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Author Topic: How to keep a positive outlook when partnerless ?  (Read 2500 times)
dancingirldancing
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 102


« on: October 12, 2009, 09:36:14 PM »

How do you keep a positive outlook when partnerless for an extended period of time ?

I found it very hard since breaking up with my partner a few months back.

There are some people asking for try outs but they are mostly way too old for me, some of them almost twice my age.

This will not suit as I am planning to dance in adult division for a while and prefer to have a partner my own age.

Some of the younger ones are raw beginners and I really do not have the stamina to start from scratch.

I did this with my last partner and when we broke up I felt very used. I used to literally 'train' him from scratch and when he is good he is dancing with someone else. Okay it really is a long story and not simple as that and it was really not his choice but still....

I feel really really depressed lately and lost a lot of weight because I am not dancing even 20% of what I used to.

I am still taking heaps of coaching from extremely great coaches who are very concerned about my well being.

Even DH said that I wither away and is really really worried !

Sometimes I overheard people getting excited about going to this comp or that comp and feel even more depressed.

I am even thinking of packing away my thousands of dollars costumes and giving it to the Salvos !

The worst thing is that people (including coaches) all complimented me on my dancing all the time.

I would go to social and a lot of people said that I am light as a butterfly or dance really beautifully etc.

So why the heck is it so hard for me to find a partner ?

I am reasonably presentable, fit, train with great coaches, hard working, and most importantly is a nice person.... even my last partner said that I am the best partner he ever had !

Sometimes I just want to give up altogether !

Please ... please ... convince me otherwise !!!

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SwingWaltz
Gold Star
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Posts: 5772


« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 02:06:10 AM »

Well the fact is that there is simply not enough guys in Melbourne! And when there is a guy available, the coach tries to keep him for one of his/her best girls.

Depends on what age group you are looking for, the only ones I know who are looking for a partner are in their early 20s and early in dancesport career (level 1/2). You said adult, but adult can be anywhere between 19 and 35. When I was 19, I danced with a 32 year old. We were still in the "same age group" and competed in adult together, but if you ask me whether that's the ideal age, I'd say probably not.

Also height, if you are extremely tall or extremely short, it may add on to the hardship of finding a partner. Also style and level? I find it easier to find partners at level 1/2, but the higher level one gets, the harder it is to find a partner. Well most of the level 4/5s I know won't dance with a level 1, whilst the others have been with their partner for the past 4/5 years and is going strong as ever!

Another thing I noticed from your previous thread is that you are very reserved and reluctant to let people know who you are. Also if I remember correctly, you said the reason behind it is because you might have said things that could upset people. If you put the two together, it sounds to me that either people don't know you because you are hiding yourself, or people do know you but they also know some of the negative things about you. I don't mean to say this to attack you, I guess I'm just trying to say that you should go out there and actively build a positive image for yourself. Dancesport circle in Melbourne is very tight, we all know almost everything that goes on around town.

Also, maybe put out an ad on www.dancesport.org.au for partner search.

Good luck!
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elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 35042


ee


« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 08:36:14 AM »

[What a great post SW Smiley]

The main thing I did was to keep taking lessons with the hope that eventually I would become sufficiently good that a potential partner would then want to dance with me.  Well, thats exactly what happened - but it also needed a 'catalyst'.

The other thing I did was to go to lots of socials.  This was torture mostly because the good dancers were all partnered up and the bad ones couldn't keep their hands off me - the result was that it was impossible for me to show my ability on the dance floor.  However, I did not let it be at that - I started to ask the good dancers for a dance in front of their partners - always nodding to the partner and asking if it was OK.  That way they started to learn that I could dance and the word started going round.  Finally, I looked for men who were good dancers and the right size (in partnerships).  If the partnership was strong I left well alone (you certainly do not want to get a name as a partnership buster).  However, if not and if the man looked frustrated I must admit I dropped a hint - something like 'if you ever want to compete, do give me a call'.  This is actually how I found my current partner - about 6 months later his partnership broke up mostly because she was dragging her feet about taking serious lessons and competing.  He then gave me a call for a try out.  Also - go to competitions and watch.  There are other dancers out there who have taken time off and it may be possible to lure them back.

You might find a partner suddenly but in our community that is very unlikely - there are just so few men who want to dance.  However, there is always turnover of some sort - people get sick, move, loose interest etc.   The higher you get the more limited you are to this particular pool.

