Our dance community is relativly small and a dance teacher and his wife hosted one dance weekly. The male teacher has been teaching about 2 years, kept his day job and had a few students and was preparing to compete with a local pro.
Recently he took on a amateur and started preparing to compete Pro Am. Within 2 months he left his wife of 25 years for this student. They announced at a recent dance that the husband and wife were separating. It was shocking to all since the couple was very involved in the dance community and all the ladies are sort of paranoid now about getting their husband stolen while dancing. Now they (teacher and ex wife, new girlfriend) are trying to be friendly and at dances both ladies are there and he continues to dance with both of them. It is very awkward for everyone and the teacher doesn't look like he is having much fun. If it was me I would relocate, disappear, or cool it for awhile. Some of us were wondering how angry this deserted wife could get seeing her ex out dancing and etc. with his new love interest. I even thought about dodging bullets from a handgun if things get heated up.
This is by far the stupidest and worst dance breakups I have ever seen. The male teacher says he had been unhappy long before--but to run off with a student and then rub his dance affair in his ex's face at local dances is a little much.
My dance teacher tells me that this is very typical of the soap opera dance world and started telling me about a previous sex harassment lawsuit that she testified in at a previous studio.
I am amazed how some dance Pros can be so unprofessional and not even think about what type of image they are creating for dancers.
I have witnessed something similar in our dance community, even though it did not involve a pro teacher. When I just started dancing, there was a married couple who had been longtime costumers of our studio and come to the Sat social regularly. Then a new girl showed up one day and she often asked the man to dance. Because she never asked any other man, it was obvious to everybody that she was interested in him more than just dancing. Basically their romance evolved while all of us were right there watching. I bet it was so painful for the wife. Eventually they separated and got divorced. Now all three of them stopped coming to the studio, so we don't know if the man and the girl are still together. Last time when we saw the wife, she looked great, losing a lot of weight, even though she was not fat before. One can only wonder what kind of damage her husband's affair did to her self-esteem. The man and the girl behaved themselves as if nothing were wrong, and it was almost embarrassing to us. (We called the girl Charlie's courtesan behind their back.) Another strange thing is, that this girl was a resident working to be a MD, and also good-looking. The man was just an average middle class middle-aged man. We still cannot figure out what she saw in him. The man was kind of shy and a quiet man. She was the one who chased him. If she had not been so persistent, their relationship would not have gone as far as it went.
This kind of thing can happen in any group of people. Marriages do break down, people do find new partners, wives (and husbands) who've been freed from unhappy marriages do sometimes look great afterward.
Frankly, what bothers me is not what these couples are doing, but the attitudes of people like the previous posters. Frankly, it's none of your business. In the first case, here are three people, apparently trying to handle a difficult situation civilly and without disrupting their lives too much. If you really cared about them, you'd be supportive, not snarky. In the second case, please spare me your sympathy for the wife. If you were really sympathetic, you wouldn't talk behind their back and make jokes about it.
In reality, people do find the sexual and marital behavior of their acquaintances entertaining and gossip is fun. But at least admit that's what you're doing and spare everyone your fake moralizing.
Get over it Ellen. Talk and gossip go with the territory, especially with us women. What's different about ballroom dancing is that it is supposed to be so civilized. Where I grew up no one would dare to flirt or attempt to take someones dance partner. We had plenty of cat fights (women) and dog fights (men). When attending a dance you can see the drama develop by watching body language and expressions. Especially with mate or partnership breakups that choose to keep their drama going by all parties attending the same dances or studio events. This is a recipe for drama and gossip.
There should be some respect in ballroom dancing with student-teacher relationships. This is true in colleges, offices, high schools, and etc. Ballroom dancing studios are behind the curve in this area, maybe not enough law suits yet. Or maybe there are lots of independent unregulated teachers out there.
In our area it's considered normal for changing partners,teachers and students getting together and so on. The dance world just has more emotion, high drama, and general lack of respect than other professions. Adults trying to be teenagers again. Sure some teachers are very professional and some are not, like any other field. There are lots of masquerading teachers too, sort of like the personal trainer profession.
A good teacher of any kind is worth their weight in gold and should be repected and not get themselves entangled in too much drama at the office.
How about you being civilized and not airing other people's dirty laundry in a super-public forum? This thread could be read by anyone! Including people who might well recognize the setting you describe. Or the people involved themselves.
Fine, if you want to be a gossip. At least you admit it. But then don't throw stones at other people's conduct of their lives. Gossiping can be extremely hurful, is unattractive in any case, and does more to poison a ballroom dance scene than a couple breaking up does.
