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Author Topic: When the partnership 'effort' is not even  (Read 3284 times)
ZPomeroy
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Victoria, Australia


« on: November 25, 2009, 01:30:00 AM »

What do you do when you effort to practising in technical aspects and general imporvement is far greater than that of your partners?

Whenever my partner and i practise (which always takes a bit of effort to organise Sad ) it seems that all we achieve is to run through our routines a few times and solidify bad habbits, its an irritating thing to go through as i can feel what is going wrong and it's the same problems that we go through in our private lessons. Lst week i got sick of putting up with it and decided that i would start taking control of our practises by suggesting corrections and stylings to our dances to try and change the habitual repeatitiveness of the problems, this resulted in a strange reaction where her usual happyself went out the window and something replaced it, something that certantly did not look happy to be taking advice from the likes of me. So, what to do? either way it seems we're not happy, i don't want to be just running through the routines, but don't want to be wasting my time by trying to explain aspects that need improvement for the partnership to someone who seems firstly not to be taking in the information and secondly not wanting to improve our dancing.

I'm sure some of you have been through this before so any of your experiences/advice would be great Smiley

Zac
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Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
QPO
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 02:59:41 AM »

well that is a dilemma. I think you can only go for a coffee and talk about it away from the studio....tell her how you are feeling and what your goals an aspirations are....ask her what hers are? if they are the same then you can have a frank discussion. If they don't match well then you may need to look at a a new one if things cant change.  Better to do it sooner rather than later where you have put more investment of time into improving it.

Must be very difficult. good luck
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2009, 05:47:36 AM »

Ouch.  It sounds as if you have hit, as Q says above, a goal mis-match.  sounds like you tried the 'lets push it' cure - and found out the hard way that that is not the solution.  I also think Q has exactly the right approach.  Talk to her and tell her where you want to go then, more important listen to her and find out what she is after.  She may have the same goal after all but a different way to get there.  However, make sure that at the same time you tell her what you feel GOOD about in the dance partnership else she could leave the meeting thinking that you are on the verge of dumping her (which from the sounds of it you really do not want to do).

Don't make any decisions at that first meeting though - try only to get your long term goals out on the table.  You then need to have time to mull it over to ensure that sure you do not make bad choices.  Pushing the differences will obviously bring up the possibility that you should split - and that will happen a lot easier if you are focusing on your differences than if you have time to think also about what you are likely to loose.  Thus, arrange to revisit the issue a week later or so.  At that meeting it wil be very obvious how much effort you both want to put into keeping the dance partnership going.

You do, of course, run the danger of loosing your partner through this so be sure its a route you want to pursue ...
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Some guy
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 12:02:52 PM »

QPO and Elise said it.  Talk to her. 
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Some guy
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 12:14:19 PM »

I had a talk with my first partner.  She was really good, but wasn't giving me a chance to grow.  She would quite literally just show up for the competition, no practices, no lessons.  It was clear that we were on different pathways.  So I broke it off.  She went through several other partners and never once improved.  She quit a few years afterwards.  

With my next partner, I was going through the exact same thing you're going through.  I used to walk away from practice saying to myself, "well, I just got REALLY good at things I DON'T want to be doing!".  The phrase that helped me explain to her what I wanted was, "practice does NOT make perfect.  It only creates a pattern".  So all your bad habits and anything that feels bad is only going to solidify the more you practice it.  The chances of long term injuries are also far greater.  Rote run throughs will not improve your placing as a couple.  Rote run throughs of your routines will only solidify your placing as a couple at where you're currently at.  Take it from somebody that thought that running through your routines as many times as possible constitued "practice".  I "practiced" 10 to 12 hrs a week and never got anywhere for 6-years.  Well, can't really say that: I got bunions, knee problems, and permanent ankle injuries.  My partner got permanent back problems, chronic neck injuries that require visits to the chiropractor, really bad bunions, and permanent knee injuries.  Then I watched everyone pass me by in the placings as if I were a benchmark.  So I just "practiced" more, and still saw no change.  If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always gotten.  Wasn't it Einstein that said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result each time?  So it's IMPERATIVE to do something different, work on something different, and never just run through what you're doing over and over again unless it's right and you're sure that it's something you want in you as second nature.  

I hope this helps.  It's a tough place you're at.  QPO and Elise said it best.  Make sure you follow their advice about making it clear to her that you don't want to break off the partnership.  You just want to see some changes.  Afterall, it's all about compromise.  If she doesn't want to compromise, well, then you need to make some drastic changes to the situation you're in to where you're getting what you want out of it.  That may mean finding another partner.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 12:20:38 PM by Some guy » Logged
Some guy
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 12:30:00 PM »

I don't know if it'll help you, but I have crossed off the word "practice" from my dictionary.  It had too many negative connotations for me.  I only use the work "test-run" now. Just like all test-runs, if it doesn't feel good, we stop, make the necessary tweaks, and test-run it again until it feels just right.  Then when you enjoy it, just like really nice car you possibly couldn't afford to buy, you test-drive it for as long as you can and enjoy it.  Then pick another topic and have a test-run of that.  
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 12:31:55 PM by Some guy » Logged
samina
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 01:21:18 PM »

mebbe ask your coach for a practice structure customized for what you're working on? that way it comes from someone not "you", an objective 3rd party. you could ask how to go about working on issues, drills, and other things together. use his or her expertise to help navigate these waters...
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 01:29:39 PM »

I think you are right Zac. I am sure many people have tried the same. I also went through this with my first partner but not until later in the partnership. In Europe it is normally the dancer’s parent/s that talk to the partner and partner’s parent/s. Before the partnership even starts the parents of each partner sit down with the couple to talk about goals and dreams. Once everybody is clear on the path/plan then the partnership is then agreed upon. Then when or if problems happen then the team sits down again and talks about it.

