Re: Dancing with a Spouse Posted by olderpartner 3/16/2012 11:14:00 AM
I would not characterize dancing with my wife as a major problem, however, we do not compete together. It is our standing joke at the studio that we prefer to remain married rather than competitive partners.
She does compete a little in Pro-Am events while I compete with another student in International Amateur events as well as some Pro-Am with my instructor. We agree that I am the better dancer but that seems to be OK with her so long as we dance socially and we do, three or four times a week. However, I take considerably more instruction with my amateur partner, with my instructor (and Pro partner) and I provide practice partnership for several other ladies at the studio.
When we dance socially there are definitely some "don'ts" and for us, criticism or correction is a big don't. Only rarely do I offer criticism of her dancing, but I praise as much as I can. Often, when she does something "wrong" it is my fault in that I lead poorly or indecisively. As I become stronger because of my other partners and more instruction I provide a better social partner for my wife. I study both my steps and the ladies' steps and technique with the goal of being unaffected by any deficiencies my partner may have. As my skill grows I find I can dance comfortably with most ladies at any skill level. The primary skill my wife addresses is the ability to follow and she does so very well.
Leading and following is anything but subconscious. These are two of the most difficult skills to master. Confidence (or lack of confidence) in self or a partner may be a subconscious factor in a successful partnership. I know that I am not as strong as her Pro partner (instructor) and there are times when my wife may not feel as strong or precise a lead from me but by following what she feels it generally looks good and by not back leading I feel my mistakes.
Keep dancing with your wife and just have fun doing so.