Forum: Ballet / Pas De Deux

my class hates partnering!
By Danceman73
On Thu Aug 16, 2007 03:36 PM

I need some advice about my ballet class. Here's the scoop, I am right now the only guy in my class. With that in mind, my teacher has me do partnering with my other class mates. Now I am 33 years old, married with a 2 year old girl and I started dancing again just last November. The girls in my class range from 18 years old to about 20 which makes me the old timer in the class. This was the only adult class I could find close to where I live. After we do bar we do floor and then go to partnering. But it seems to when the word "partnering" comes up, the girls in my class get this uncomfortable look in their faces like they where going to be executed in Texas. I don't know why they act like this, I am a pretty nice guy who showers and wears deoderant every day. I don't know why they would be uncomfortable around me. Im not that type of person, in fact, I am like the shyest man in the world. So what do you guys think I should do? I dont want to quit because I love dancing too much. I really need your advice.

Ron

10 Replies to my class hates partnering!

re: my class hates partnering!
By maggiemay
On Thu Aug 16, 2007 04:21 PM
Well it seems like they are just kind of nervous about dancing with a man who is 13 years older than them, but i am sure that if you give them time to realize that you a perfectly nice guy, they will warm up to the idea of dancing with you. =] Good luck.
re: my class hates partnering!
By cybdansermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 16, 2007 07:09 PM
I don't know what to say except, "what's their problem?!" There are girls everywhere who want more than anything to do pas de deux. All I can think of is to make sure you communicate. If something doesn't feel right to them, they should tell you so that you can both work it out. And do not quit!!
re: my class hates partnering!
By pointeprincess5member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 16, 2007 08:44 PM
i agree with cybdanser. they are so lucky to be able to do partnering. they probably just dont realize how lucky they actually are. i have never had a partnering class bafore. i would just tell them that they shouldnt be acting the way that they do. you're not gonna bite!!!!!
re: my class hates partnering!
By BalletdogPremium member
On Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:16 PM
Edited by Balletdog (120852) on 2007-08-19 23:58:02
I think you need to know specifically what's happening. I strongly recommend asking your teacher to try and identify if there's a hesitation about the ladies partnering with you - and if so, what is the hesitation. I think he/she should ask the students in private.

Or if the teacher can't find out what's happening, you could...and this would take a lot of courage...privately ask one or two of the ladies yourself. Ask her to be honest and up front with you, and ask what is the hesitation about the ladies partnering with you. You could ask "Is it fear of getting injured while partnering, is it fear of themselves not doing well at partnering, is it the age difference, does my breath need improvement (it happens)?"...Like I say, this would take a lot of courage, and you need to be ready for any answer...it's hard to say what's in peoples' minds until you actually find out...But in my opinion, you asking is only a last resort - the teacher should be the one to privately find out what the problem is.

If an issue is indeed identified, you could ask the teacher to work it out. The teacher should take responsibility for setting up the partnering section of class, in a way that the students are comfortable doing it. (If the problem is that the teacher is not really qualified to teach pas de deux - and the female students would sense if this the case, because they don't want to get injured, etc. - then there's probably nothing that can be done about it short of getting a qualified pas teacher. I've seen several situations where a well qualified female ballet teacher tried teaching pas de deux, and it flopped. Whoever teaches pas de deux has - absolutely has to know the male role well, and even a really good female ballet teacher can't know the intricacies of the male partnering role unless she's made an extensive study of it.)

Whatever the situation is, I hope it can be worked out.

Balletdog/Rick
re: my class hates partnering!
By Danceman73
On Tue Aug 21, 2007 08:23 AM
I think I know what the problem is for one girl in my class. She is afraid she may have a weight problem and does not want to be lifted because she is afriad I may think she is too fat. She is by far not even close to being fat. Not only do I dance but I am a gymnastics coach. Thats what I do for a living. I have lots of training in spoting and I do lots of lifting in my job. I am pretty strong so I don't think these girls have anything to worry about when it comes to injuries. To be honest, I just think these girls are a bit nervous and I can understand that. In fact I think I will just have to tell them that they have nothing to worry about. I'm hoping one day I can find someone who will partner with me for a long time. I think if you have long time partner, you can accomplish many things together. Who can agree with me?

Ron
re: my class hates partnering!
By BalletdogPremium member
On Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:16 PM
I think if you have long time partner, you can accomplish many things together. Who can agree with me?
Quote above^by Danceman73.

I agree! I've had three partners in my pas de deux "career" who were regular (weekly) and long term (over two years), and indeed we accomplished many things together. My experience: when two partners work really well together, and are in good attunement with each other in the partnering role, you feel the freedom to try all kinds of choreography and pas de deux steps...and you laugh and have fun all the way. It's wonderful!

Danceman, if indeed it's that the ladies are simply afraid because of their unfamiliarity with partnering, being lifted, etc...well...I've seen that many times. Your understanding and graciousness is a gift to them, and perhaps as you say, time and growing familiarity may solve the whole thing.

Rick
re: my class hates partnering!
By dnnydkns
On Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:03 AM
How about giving honest complimentary comments whenever they have been earned. Let the partner know whenever they are doing well, or that you are enjoying some aspect that is going well for you. They must be honest remarks or your partner will see through them. And make sure that all the girls feel equally appreciated.

It's been almost a month since your wrote... how about an update?
re: my class hates partnering!
By THeBaLLeRiNa
On Wed Sep 26, 2007 03:14 AM
It has been a month and ten days since he wrote actually. I hope he's reading the replies. :) Anyway...

in my case, (I'm a girl :) ) LOL I sometimes hesitate being partnered because I'm not comfortable with the guy either because he's older - or even better than me! :) Really. :) I'm afraid to be embarrassed. Maybe that's the case. I dunno. But at least you have an idea of the different things the girls might be thinking. :)

With the older thing, I guess all the guy has to do is be nice. :) And not scary. LOL :)
re: my class hates partnering!
By Danceman73
On Wed Sep 26, 2007 02:51 PM
Hey you guys, just letting you know that I have decided not to participate in partnering in my class. I have discussed it with our instructor so partnering will not be an issue. Instead I am trying to find someone who would be interested in partnering to take a class I am in that is strictly a partnering class. Right now, its just me in the class because the studio I go to does a horrible job in advertising. So I am partnering with my instructor who is the same age as me. Oh well, I'm not quitting ballet but I am looking for other studios to dance at that offer classes in pas. Wish me luck and thanks for the support. I will continue to keep you updated.

Ron
re: my class hates partnering!
By pointeprincess5member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Sep 26, 2007 05:20 PM
wanna come to my studio!?!?!?!?! we need guys! haha. JK.

i would love to have a partnering class so bad. i just turned 15 and i really want to get a chance to partner before i get to my junior and senior years of HS when all the homework gets piled on.

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