 are critical to do intermediate or advanced steps well makes sense.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#10
...If my wife is doing private lessons..., the amount of contact between my wife and the instructor is very uncomfortable for me....
I want to be totally supportive of my wife, but need to be able to understand..
Manto, that actually is the problem! You are supportive. As long as you still are supportive you even eventually risk your partnership.

My advice is, find your own goals. Pore on something totally different than your wife: learn a different style, or different dances, perhaps start teaching, start dj-ing or organizing socials. But don´t run after.

Honestly, I´m dancing almost my whole life. And of course I always found my girls within my dancing scene. But as soon as I got together with a woman, we could not dance together anymore (not to mention taking classes or preparing for competitions).

Seems to be kind of a rule.

Have you ever thought of taking classes in argentine tango? (on your own, of course!)
 

vit

Active Member
#11
Actually, in all social dances popular among young people today in my area (and elsewhere) - salsa, bachata, kizomba, zouk - there is much more body contact in the couple than I remember in quickstep and other ballroom standard dances from both my long gone competitive days and current hoby dancing ... only WCS is exception - probably it's why it didn't get much popularity here ...
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#14
But as soon as I got together with a woman, we could not dance together anymore (not to mention taking classes or preparing for competitions).
huh what?? im married ..my iwfe is my dance partner of course and we each have pro partners ( I have two!) no problem dancing competing social dancing with any of them
 
#17
To put it simply, body contact is needed to be able to feel where the teacher wants her to move.
It also allows you to use each others momentum to get through turns and quicker steps.
I was actually having a conversation about this with my teacher last week after watching male audience members having a rather keen reaction to the bachata (which I refer to as the grindy dance). As a man who has been heavily involved in dancing all his life he was saying he often forgets that something might be seen as sexual by other people as he is used to approaching it from a technical point of view.
 

dancelvr

Well-Known Member
#19
Hey, if I'm doing social smooth, and my partner is willing and sufficiently skilled, I'm going full on body contact. It's just better dancing, regardless if it's social or performance.
Wish I was in your social dance community. In mine, body contact is non-existent.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#20
sigh...I remember my first week of standard...I remember the alarm I had upon dancing in contact and learning more about my first pro than I had ever cared to...particularly on a corte, because he is short...ahem...I remember starting a thread on it...and I can honestly say that I have probably similarly alarmed several men in social settings now by simply automatically going into contact in standard and smooth......to the original poster, I know it is alarming and I am not even saying not to have concern because I think it is a normal reaction...it is an intimate embrace...but I can almost guarantee you that the professional thinks nothing of it regardless of whatever might go on in your wife's head until she gets used to it
 

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