Last night during our dance lesson - tango, my partner appeared to be falling forward onto me...he was off balance, and extremely dramatic. This is very typical behaviour. He is a much more accomplished dancer than I so in the past tended to blame all of his issues on me. It turned out the issue was entirely his, however, my issue is that I PUSHED him away from far too aggressively. My anger both surprised and scared me. Has anyone ever had such issues, and what did you do with it?
Don't know what happened in this situation, but off balance in tango is often a result of either the lady letting her weight move back to her heel (it should be forward in the foot until the step off the foot is nearly complete) or of the man stepping directly at the lady, rather than into the diagonal CBMP or side lead positions required for tango movement.
As for the anger, have you been frustrated by something like this for some time now, and it all came out at once? You need to work together, and most likely with the coach, to solve the things that are making each of you uncomfortable - can't constantly nag partner, but can't hold concerns in either.
My husband and I have fought over dancing. Because it is my passion, when it is good, it is very, very, good and when it is bad it is horrid. Our emotions come into play because dancing expresses emotion. We have calmed down considerably through the years and now realize that sometimes dancing is more fun than other times. We all have bad days and sometimes we expect more than is reasonably possible. Most dance partners have disagreements so try to keep a sense of humor. We have learned to back off from each other if we're feeling hateful. Ladies can close their eyes and just try to follow. Gotta go
Boriskaf.I think of a dancing partnership as two people acting a part, just like the leading man and leading lady making a film. They may not know each at all, but in the film act as if they have known each other all there lives. Each one learn their lines, and they have a director. Your director is your teacher. If you and your partner learn your lines well you may make a great film.
It has some what lifted my spirits to read of this topic. You see my partner left me for the love of dancing and naturally I am very saddened n upset (to say the least) it made me feel a bit better to think maybe he and his (new) dance partner may have some difficulties from time-to-time and that it is not going to be all roses! I am angry for a different reason!
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.
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.
Jerryblu, 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think he is referring to many people seem to be focused on being in conflict and look for excuses to fight/put the other person down. As oppossed to occasionally getting upset with each other and having an occasional spat. It sounds like your focus is on working together in a positive manner and like all of us, you occasionally lose that positive focus.
I too dane with my husband, and sure it is common to become fustrated and shift blame. When we get into this situation (often!) we assess if we can fix it on our own. More times then not we choose to put it down and switch our practice to another dance. We then bring up our issues to our instructor and let him/her help us to make the corrections.
We will walk out of the door together after the practice sesssion is over, and therefore finding a way to respect each other during our sessions is high on our list.
My wife's anger with me usually came about from my too forcible leading. A lot of men don't realize how light, almost imperceptible, a lead has to be for a woman to follow along. And if a lead is too light, and the woman doesn't respond, at least she will stay balanced. Unfortunately it takes years for men to comprehend it