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Re: Anger with partner
Posted by operabob
11/24/2005  2:59:00 PM

My wife and I fought too. I felt the only thing you could possibly do that was worse was to play bridge with your partner.

Recently, our weekly coach (Sasha) came up to us in his group class and said (in heavy Russian accent):

"How refreshing it is to teach you. You are the only couple that doesn't fight."

I had to laugh (because we've had some bruisers in the past! LOL!)

Regardless, we have been very lucky to also get coaching from Pat Bovaird (former New Zealand champ, ISTD Fellow/Examiner and 6 or 7 times judge at the Worlds) when he visits every couple of months.

Every teacher has their approach. Part of Pat's approach includes two strong themes:

1. Dance the lady.


2. If anything goes wrong it's the man's fault. If the man does it right the lady has to do it right.

OK,that's a bit of a simplification but I've danced as woman with him and I have to say I have no choice what to do and I never have to do it under stress.

As a school teacher one of the best bit of insights I ever received was:

If things are going wrong examine what you're doing first.

So how does this equate to the fact my wife and I get along so well now?

1. I concentrate on what I'm doing right not what my partner is doing wrong.

As I've improved my own technique I'm less critical of my partner. As she gets less negativity from me she responds more positively while my getting it right makes it easier for her.


2. I recognize and accept that she is not as driven as I am so I concentrate on getting it right personally so that she has an easier time, finds it fun and tries harder.

Finally it's fun! LOL!

Re: Anger with partner
Posted by Boriskaf
11/25/2005  10:45:00 AM
To all who have replied, thanks so much for your wonderful insights, and advice. Being so new, I had no idea that there was so much fighting going on! It is most certainly a learning process, both in dance, and our own emotional maturity.
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by Mediterranian partner
11/27/2005  7:05:00 AM
Part of your reaction may stem from the fact that you were dancing tango...

Perhaps that's the emotions that this dance causes in you. For us (and we love tango! perhaps more than any other dance) it's a rather aggresive dance - with agression and violence barely held in check... That's what we feel like and that's what we try to show.

Of course, we never fight physically. :)
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by jerryblu
11/27/2005  5:32:00 PM
I never think of Tango as aggressive or violent. I think of it as sexually provocative, with an emotional expression similar to Bolero.

Re: Anger with partner
Posted by Mediterranian
12/4/2005  2:30:00 AM
Of course, everyone has his/her own feeling of dance moods. Even different versions of the same song may cause different interpretation by the same couple...

Basically, for me, tango emotions are defined by the original Argentine tango history. It did grow up in a rather dangerous environment - with predominantely male population, the tradition of knife fights and violence. Is it also sexual? Of course - but one does not exclude the other...
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by crimson_tear
4/18/2006  8:14:00 AM
if you are haveing difficulty with anger and your partner, frist of all the issue of your partner making a mistake, bring it up with him that you think he may be doing it incorrectly, because it "feels wrong to you" and you think your doing it correctly. also, as for anger in general, next time it happens just stop for a min and breathe deep, have a sit for a min if its that bad. recently my partner and i are haveing trouble with vinenese waltz, well hes not, i am. and i was getting very frustrated with myself, because i knew how to do the moves, i knew what i was doing wrong, but i couldnt get my body to do them correctly, i had to just stop and sit down for a min. also, are you sure his os off balance? i cant think of the word he uses, but my instructor tells my partner to sort of charge through me with large steps, if your not ready for it, or simply dont know about it, it feels very wrong and very off balance. that could be whats going on.
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by Jim
4/18/2006  9:53:00 AM
My partner sometimes (dancing socially) is like a backseat driver telling me
specific things like--lower your
rt. shoulder, take bigger steps,
don't sway so much, stay down more
on Foxtrot, smile, keep your
frame down and in place, hold your
head up, and smile. I'm also
trying to count the beat, do
floor craft, select patterns,
think about my technique.

She is a better trained dancer than me,
so I tolerate it. She is Eastern
Europeon and is used to some
very tough dance intruction.
We have been dancing together
for 5 years, so I am sort of
gotten used to it. Most of the
time she is correct and is
doing what she believes is helpful.
All of this would really irritate me,
but now it doesn't.

I took lots of lessons on Hustle
and WCS and taught her these dances. She caught on to theses dances very quickly. Now we do about 16 different dances together, so there is plenty of
room for improvement.

There is lots of give and take in
a partnership, but when you have
a female partner thats better
than you--there is more taking
on your part.
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by macha
4/18/2006  10:37:00 AM
It's normal to be upset with someone for losing contact through the body, having a heavy arm, shuffling the feet, or looking stupidly at you when they should be watching the LOD for problems.

It's also normal for the lead to be upset with the follow for having her feet perpetually right underneath his, not doing a dip correctly, or over-rotating the couple in pivot action.

It's even normal to be so frustrated that you stop, pull apart, and exclaim "Oh, for phuq's SAKE- can you JUST STAY AWAKE here? I mean DAMMIT..."

It might also be normal to give him a contemptuous shove, or make abrupt, angry movements- afterall, your anger has to come out somewhere, somehow.

However, it's NOT normal to breed a "safe environment" for "violence"- be it shoving, hissing, or snarling.

When I feel so angry that I could punch my partner in the nose, or call him an idiot, I remember what my family has done to me my entire life, and think "it's just a freakin' dance- does he really deserve it for THAT?", lose connection, put my street shoes on and quit for that session. We'll go to Subway, talk about what's wrong, and why I think he should fall into a sulphuric abyss of torture and dammnation, he'll tell me why he thinks it happened, we'll think on it, and go back to the studio and work it out.

Just like with training horses- some days, you won't be able to get through. Just put the tack up and walk away from it. Unless you get hit by a train, you will be able to come back and try again tomorrow.
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by danceinconcord
11/10/2009  1:04:00 PM
awesome post! I so totally experience this frustration...it is a relief that others too endure such!
Re: Anger with partner
Posted by The Three Wise Men
2/5/2010  11:02:00 PM
Jim . If all the things you write are thrown at you by your partner who is supposedly a more experienced dancer i would suggest that you are trying to do far more than you should be doing . Unless you are capable of doing the Basics perfectly I would take myself to a good beginners class or an intermidiate class that will teach the basic action, stance and so on correctly.

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