Dance Partnership is Like a Marriage

As I thought about this month?s article, I reflected on a calligraphy print picture I have that says, "A Successful Marriage Is The Union Between Two Great Forgivers." Basically this says it all for those of us that are married; but I wanted to tie this i

Date added to ADN: Wednesday, Sep 24 2014
Originally Published: Friday, Jun 01 2012
By Susan Silva


As I thought about this month's article, I reflected on a calligraphy print picture I have that says, "A Successful Marriage Is The Union Between Two Great Forgivers." Basically this says it all for those of us that are married; but I wanted to tie this in with Dance Partnerships. Those of you that have been in the Ballroom Industry as competitors whether pro-am and especially professional partnerships; it becomes like a marriage. Here are two people, usually from different walks of life that spend most of the hours of the day practicing and competiting together. If the two people are married, then they are together almost twenty-four hours of the day.

As a former competitor myself who also was married to my dance partner I know what I am talking about. Each partner comes from different family backgrounds and up bringing which will influence their behavior and life. Some partners also have different forms of dance training, which will affect their partnerships also. Habits of each person will either make or break the partnership. Here are some examples of opposite behavior and life styles. One partner is always on time or early; the other partner is always late. One partner is forgetful and the other partner remembers everything (maybe too much)! One partner is analytical and very technical while the other partner is creative and artistic. One partner is emotional and the other partner is unemotional. One partner is stingy and the other partner spends too much money. One partner lives and thinks only for today while the other one thinks and worries about tomorrow. One partner eats vegetarian while the other eats meat. One partner is always on a diet while the other one can eat anything and never gain weight. One partner needs a lot of sleep and the other does not need much sleep at all. One partner has a lot of family and friends while the other partner has very little family and friends. One partner has fear of flying and the other one loves flying. I could go on and on, perhaps you are reading this and relating it to your own situation whether it is your dance partner, your marriage partner, or significant other.

I want to say a little about being a professional dancer and being married to your dance partner also. This is probably the hardest situation to make both the dance partnership and marriage work. I know there are a number of married partnerships that have stood the test of time and God Bless them; but for those of us that have not stood the test of time the question is why not? In my opinion, there was not enough commitment, forgiveness, and communication on the part of both partners; and also probably a lot of excess stress from varied outside situations.

Whether the dance partners are married or not, an important factor is also to maintain a balanced life. Watch out that Ballroom Dancing does not engulf your entire life; this is definitely hard to do when one is a competitor. There needs to be some type of outlet or hobby that each partner has to relieve the daily routine and stress of life. One key is to enjoy your life, finding ways to have fun and laugh is most important. Today life can be stressful enough, so do not make rehearsals, lessons or dance competitions stressful. No matter the outcome of your standings enjoy what you do, and remember there will be another competition around the corner.

What I have come to believe and understand in order to make any dance partnership work is that one must be able to compromise, and to communicate with each other. Most important in life in general is to "Choose To Forgive." Perhaps you say that is impossible, but nothing is impossible if you are willing to do it. I have lived this first hand and have seen its results. After over twenty years of not being in touch with my dance partner David who also was my former husband, today we are the closest of friends. We are able to talk and help each other when necessary. Sometimes life just moves us in a different direction than we think; yet forgiveness is also forgetting the past. So I leave you with this thought, while you fill in the blank, "A Successful __________ Is The Union Between Two Great Forgivers."


Susan Silva is an NDCA National Championship Certified Adjudicator in all styles of Ballroom Dance plus the Performing Arts. Former Theatrical, Exhibition, and American Style Champion. Broadway, Television, and Film Performer, toured with the Beatles in the mid 60's, Author of a Theatrical Ballroom Syllabus, Choreographer & Lecturer. Host of the Television & Radio Broadcast Show: "Dancing With God." Available for judging, lectures, choreography, and coaching. Susan is also a Personal Dance Life Coach, certified and ordained to council people in all areas of life.

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Susan Silva
West Palm Beach, FL 33404

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