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Author Topic: Dance Partner issues..  (Read 1470 times)
pinkstuff
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« on: September 17, 2009, 05:41:24 PM »

Hi!

Am looking for some advice/opinions.  Am not very experienced with dancing/dance partners, am considering trying to find one but not sure if it is the correct decision.  When is the time right?  Do you decide to dance with someone who has not danced as long as you have and it is noticable when you dance together (to me eg in connection, rise/fall technique etc) but you have been told has potential, leads well, seems keen and is pleasant as a person, or do you continue to dance alone and wait until you improve sufficiently enough to find a more advance partner?  For me, I love dancing and want to improve enough to compete at a decent level (or am happy not to compete but I love technique etc and want to improve on that front instead of just learning steps which I find frustrating).  Would appreciate any thoughts as really don't know anything about this.  Where I live competing Pro-Am is not an option (otherwise I might've considered this route).  Hope my question(s) make sense  Roll Eyes
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elisedance
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 06:00:15 PM »

Anytime is right - I recommend it very highly.  Even if it is a poor match at first you will start learning about how to have a partnership - what you can expect (less than you want) and what you have to give (a lot) but the sheer pleasure of having a person to work with 'against everyone else' is totally worth it.  The best part is (assuming they live nearby) practise time limited only by mutual availability and not by cash. 

Its really like a life partnership though, all the same rules apply - developing trust being kind and tollerant, supportive and caring.  But in some ways much more special - I read as stat that esimated that one person in 7 could be a life partner.  I would put that somewhere like 1 person in 100,000 can really be a dance partner - if you are planning on competing that is...
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Ginger
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I see what you did there.


« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 09:36:38 PM »

It makes no matter how good a dancer *you* are. It's how you *both* are, together, as a partnership. One of my former students is experiencing this now. She has a practice buddy/partner SHE roped into dancing, but since he joined five months later than she, she is high-horses and thinks he'll never catch up to her, never be good enough.

News flash. She's a heavy follow, her styling is forced, her technique is rudimentary and based on rote, and when embarrassed, she acts like a dork to the point that it's no longer whimsical and amusing- I say this out of frustrated love. Honest. (MC, you know of whom I speak)

Dance with anyone you can, and even though it's a bad experience (my DW QS, VW, Rumba, WCS, and whatever the hell else that poor little elf dragged me through, counting wrongly aloud the whooole damned way) for your ego, it's always a good experience for your dancing.  Most of the time, the people who think they're entitled to play pick and choose based on *their* own talents... aren't. (I am NOT saying this about you- I don't even know you, but I'm trying to state a cautionary tale kind of point. Divas're baaad, mmmkay?)
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cornutt
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 12:37:31 AM »

If pro-am isn't an option, it is nearly always better to get a partner.  There's just too much stuff you can't really work on properly if you practice alone; unless your instructor is watching you really closely, all the time, you'll wind up learning bad habits. 

Go back and read again what everyone said about partner compatibility and expectations.  And I'll add this: at the stage of learning you are at, followers progress faster than leads.  There is just too much "stuff" that leads have to process and integrate at the beginning, and while they are doing that, the followers are moving ahead.  So if you take a partner who is less experienced than you, the ability gap between you and him is going to grow wider for the first year.  After that, he'll start to catch up, assuming your partnership is still together.  But that first year is going to make him miserable. 

So be careful you don't fall into the trap of wanting to be his instructor.  Your instructor is your instructor.  Leads remember the followers who were patient with them when they were beginners.
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 04:19:55 AM »

Thanks for all the advice and information.  Really appreciate it.  Reread my post and guess it came across as me thinking that I see myself as some sort of pro compared to potential DP (am somewhat embarressed, definitely not, but have been taught very differently so he knows steps where as I have spent time working on basics & technique, if that makes sense. Also have no intention of trying to teach anyone, nowhere near that stage & probably never will be (but appreciate how that (accidental teaching) can happen).
I wasn't really sure how having a dance partner works eg if you usually have private lessons with a pro would you put personal learning on hold or once you are dancing together you should do everything together?  I guess having a DP is a totally different kind of learning process!!  Potential DP seems to be a nice person and probably like minded, in which case it should work, I hope  Grin  Will have to see how it goes!  
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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 04:55:00 AM »

I wasn't really sure how having a dance partner works eg if you usually have private lessons with a pro would you put personal learning on hold or once you are dancing together you should do everything together?  I guess having a DP is a totally different kind of learning process!!  Potential DP seems to be a nice person and probably like minded, in which case it should work, I hope  Grin  Will have to see how it goes!   

