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Author Topic: communicating with your partner  (Read 1268 times)
elisedance
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ee


« on: April 13, 2010, 08:20:23 AM »

we have topics on arguing and on blaming - which are both rather negative so I thought we should have a more constructive topic: how do you talk to your partner so that you communicate?  Obviously this varies by people but I for one would love to hear how others deal with this so that you can learn together and deal with those oh so many bumps in the dance floor Smiley
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Lioness
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 08:42:44 AM »

On the dance floor, I murmur out of the corner of my mouth. Unless we're social dancing, where I just turn my head and talk to him.
Otherwise, in standard, a squeeze of the shoulder to let him know someone's behind him, a small squeak of surprise if he does something unexpected.
In Latin, eye looks, smiles, pointed looks at potentially hazardous couples, etc.

It's fun.
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 08:51:20 AM »

Can't wait to hear how others communicate with their partners, i have trouble with this at times... Sad

Zac
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Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
elisedance
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ee


« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 09:01:25 AM »

In case you have not noticed Shocked ballroom dancing is very intimate and we are dealing with very sensitive issues, on the upside of competence, physical and also mental capacities and these get wrapped up in ego.  It is very easy to phrase a statement the implies blame - and once you do that communication breaks down since your partner feels attacked and immediately gets defensive.

The only way I have found to succeed with this (and both my DP and I are rather headstrong) is to state your issue as your issue or problem.  Thus, instead of saying 'I can't stay inside when you do this step' (accusatory), say 'I am having a problem following this step'.  The secret then is to deal with origin of the issue AFTER it has been identified. 

I have to admit that this does not work in all cases - unfortunately, I think my DP knows me well enough that he can tell by my intonation whether I really mean its my issue or his - but it is still the way to go - in particular if you follow it up with 'I don't know what I am doing wrong'.

This may sound self-depricating - but you have to keep in mind the lovely phrase 'keep your eyes on the prize.'  After all, what are you trying to achieve?  Alloocate blame (in which case your partnership has way bigger issues than fixing steps) or become better partnerdancers?  Sometimes its OK to take blame for something that is actually not your fault in order to move your partnership forward.  In retrospect no one really remembers who was wrong and who took the blame and in a sense both partners feel good - the one who was 'right' (who realy wasn't) takes satisfaction in that while the one who was 'wrong' (and really wasn't) feels good because they managed to get past the communication challenge to the outcome - an improvement in the dancing.
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Rugby
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 01:22:46 PM »

I suppose it is the one with the lesser ego problem having to satisfy the one with the bigger ego problem so that they can just move on.  I think too though that the bigger ego person will always have a harder time finding a partner then the lesser ego one because the lesser ego one is willing to bend so is more suitable to a wider range of partners.  If there were a larger group of available partners out there I would say the lesser ego ones would be dancing and the bigger ego ones would be on the sidelines watching.  It is only because dancer partners are hard to find (both male and female) that keeps the lesser ego putting up up with the bigger.  How mayn people would switch partners if there were other options available.

Wish there was an ego pill or perhaps we should all go on Depo Provera then the hormone levels for both partners would instantly be in check all peace would reign. 
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You have to fight through a lot of crap before you find your way up out of the toilet. Sometimes I think I have a good hold on the rim then I slip back in.  Each time I don't sink quite as deep though. - Rugby
TangoDancer
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 12:19:44 AM »

In case you have not noticed Shocked ballroom dancing is very intimate and we are dealing with very sensitive issues, on the upside of competence, physical and also mental capacities and these get wrapped up in ego. 

The only way I have found to succeed with this (and both my DP and I are rather headstrong) is to state your issue as your issue or problem.  Thus, instead of saying 'I can't stay inside when you do this step' (accusatory), say 'I am having a problem following this step'.  The secret then is to deal with origin of the issue AFTER it has been identified.

The second part of your post is a usual approach applied in communication lessons... take the responsibility for your part of the action. As you said, if you can not follow something, it might indeed be the partner's fault, but the complaint is that you can not follow it. Also, yes, it might become recognized, or taken, by the partner as a less than sincere act, unless it is truly genuine, and not just a way to avoid communication.
The first part of your post is the most interesting, however. I beleive that herein lies the probleme. BR is all of these things. However, why do we dance, and what do we expect to get out of it from our partner? if we enter into it with the anticipation/expectation of the partner meeting/making/matching all of our sensitve issues, then we have done ourselves, and that person a grave disservice even before we began. Ego, in this case, becomes a lie. It is really our disappointment in ourselves that we did not get our sensitivities fulfilled by this partner... who hadn't a clue that it was his/her job. It is our own shortcomings disguised as ego, and vented quite unfairly onto our partners.

