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Having A Dance Partner


There are important things to consider when embarking on a journey to having a dance partner. Finding the right dance partner is the obvious first step, and you should always consider, age, grade of dancing, size and shape of the partner and finally a sensible matching of aspirations.  It is also quite normal to have all girl or all lady partnerships in Ballroom and Latin American dancing.

The ideal person that will have details of other similar people to yourself looking for partners will of course be one of the Chelmsford Dance Centre teachers. Please mention to them that you are looking for a partner and they will bring it up at the weekly staff meeting to also canvas the other teachers at the same time.

Starting a potential partnership
The first thing to do once a potential partner has been sourced for you, would be to ensure a good and efficient conduit of communication, so the exchanging of telephone numbers and email addresses is essential, and good straightforward and clear communication is key.  Often, when partnerships dissolve in dancing it is because of a misunderstanding and subsequently a mismatch of aspirations or practicalities. So, this conduit of communication should always be free flowing and easy.

It is always a great idea to book a private lesson with one of the dance teachers and split the cost of the lesson between the two partners. This try out lesson is a perfect opportunity to see how the partnership may possibly develop moving forward, and get a good idea of each other’s standard as well as for the teacher to see how the dances work together. What happens then? It is always a sensible thing to not commit to the partnership at the end of that first lesson, but instead for both partners, speak privately with the teacher after the lesson. That way no-one is in a position where they feel obligated to say yes or indeed no! You need to remember at this stage it is nothing personal, just trying out for a new dance partner.

Set the Ground rules.
This is the absolute backbone of any partnership, and so a sensible agreement should be reached between the partners on various matters, such as – How many lessons to have each week – To make a partnership successful, you will need at least one half hour private lesson split between you per week. Some partnerships have an hour, some have two!

Arrangements for arrival at the dance studio – For example picking each other up on route to reduce cost and so on. This would also include transport to competitions and  events.

All Girl or All Lady partnerships
These are very common in the industry - mainly due to the unequal number of boys and men dancers compared to girls and ladies.  The old saying is that “Boy partners are like Gold Dust” - and although this still holds true, the dramatic success of televisions such as “Strictly Come Dancing” have made some progress in addressing the balance.  If however you embark on an All Girl or All Lady partnership it is usual and important that one person takes the man’s steps in Ballroom while the other takes the man’s steps in Latin.  It is also advisable to change this over every 6 months or so to give equal chance for both partners to expand their abilities.

The potential for matching outfits.
It is very usual for outfits to match with partners, and this does obviously have a financial implication. However, outfits can be very cheaply and easily sourced within tight budgets in order to get a partnership started.

Practise is really important, and it is vital not to use expensive private lessons as practise sessions. Therefore, the opportunity to get together on a weekly basis and practise, even if it is in the living room at home, is invaluable. As a rule of thumb, as long as the studio is not busy we are always happy for couples to arrive, say, half an hour before their lesson and practise discreetly in a corner of the dance studio.

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