And hang in there.  You dance first and formost because you love it - don't loose it because you are beating yourself up.  Can you dance with a pro there?  We have that luxury that when you don't have an AM partner - you can always do pro/am.  Its expensive, sure, but its great dancing and you can rationalize it as the best lessons a girl can get.
ee
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pruthe
Bronze
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Posts: 274



« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 08:38:28 AM »

If you cannot find a competition partner right away, can you find a good practice partner that helps you with your training? You would want to say up front that you are looking for the right competitive partner, but would like to have a good practice partner until then. If you can find a good practice partner, even if much older than you, that can provide a bridge for you until the right competitive partner comes along. Be patient and good things are likely to happen. (And btw, you can learn some really good things from an older person because of their years of experience.)
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"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

"The Truth in Ballroom Dance is found in the Basic steps."

A.S.
SwingWaltz
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Posts: 5772


« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 08:59:32 AM »

If you cannot find a competition partner right away, can you find a good practice partner that helps you with your training? You would want to say up front that you are looking for the right competitive partner, but would like to have a good practice partner until then. If you can find a good practice partner, even if much older than you, that can provide a bridge for you until the right competitive partner comes along. Be patient and good things are likely to happen. (And btw, you can learn some really good things from an older person because of their years of experience.)

If you are to do that, I'd be very careful that you make the message across clear from the start that the partnership is only temporary and for practise only until you find the "right" competition partner. If you are going to have lessons together, get the message across to both the practise partner and the teacher. Just to save disappointment in the future and people accusing you of using them.

Another way of getting into competition without a partner is to do medallist comps. Now I don't know your situation, whether you have previously been registered/how long ago was that etc. If the last registered competition you did was years ago, you can apply for your registration status to be revoked. Medallist competitions are a great way to expose yourself as a competitor in dancesport, and there are lots in Melbourne.

I think in terms of finding a partner, you are already a head infront. Why? Because you learn from an extremely well resourced studio that gets a lot of exposure! I've seen people looking for partners for years, but I've never even heard of their studio/teacher before!
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pruthe
Bronze
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Posts: 274



« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 10:13:06 AM »

I was a practice partner for a much younger advanced lady dancer for about 6 months until she found her current competitive partner. I enjoyed the practice and was happy for her when she found her partner. My current practice partner is about my same age. Good luck with your search.
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"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

"The Truth in Ballroom Dance is found in the Basic steps."

A.S.
dancingirldancing
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 102


« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 09:38:07 PM »



Another thing I noticed from your previous thread is that you are very reserved and reluctant to let people know who you are. Also if I remember correctly, you said the reason behind it is because you might have said things that could upset people.

I have not really said anything bad about anyone. It can just be very liberating to be anonymous.

For example if everyone knows who I am I won't even be able to post this for example because I don't want my old partner to know how upset I am after breaking up with him .... Also I wont be able to ask opinions when I have problems with my coach or studio or so on because words will get around and everyone will know exactly which coach or studio I am talking about.

I posted something about asking advise about wanting to leave one of my old coach a while back ... now I can't do that if a lot of people know who I am !

The problem with me is oftentime I am too nice to everyone hence me now feeling very resentful about being used and abused by old coaches and partners alike. Even my last partnership was the result of selfishness on my old coach behalf to retain business rather partner me up with someone who is actually compatible with me. Now I can't really say that if anyone here knows who I am right ?

I am not really keen on practice partner as when people see you dancing with someone for a while they tend to think that you are partnered up and less likely to approach you for partnership ! Also, I am very dedicated person and need to find someone with the same dedication to practice with. Not many non competitors can give me that commitments. Plus it is hard to share lessons with people you don't really share the same goal with.

In my last lesson, I spent the whole hour going over the basics just trying to move better without learning any new steps or routines etc. It is not easy to find someone who does not intend to dance competitively to spend that much time on technical aspects that may or may not matter that much in social dancing.

I can't do medallist as I am still registered and I won't really go there anyways as my pride won't let me. I know that my old partner will dance registered with another girl and it will be too humiliating for me. I know it is stupid but still ...

I know patience is a virtue but I generally don't deal very well with uncertainty !

I am trying to improve as much as I can at the moment and hopefully I can get a partner as dedicated and committed as myself !

God bless my coaches and all of you !


 
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SwingWaltz
Gold Star
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Posts: 5772


« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 11:25:59 PM »

I see ... ...

Best of luck with your search!

We're here to help if you want to ask anything. By no means I'm declearing myself an expert in anything, but I can share my experience with dancesport thus far.
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Rugby
Moderator
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Posts: 3599



« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 01:57:20 AM »

Keep your dancing up.  The better you become the more value you have.  Get out and dance and even if you do Pro/Am for now at least people will get to see how well you dance.  Think of it as  being a showcase of yourself to potential partners that may be dancing, and at the same time you are still getting to dance and have fun.  I was fortunate to find my partner early in my competition career.

