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3 Things to remember when you disagree with your dance partner

Elena Anashina Photography

Our dance partners may drive us up the wall sometimes. What are the important things to remember when we disagree?

We love Ballroom and Latin dancing because we can do it with another person. At the same time, we may get very frustrated because we are doing it with another person. Learning how to talk to your partner is probably one of the most important parts of your dance journey.

There are 3 main things I always remember when my partner and I have different points of view on something.

1. Don't make it personal

You are dancing with your partner because at some point you saw in them great potential, talent and skills which your previous partners maybe didn't have. As dancers we are very emotional and in the heat of conveying our ideas "the gloves may come off". This is when the insults may start.

For example, instead of telling your partner "you can't lead/follow", just say "I can't do my steps when your lead isn't there. Can we try and work on it?".

When feelings are hurt, nothing will be resolved.

2. Noone is a winner or a loser

In dancing we try our best to bring all the knowledge we have to make it better. When we talk to our partners sometimes we may get distracted from finding a solution by trying to prove who's right. I'm sure you agree that hearing "I was right. I told you so" has never made others happy.

To start, find something in the problem which you can actually agree on and then try to find a happy medium. Maybe your partner was dancing different timing to yours but do you really think they did it just to annoy you? Do you think saying "I think our timings are different, let's find the one which suits us best". This will definitely avoid toddler-like head butting.

Remember, the goal is not to upset each other, but to resolve an issue.

3. "According to yes" game

In dancing we have a leader and a follower. However, being the former doesn't give you an automatic superiority over your partner. Yet, it may sometimes come across that way when you look at some couples.

There is a very interesting exercise to try when you have chance. It will make use your ears instead of your mouth. Basically, agree with your partner that for 30 minutes of practice, you will say "yes" to everything they ask you to do (in dancing), whether you agree with it or not. This means you need to give your best to do what you're asked. Just like you would do when you have a lesson with your teacher (you wouldn't dare to argue then).

Elena Anashina Photography

Even though your partner may drive your crazy sometimes, remember that the best partnerships are those which go through good and bad together. If you can remember your partners strengths during those tough moments, your connection and togetherness will blossom.



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