Who knows if any of these stories are even true? No names or places are mentioned and no specific gossip. Maybe it is just a discussion of the darker underside of the dance world. Probably every studio can come up with about 20 similiar stories. Why are the Spiral Stories with Dance Beat Magazine so popular or the recent Ballroom Dancing books out that tell it like it is?
Believe me, the dance community is small and gossip seems to be the trump card in a small dance town. There's quite a difference between "exploring the darker side of the dance world" and flat calling everyone's attention to what should be a private matter, and doing so with unsubstantiated rumors. If these two Lady Gossip Queens are so disgusted with the goings-on of others, then they should confront the people involved personally rather than attacking them anonymously in an open forum. But that's just me... an outsider to the goings-on so I don't speculate.
Dancelover, you have spoken your words with true eloquence and I believe everyone should remember why we all have gotten into the dance world in the first place. Thank you for your refreshing words.
So Anon2, according to you gossip is civilized? Your social compass is most definitely skewed if indeed you do think that. The civilized, grown-up thing to do would be to NOT gossip and spread rumors behind the persons' backs. That is the type of civility I see being a part of the ballroom dancing world. I do not go to dances to relive my high school days all over again. I go to mingle with a great group of friends that, despite our own faults, all have one thing in common; we all love to dance. We do not go to these dances to hear the "he said, she said" gossip; we go to dance and socialize with wonderfully amazing friends. Those who feel that gossip comes with the territory are only drama-driven and frankly, I don't want you a part of my dance world if you feel it simply "comes with the territory".
You also mention that maybe there are enough law suits in this arena. You know, you might be on to something here. Maybe there aren't enough law suits pending for those who feel the need to slander someone's professional and personal character and integrity based on unsubstantiated rumors.
With that said, I'll see you on the dance floor, but please... leave the high-school gossip outside.
Well, I have to admit that this is quite shocking. I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out how uncomfortable these types of situations are. About the second story, I have to admit there are some girls out there (I'm not saying all, but some) who are smart and pretty that sort of have this feeling of power, and I think that girl may have been on one of those power trips. She may feel as if she can show the guy's wife that she's good enough to break their marriage. I'm not saying this is what the girl was thinking for sure, but it's just a hypothesis. I've seen these types before.
"While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance."
I think some of you are spending too much time on the sidelines talking and not enough time on the floor. I believe you will find it difficult to concentrate on other peoples' private lives if you are at these dances doing what they are designed for - to work on your own challenges. Whether it be a new step, the fear of asking someone new to dance, getting around the floor with your partner, or simply getting back out in the social world after a loss of someone or something in your own life.
I speak with experience in my own life about how dancing helped me cope with personal losses, low self esteem, difficulty in meeting people and I've seen the changes it has brought in people I am so happy to now call my new ballroom dancing friends.
I owe a lot of that to my teachers who have helped me face certain fears and didn't give up on me when I wanted to give up on myself. I see most of the teachers in our community do their best to deal with the difficult and personal things we all bring in to our lessons very well considering they are not therapists or marriage counselors by trade. As long as they do the job you are paying them for, I don't see where you can complain and I don't see how you expect them to keep their personal lives completely out when we bring so much of ours in to them. Actually,I find it refreshing every once in a while to realize they aren't perfect either. Plus,they put up with my bad jokes and I have to be the clumsiest person they've ever met!
Please keep in mind that these people you are talking about deserve to get whatever healing they can from dance just as I did and be allowed what joy they can in these hard times. As a ballroom community, we have always been supportive of our fellow dancers, and it saddens me to see two very important influences - both together and separately- have their confidences so shattered by their friends and fellow dancers. And on the internet of all terrible places to see your personal life! Let us all hope that you never have a tragedy that warrants the same for you! These things some of you are writing are hurtful to all involved and to all who are trying to give them our support. It is only your business if you have taken the time to make it so, and if it offends you so much, perhaps it would be easier to remove yourself from the situation, rather than telling us all what other people can do with their lives in order to make yours more pleasant.