I am not sure if your partnership has that kind of relationship with your teachers/coaches but it might be an idea to get them to help with the communication.

I have over the years of coaching sat down with many couples to talk about their goals and plans for their dancing. Many couples have told me that having the coach there helps them not get into a blaming game. You basically need to find out, whether you are on a parallel path or if your paths have just moved in different directions. If you do talk to her yourself then stay none emotional, state facts and stay away from blaming anybody.

I am sure you will find good a way to get your point across. All the best!!!!

DSV
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catsmeow
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 10:00:48 PM »

Dear Zac: Please post the other half of the argument. What's her take on your problems?
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 07:30:53 AM »

Dear Zac: Please post the other half of the argument. What's her take on your problems?

I second that!
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 07:52:05 AM »

Dear Zac: Please post the other half of the argument. What's her take on your problems?

I second that!

Actually if you read above I think you 5th or 6th that Tongue
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ZPomeroy
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Victoria, Australia


« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 04:02:16 PM »

Thanks for all your advice guys, i really appreciate it! Elise is right, i defintely do not want to lose this oartnership, which i'm aaffraid that if i do go down this path i think it might occur, our coches are starting to get a bit irratated as they have been repeating themselves for the last 2 months due to this issue, so they know that either we're not practising properlly or not at all. So i might try first speaking with them and seeing what they suggest, maybe they can even produce a practise structure as Samina suggested. To those that have been saying post the other half of the argument, i don't think there is one, she seems to think that practising is runnung through routines and i have tried to change thaat by giving ideas on how we can improve technically and stylistically but there has been no arguments, it just feels as though her effort towards improving is not that great...

Zac
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cornutt
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 09:54:41 PM »

Could it be a situation where what the two of you need from practicing is different?  My DW and I have that problem.  To perfect something, I need a lot of reps to develop muscle memory.  She does not; she can run through something once or twice and she's got it.  She wants to be challenged with new material in practice, and she finds the kind of repetitious practice that I need to be tedious and boring.  It's a situation that we've never fully resolved, but one thing that I've found that works is to take practice in small bites.  For example, at some point during an evening at home, we might spontaneously spend 20 minutes working out one particular element.  Admittedly, this doesn't work well if you don't cohabit with your partner.  Another thing that helps me, to an extent, is to do a lot of social dancing.  I say "to an extent" because I can only lead steps that I already know well, unless I get a dance with an experienced partner, but it's still a lot better than nothing.  And sometimes doing something with a partner that didn't spend an hour in a lesson trying to do it with me last week helps me resolve the "is it her / is it me" question. 
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elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 02:58:02 AM »

Could it be a situation where what the two of you need from practicing is different?  My DW and I have that problem.  To perfect something, I need a lot of reps to develop muscle memory.  She does not; she can run through something once or twice and she's got it.  She wants to be challenged with new material in practice, and she finds the kind of repetitious practice that I need to be tedious and boring.  It's a situation that we've never fully resolved, but one thing that I've found that works is to take practice in small bites.  For example, at some point during an evening at home, we might spontaneously spend 20 minutes working out one particular element.  Admittedly, this doesn't work well if you don't cohabit with your partner.  Another thing that helps me, to an extent, is to do a lot of social dancing.  I say "to an extent" because I can only lead steps that I already know well, unless I get a dance with an experienced partner, but it's still a lot better than nothing.  And sometimes doing something with a partner that didn't spend an hour in a lesson trying to do it with me last week helps me resolve the "is it her / is it me" question.  

Good point C - we do learn at different rates.  But I think Z is frustrated because they are technical issues that they both need to improve.  

I think all partnerships have that particular problem - sometimes its an issue of what is most important.  However, at others you may hit on something that one person is scared of or does not feel is important.  In ours we tended to work a lot on ballance, movement and routine but curiously avoid discussing shaping and frame.  The latter are both sensitive and also underrated issues.  Recently its been better because our coach started to emphasize the point that they are holding us back.  So the coach approach (nice alit) worked well for us on this - eventually, it took I'd say over a year to resolve.  

Z: it came up a few times above but you did not mention the issue to what extend you have common goals.  I wondered why...
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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...
ZPomeroy
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Victoria, Australia


« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2009, 05:12:39 AM »

Mainly because i do not specifically know what her goals are, and the fact that sometimes i feel as though her mother has pushed into competing Sad

SIGH!

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