There I can speak from experience Wink  I have both an Am partner and a pro/am one.  Its working astonishingly well.  Whenever I mention this to other AMs they ask whether its frustrating to learn and dance with the pro (who is, BTW an actively competing, highly ranked one and hene WAY more experienced than the AM) and then dance with the AM.  Oddly its not a problem at all.  The high-level work I do with the pro is ballanced by the much more practise time I do with the AM.  What I am finding is that the latter is progressing way faster because I am dancing better.  This means that when things don't work he either adjusts to make it do so or we bring it to the pro at a lesson.  Sometimes I feel as trickle down teaching actually works.

However, I would reitterate C's point above - I think this is very much stage-dependent.  It IS much harder for the man at the beginning, he has so much to think about and learning faster than him might be a big problem at that stage not because you can't dance but because the woman is likely to feel frustrated with the lack of progress of the man.  At our stage (prechamp now) the tables have turned.  I think the woman has to learn much more than the man so extra lessons are a very good thing. 
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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...
pinkstuff
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 05:26:34 AM »

Thanks  Smiley  Good to know it can work doing both as I think that is what I would like to do for now!  DP is a good leader, and am aware how hard it is to learn to lead (although I still think I am a better leader than follower  Roll Eyes ).  For me it is more important that we both want to practice together & have similar aims and then work from there.  We should be able to meet somewhere in the middle!!

Thanks for all the advice & help!
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Some guy
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 09:37:12 AM »

I would say, if you're a lady, and you have an available male partner waiting for you, go for it.
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cornutt
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 05:08:54 PM »

I wasn't really sure how having a dance partner works eg if you usually have private lessons with a pro would you put personal learning on hold?

Absolutely not.  The individual aspect needs to continue.  Take a mix of lessons as a couple, and individual lessons.  The couple lessons will help you build and refine your partnership, but you need the individual lessons in order to keep your own dancing improving.  Especially since, at first, in the couple lessons you'll probably find that most of the focus of the lesson winds up being on him.  That's because, at the stage you two are at, he has to learn more than you do for a given increment of progress.  Plus, you mentioned that his previous training has mostly been on patterns, so he probably has technique flaws that need to be fixed before the partnership can really get going.  You will need the individual lessons during this time to help maintain your focus, among other things.

Take heart and don't get frustrated.  It will probably be a bit tedious for you at first.  The long term rewards will be worth it.
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Rugby
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 02:16:42 PM »

Compatbility and having the same goals goes a long way in making it work and having it last.  Patience is the key for both of you.  In standard it will take him longer to learn and the focus of the lessons will be on him at first since if he can't do it neither can you.  In latin it will be the other way around.  Your moves will be more complicated and the lessons will focus more on you at first.  Be there for each other and work as a team.  You can wait for a guy with more talent but his personality or goals may not match yours and you will soon tire of each other.  Don't forget too that everybody wants to have someone higher level as their partner but the higher level person is feeling the same way.
   
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 05:39:39 AM »

Thank you to everyone for their advice.  We have now danced together for about a week or so but seems to be going quite well and enjoying dancing together.  Am hoping it lasts Smiley
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elisedance
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 07:16:38 AM »

Well, you've done the hardest week Smiley  Wishing you guys all the best....

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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...
QPO
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 04:51:17 AM »

Thank you to everyone for their advice.  We have now danced together for about a week or so but seems to be going quite well and enjoying dancing together.  Am hoping it lasts Smiley


Is it still working how is it going?
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 04:52:26 AM »

I wonder when you are not committed in a relationship it is hard to maintain commitment. You just cant walk away, you have to work through the issues? what do others think?
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elisedance
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 04:58:35 AM »

I was wondering the same thing.  Actually, I had that issue with my ex - I wanted to dance and compete - I thought it was something we could do into our retirement (ex was a good dancer too).  But it became one (of many) problems instead....

Interesting that there are a lot of married couples that do dance so they seem to be able to keep their dance-goals in synch.  Impresses me....
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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...
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