I am a dancer in the community of this heartfelt situation, and I know and love BOTH this pro and his wife(they are only separated). They have shown the utmost of integrity in the face of their marital problems with a concern for being in a leadership position in our community. Both of them are loved by all, although the same cannot be said for the student. She willfully took advantage of a marriage with problems (and if you've never had problems--you must be single) If you've ever seen this pro dance with his wife--and he continues to dance more with her than ANYONE, you would know that they have a true connection that expresses itself through their dance. They dance with a beauty unsurpassed by anyone I know. It heartens all of us who continue to pray that this situation will right itself. If you would see pro and student dance, you would definetly NOT see that connection, but a woman trying awkwardly to fill the shoes of his beautiful wife. Pro and wife have tried to make everyone continue to feel the love of dance, and tried to take the spotlight off of their personal problems. It is our hope that they will find their love again. It is a shame that people pry where the shouldn't and find pleasure in gossipping at the pain of others. Pro and wife need our love,not gossip! i also hope the person who aired this situation has to one day face the same public thing, I assure you that they couldn't handle it with the same grace as this couple. For said person, if you're worried about your husband, you'd better take a closer look at YOUR marriage and not theirs. To pro and wife, we love and support you, please find your way back to each other.
Ellen, I wonder if you would view dancing or dance teachers in the same light if a professional ran off with your significant other after being in a 25 year relationship. When it's happening right before your eyes, of course it makes one think if it would/could happen to them. It's human nature.
Usually in the work environment, dating co-workers, and in this case, your students, is prohibited. And some are let go if found out. This particular professional that left his wife for a student, has lost his credibility, in my opinion. The other men students at the studio are probably wondering if they can trust him with their wive/girlfriend when they are on a private lesson now.
For the sake of his wife, this teacher should relocate. It wouldn't be as big a deal had he started an affair outside the dance world. No one would personally know the mistress then. His wife, who is also a dance lover, has the right to continue dancing at that studio. They all have the right, but the guilty parties would be doing everyone a favor if they relocated, that's if they have any decency left in them. For all 3 to continue dancing in the same place and with each other, as if nothing has changed is ludicrous. This is not going to last; something will eventually give. This again is human nature.
Ellen, I wonder why you are overly sensitive to this discussion that you call 'gossip'. I wonder if you yourself have been a victim of gossip or slander in a similar situation such as this. It seems you sympathize more with the cheating couple than with the innocent wife...hmm. Why are you not shocked at what this so-called professional did/is doing?
These people talking here seem concerned about our dance community, and rightly so. We expect our professionals to behave in a respectful manner when with the opposite sex. We look up to them, whether they want us to or not. Dancing is one of the most intimate things that two people can do who are not married to each other. Extra precautionary measures should be taken.
I agree with the post above. I mean, what were the husband and the new girl thinking? That they could just do this without anyone noticing and carry on as usual? I don't want to judge or anything, but I must say I definitely feel for the ex-wife. It's not a pleasant situation to be in already, and by not relocating you're putting yourself in a more akward situation.
And yes, extra measures should be taken. If you are easily seduced by someone else and will break up with your wife to be with him/her, then maybe (just maybe) being a dance instructor is not for you.
Everyone continues to believe that it's all the student dancer's fault for the break-up; that she manipulated said pro into leaving his wife. Did the thought ever cross your mind (and don't you think it's possible - and most likely) that the husband and wife were having problems long before the student came into the picture. Separations don't just happen overnight, and the causes are usually far deeper reaching than any outsider could/would know without being one of the two parties involved.
By the way... I'm not saying I agree with what happened. I'm just saying that IF the ALLEGED incident took place, it is not because the pro is "easily seduced" or because the student is/was on a power trip. I'm saying that there likely was something going on between the married couple that no one else knows about. I'm not placing blame on anyone; I'm simply saying that NO ONE in this forum knows the whole story, only the parties directly involved, and until THEY decide to shed further light on the subject, everyone else should butt out, stop gossiping/speculating and be supportive on the married couple.
Oh, and BornToDance... I don't think or wonder of a situation as this could/would happen to me. I'm secure in my relationship with my significant other. It may be human nature to some people to worry about things like that; however that energy should be getting invested into your relationship and not wasted on suspicion.
No, I've never been the victim of gossip, but there are some people like you in my dance community, who spend more time sitting on the sidelines making nasty comments about other people than they do dancing. Trust me, they (and you?) are a less attractive sight and more of a detriment to the dance community than the people they delight in talking about.
Anyone who thinks a spouse or SO can be "stolen" by someone else has been watching too many soap operas. No one leaves a relationship that they are happy in and that works well. So if seeing another relationship break up makes you suspect your husband will also leave you, I'd suggest some counseling or one of those marriage exploration weekends many churches run.
I won't be posting again in this thread. It's high time this thread got off the first page and sank out of sight (where it belonged in the first place).