My partner and I took lessons at the same studio and we were both doing Pro/Am.  We would get together for some dances at the studio socials and I knew we could dance well together so I decided to give it a shot and see if he was interested in competing together.  Well that was a long awhile back and we have been successfully competing together since and hopefully for a long time to come.  If I had not gone to those studio socials I would not have met him.

So, go to the studio social dances, go out to the city social dances, ask someone to practice with you.  Ask your instructors to keep an eye out for you, advertise in dance magazines or sites (like this one even), go to the competitions, ask people if they know someone and better yet advertise at the competitions.  There may be a guy who went there looking around for a partner too.   You never know where your potential partner may be or how you are going to find them.  And, never give up because Mr. Right may just be around the corner.     
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Everyone tries to rush up through the syllabus levles and think once they are at the top they have arrived.  What they don't realize is that by doing this it is like skimming through a book, you may get the gist but you will never understand the story.
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 35042


ee


« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 04:50:23 AM »

[One note R - she's in Australia, they don't have our kind of Pro/Am partnerships]
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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
reg mods
Continental Champion
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Posts: 20848


Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2009, 04:39:29 AM »

It is very hard when you are partnerless and you are not alone...BW is also looking for someone and we have people here in our own state that have the same issues, we need to get more men interested. I know that wont help you now as they would be beginners... I have said that if my partner gave up dancing I would be in the same position....
He on the other hand would be sanaffeld up in 2 seconds Roll Eyes
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Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
Dance Forum
Rugby
Moderator
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Posts: 3599



« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2009, 06:59:45 PM »

Oddly enough I know of 5 men looking for partners, actually make that six now and they range from bronze to championship.  They tell me that sure ther are more men than women but they say most of the woman only want to social dance and of the ones that do want to compete most are not desirable for one reason or another, usually due to being low level dancers.

There may be 10 women for 1 man but that guy is going to pick the lady that has the most potential.  Keep your lessons up, look and dress confident and let the men see you are the best pick of the litter.  Don't count the guys out that have partners either, you never know if they are looking around for a replacement.  I know that sounds bad but it is a reality.  I have a great partner that I have no intention of leaving but I have had four men in the last month contact me to see if I would consider them, so you never know. 
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Everyone tries to rush up through the syllabus levles and think once they are at the top they have arrived.  What they don't realize is that by doing this it is like skimming through a book, you may get the gist but you will never understand the story.
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 35042


ee


« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2009, 07:53:28 PM »

really - bout time we turned the tables... Roll Eyes
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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...
albanaich
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 236


« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2009, 06:48:08 AM »

Well, I often think this lack of partner thing is a lot about inflexibilty on the part of Ballroom dancers - they only have themselves to blame.

Locally there are lots of young male dancers about - they are just not doing Ballroom, they are doing Argentine Tango or Swing. If you are partnerless I would of thought it would have been worthwhile to spend say one evening a week exploring a different dance form, not only because it brings a different 'edge' to your ballroom dancing but also because you are circulating in a much larger potential partner pool.

And someone who has done 4 or 5 years Swing or AT is not exactly a novice dancer, if you can persuade them to do Ballroom they should pick it up pretty quickly. I've actually put together a parternship from Lindy and Ballroom that worked well, but the girl ballroom dancer was really focused on getting a partner. She wanted a guy who dance and if it took her 6 weeks Lindy classes to persuade, him, she was going to do it

Age is more a 'percieved' barrier than an actual one. Fitness is the issue. Locally we a curious situation in Lindy Hop where we have a few very fit (that includes me) 50 + dancers dacing in a pool of dancers that are in their early 20's and teens. It seems to work well.

The girls really do seem to prefer an old guy who can really shift on the dance floor to a young guy who can't, its also big motivator for the young guys to get better :-)









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elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 35042


ee


« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2009, 06:53:38 AM »

hi there albanaich - welcome to the posting part of the forum Smiley  Do please drop a post in the newcomer's area too, it gives the regulars a chance to find you quickly and say hello.

Age is more a 'percieved' barrier than an actual one. Fitness is the issue. Locally we a curious situation in Lindy Hop where we have a few very fit (that includes me) 50 + dancers dacing in a pool of dancers that are in their early 20's and teens. It seems to work well.


You are absolutel right - though I would like to see one of the younger ones agree Cheesy  I'm in the same age bracket as you but can easily keep up with women half my age.  A lot of it is experience fortunately - thats what distinguishes dancing from many sports - the less its about skill and the more its about strength and stamina, the more difficult it is to be competetive.
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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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