Some will pass this off as human nature. I say an easy step to correcting the issue is to surrender our sensitivities, and simply try to feel what the dance has to offer us through the movement, and focus less on what we think that we have to bring to the dance. If we do this, maybe, just maybe, we will feel something right from our partners rather than being so vigilant of what we are not feeling.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
SwingWaltz
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 11:16:01 AM »

We do a lot of communication through Facebook! Must be the new trend.  Roll Eyes Tongue
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cornutt
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 12:09:50 PM »

Leads: When you're trying to sort out why your partner misses a lead, do not lecture.  I've found that a good strategy is to ask my partner, "What did you feel happening there?"  From her response, I can usually work my way back from there to why the step didn't work.  The fix may ultimately involve something I need to do or something she needs to do (more often it's me, but not always), but until the lead understands why the follow did what she did, it can't be fixed.  Leads must understand that experienced follows are rational actors and will (to the extent that they are capable) follow the lead as they perceive it. 
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 02:46:26 PM »

Leads must understand that experienced follows are rational actors and will (to the extent that they are capable) follow the lead as they perceive it. 

Thank you.

What I don't need to hear is that 'oh, you need to take a bigger step' or 'at this point go more diag centre'.  Its useless to me.  I do not know what my body is going to do any sooner than you do - infact it should be significanltyly later.  The skill of following is to be a 'tabula rasa', the blank slate upon which the dance is written.  Indeed, its my lack of remembering what to do at any partiuclar point in the dance that you should treasure the most.

Thats not to say I don't have to learn - I do but my learning is for general ways to respond and for general situations that arise - so when you move a little more to the left, I will take a slightly longer stride and when I am going backwards I will provide more power.  That is my art as a follower, it is dissociated from the dance itself.  Your art as a leader can not be so entirely - after all you do have to steer Wink but from what I have read here I now understand that ultimately (and hopefully) neither of us will think about dancing, it will all be inate...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Rugby
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 07:09:16 PM »

If my parnter gets lost I will try and call out what is next in the routine, not that he always does it.  I try and smile and say it between my teeth.  I also have a tendency to sing some of the songs if I like them and one time one of the judges asked if I was calling the routine out to my partner.  I said if you see my lips move then I am singing, if my lips don't move then I am telling him what is next.
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You have to fight through a lot of crap before you find your way up out of the toilet. Sometimes I think I have a good hold on the rim then I slip back in.  Each time I don't sink quite as deep though. - Rugby
catsmeow
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 09:03:09 PM »

Indeed these are interesting posts.  I notice there is much to do with feelings and less to do with thinking when dancing with a partner.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 09:23:19 PM »

If my parnter gets lost I will try and call out what is next in the routine, not that he always does it.  I try and smile and say it between my teeth.  I also have a tendency to sing some of the songs if I like them and one time one of the judges asked if I was calling the routine out to my partner.  I said if you see my lips move then I am singing, if my lips don't move then I am telling him what is next.

sorry, but what business is it of your's whats next?  Sure we have routines but if DP leads a curved feather instead of a natural turn in FT - then my job is to dance that and whatever follows.  He may have just forgotten or mixed up a different part of the routine - but there is at least an equal chance that he did it because there was someone standing in the path for the usual routine.  IN a sense, the lead can't go wrong in the choice of steps because the right steps are just what he does...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
catsmeow
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 09:35:13 PM »

Do you not know whats next in your dancing EE? Would it not show in your movement that you were truly following what you dont expect. Compared to your competition who for the most part know to the inch where and how to go you might look slow, awkward and heavy. My best guess is that apart from top level pros not one couple shuns routines for the sake of the spontaneity of lead and follow. If there is a use for lead and follow it is merely to get us all back on track. I welcome your insights here.
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 09:48:09 PM »

Well, as said, thats what made us stand out our one time (;-\) at the Classique - the split crowded floor and the random smooth couple made it nigh impossible to dance routines - but DP and I carried on as if nothing had happened.  IMO all competitions should have that element.  Perhaps the judges should walk about on the floor, not stand on the edges then the couples would actually have to be able to dance ...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
catsmeow
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2010, 09:58:51 PM »

good point ED
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