Dance partnerships come in many varieties. Whether it's American Smooth, or International Latin, professional, amateur, married, plutonic, or somewhere in between:
There is one common thread: Disagreement.
When you care, when you're passionate, when you're sad, mad, or deflated... it's easy, it's human, and it's unavoidable.
Or is it?
7 Things Your Dance Partner Needs to Hear You Say
Whether you are an up and coming professional ballroom partnership, or an amateur dance couple learning how to navigate as a single unit; We can all improve how we work together. Enjoy.
1. "Would you like to dance?"
Use it in place of: "Come on, let's go."
Why: When you dance together as often as you do, it's easy to forget something as basic as an invitation. But, just as in dancing - great basics can go a long way.
2. "Here's a coffee."
Use it in place of: "Where's my coffee?"
Why: Wow, where do I begin? You can wait for your uncaffeinated partner to show up and complain, or beat them to the punch with this message (straight from Heaven).
3. "What can I do to improve this?"
Use it in place of: "You aren't even looking at me or listening to the music."
Why: Personal accountability is so much harder than blaming others. Whether you want to be a better human, or better dance partner, we recommend "3 Business Books Every Ballroom Dancer Must Read."
4. "No matter what, we are doing this together"
Use it in place of: "At least I know I'll look good when we are out there."
Why: You should say this before you step onto any dance competition floor, dance event, or moment when you're outside your comfort zone. A great partner never abandons their team.
5. "I'm sorry"
Use it in place of: "It's not my fault."
Why: Ok, listen Han Solo, in the context of Star Wars, the scruffy looking renegade only says "it's not my fault" because his character needs to learn how to depend on a team. So when times get tough, don't get cute, sarcastic or Han Solo like. When you own up to it, your partnership lasts and your dancing improves. No one likes watching a couple dance when they haven't forgiven each other for something.
6. "Let's set up our calendar"
Use it in place of: "I'll call you when I feel like practicing"
Why: Playing things by ear is like playing checkers with chess pieces. If you want to improve things, get strategic with your competition calendar and practice schedule. For more on this, we recommend: "Master Your Dance Competition Calendar" - even if you're not a competitive dancer, a strategy will always beat out a non-strategy.
7. "Thank You"
Use it in place of: (Silence)....
Why: Take a moment and thank this person for agreeing to dance with you. For the fun times you have had learning together. For the fact that they could have, quite literally, dropped you at any moment... and didn't.
Having a partnership, in any sense of the word, takes work. Yet, just like work, there are ways to do it right, or avoid it altogether. Learning to dance with a partner can be some of the most rewarding things you've done, but it presents its challenges. Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert dancing to be a great partner.
In fact, you don't even need to be an expert human.
Making mistakes is part of life, and having those make you a better dancer and person is why this hobby is so special. Just like great dancing, it all comes down to the recovery.