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The Perfect Dance Partnership

"The Perfect Dance Partnership" is there such a thing? In reality this does not exist; but it can be worked on and created. In this article my hope is to be able to enhance and strengthen your Ballroom Dance Partnerships, whether professional or pro-am.


Date added to ADN: Wednesday, Apr 13 2016
Originally Published: Wednesday, Apr 13 2016
By Susan Silva




"The Perfect Dance Partnership" is there such a thing? In reality this does not exist; but it can be worked on and created. In this article my hope is to be able to enhance and strengthen your Ballroom Dance Partnerships, whether professional or pro-am. So you might ask how can I to give this kind of advice? The answer is from my own mistakes and experience as a former professional Ballroom competitor, teacher, and coach to many couples through the years. The Ballroom Dance Industry is fast paced, and there is a constant striving to succeed or be better at our art form. While this is most important, we can frequently lose our own peace while in this process. The result of this can cause friction between our dance partners, especially since no two people are ever alike in their personalities.

Being honest, I have always had a hard time seeking peace because I am too much of a perfectionist. During my competitive Ballroom days, I concentrated far too long on what was wrong with our dancing, my partner, and also myself. This of itself does not produce peace, but frustration. Focusing on faults actually only increases them. It is important to see the mistakes when we practice or compete, but belaboring them is not the answer. If you are ready to change some of your patterns of behavior to improve your partnership relationship, the following are a few steps you can take.

1. Don't have unrealistic expectations of yourself. We all have weaknesses, and this is alright. Do not beat yourself up if you are not able to perfect certain dance techniques, or win every event. No one is able to be strong in every area, and you will be constantly frustrated if you are trying to do something that you cannot do. This will affect how you also treat your dance partner. If you are demanding and never satisfied with yourself you will be the same way with your partner. How we treat ourselves is often how we treat others. Especially you need to forgive yourself when you feel you have not performed your best.

2. Most partnerships are usually opposite personality types. One is usually aggressive and the other more passive. Also, the male and female brains are completely different. There is a book out called: "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." If we would understand more of how God made us, we would get along a lot better. Trying to change your partner to be more like you will never work, and only causes more frustration for both of you. Use each other's strengths in your partnership; for instance if one is a better choreographer let them do most of the choreography. If the other is better at the look of the partnership, like costumes, hair, etc. they should do this. The same is true with handling finances, travel arrangements, booking shows/competitions, etc.

3. Be an encourager, not a discourager. Criticism is good but not constantly. Compliments will help your partnership and your performance. The spirit of a person can be broken and even destroyed by constant mentioning of faults. Find something good to say to your partner daily, and see the changes. My former dance partner David, was a fabulous choreographer and teacher, I wish I had told him that more when we were competitors, so I say it now.

4. Realize that from time to time you will have to forgive your partner; you can plan to forgive ahead of time instead of expecting perfection and always being disappointed when you don't get it. Remember no one is perfect, so spending your life trying to make the impossible possible never works. People all have faults and there is no way around it. No matter who your dance partner is there will be times when they will disappoint you, so plan on forgiving frequently.

5. When the pressure is on, and you wind up fighting a lot in rehearsals, it is time to take a break. Either do some other routine, or stop for the day. Also, if you are married and dancing together do not bring the issue home, it will only make matters worse, and cause you an ulcer.

6. Find ways to still have fun in your rehearsals, competitions, and performances. Remember you chose to do Ballroom Dancing because you enjoyed it. If you have lost this, take inventory of what you are doing and perhaps you need to change some things or even cut some things out of your schedule.

In order to enjoy your Ballroom Dance Partnership make a decision to pursue peace in your relationship. You actually have to pursue peace, it will not just happen. Start seeing the positive in your partnership and not the negative. For me this was always a struggle, and I wish I had this advice years ago. It is like a glass filled with water half way; you either see it Half Full or Half Empty. It is your choice how you see it. A wonderful scripture out of the Psalms is: "Seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it." So Create Your Perfect Dance Partnership!

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. 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.


About the Author:

Susan Silva is an NDCA National Championship Certified Adjudicator in all styles of Ballroom Dance plus the Performing Arts....

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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Susan Silva
West Palm Beach, FL 33404

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