Tuesday, February 22, 2011

To Date or Not To Date a Dancer

That is the question.

Whether its better to date a fellow dancer or not is a topic that comes up every so often within social dancing circles.

I realize broaching the topic of relationships can be like taking a dive off the deep end so before I do that, let me explicitly say that I am not any kind of expert on relationships. I do not judge any opposing views to mine as "wrong". Everyone will have their own answer to this question, I simply offer up my thoughts on the matter.

So What Do I Think?
Dating to me, is a means to finding my "partner in crime" for the long haul. There are 168 hours in a week. I sleep, on average, about 5 hours a day and have a full time job. Assuming I have a normal 40 hour work week give or take, that leaves 93 hours (out of the 168 hours in a week) to do other things. Of that time, I spend easily 20% dancing and then another 10% on dance related social activities. Needless to say, dancing is a big part of my life (though its not the only thing in my life).

Personally, I'd love it if my Prince Charming is a dancer! The benefits are obvious (but I'll write them down anyway):
  • We both love it! We share a common passion and we can understand each others passion for the dance, no need to have conflicts over "why are you spending so much time..."
  • Dancing with someone you're attracted to is simply scrumptious.
  • Romance will never die: all we have to do is pick the right song and dance to it.
  • We'll have the same social circles, so integrating into each other's lives will be a bit easier.
  • I'll have a dance partner for life: oh! what fun.
Does that mean I'll say no if he's not a dancer? Nope, not at all.

I'm crazy about dancing but that's not the only thing that I do. I'm open to dating someone who's not a dancer but he should be able to understand how much dancing means to me and that every so often, it would be lovely to share a dance together.

As dance crazy as I am, dancing isn't life (its a reflection of life) but life is much better and fuller and happier with dancing in it. Life is comprised of my loves: my passions, my family, my friends, my activities and my Prince Charming (when he comes along).

    At the heart of it all, the answer to the question is "It depends on the people involved." There is no formula that you can plug into that will give you the right answer to the question because there are so many other factors involved when it come to a relationship.  That being said, there are certainly indicators that can help determine whether or not one should date a fellow dancer. I've grouped them into red, yellow and green flags. Red flags are like STOP signs: indications that should basically tell you to steer away from dating a fellow dancer. Yellow flags are signs that make you go "Hmmm!" and finally "green flags"  are fuel for the "YES!" answer to the question.

    Jealous, much? This works both ways. If either you or the other person in question is the jealous (or possessive) type, well, dating another dancer is just asking for drama. People can get CLOSE when they're dancing and it just doesn't make sense to stir that pot if its already boiling.  

    NOTE: There are some cultures that do not condone social dancing once you're attached. I suggest you find out about cultural biases sooner rather than later!

    Dance High Does NOT Equal Relationship Success The dance high is deceptive. It has such a strong pull that it becomes almost like blinders. As a social dancer, its the occupational hazard that's part of what make dancing so much fun. Its something that happens in the moment of the dance: there and gone again, sometimes lasting longer than just the dance. Its just really hard to ignore so, beware: dance highs fade and the high can totally cloud you're judgment. You'll see everything in your favorite color and then when the high fades, and people's true color shows, you'll be left wondering what the heck happened and who changes all the colors? If you still haven't been able to distinguish the dance high from normal interaction, then you're probably inviting all sorts of drama by dating another dancer.

    He/She is as Great Dancer so they must be ...? Just that, a great dancer. Don't attach any more significance to being a great lead or follow unless you have evidence off the dance floor. Simply because a follow is amazing, doesn't necessarily translate to her personality. A lead may be a gentleman on the dance floor but a total "get me out of this crowd" persona off the dance floor. A follow could be passionate and expressive as a dancer but a totally reserved. I'm not saying that one's dancing doesn't reflect one's personality. I'm just suggesting that dancing is not the ONLY thing you should be basing personality on. So, if you made a conclusion about someone simply based on their dancing, just remember to add "only when they're dancing" until you do see that it is part of their personality off the dance floor too.

    Dancers at Different Levelswatch the person grow and blossom! Its great to grow with someone. It totally sucks getting "left behind". As long as each party is loving and supportive, the fact that both are dancers can certainly help to strengthen the relationship.

    Dancing is one big Flirt Fest: Flirting is natural consequence of dancing. There may be attractions beyond that dance connection BUT on the dance floor, that's very hard to distinguish. So, if the flirting off the dance floor is just as good as the flirting off the dance floor, then take it as a good sign that there's a healthy attraction and go from there.

    The Talk of the Town: Part of the challenge with dating someone popular in a social circle is that you too will be popular by default.  Which means there's scrutiny whether you want it or not. Just be aware of that and figure out what works for you. If you like privacy, then you have to realize when you're dating Mr. or Ms Popularity, that's all going to go out the window. Just be prepared!

    Let's Keep this Quiet, ok? If you like privacy, then you have to establish that from the get go. If you want to hide things, just be careful because that will put a strain on the relationship eventually. I believe when you care about someone enough, you shouldn't hide it if you can help it. You can be discreet, and in most cases that wise in the beginning. To hide a relationship with someone you care about sets a precedent that you can't be open about someone who supposedly means a lot to you: its a contradiction and when it goes on for too long, leads to all sorts of drama and stress.

    Dancing is my life! The degree to which dancing rules each person in the relationship is also important. If dancing is #1 and will always be #1, then you, the significant other, will have to deal with that (or vice versa). I've seen relationships where one is a dancer and the other isn't and there's a wonderful balance. Its all a matter of knowing where you stand and where the other dancer stands and matching up expectations.

    They Get It: Another dancer will understand what the obsession is with dancing. They'll understand why you do it, why its so much fun and what drives you to dance. So much of the success of a relationship is based on how well both people communicate and understand each other. This is just one manifestation of that and one that, when shared, can only help.

    You have the Same Dance Goals If your views on dancing match AND its not the one thing that rules you, then that's a good thing. Its one less thing to worry about that could cause potential conflict.You both can collaborate too which is also a ton of fun.

    Dreamy Dancing is always a prelude to ... if I have to fill in the blanks here, then you've clearly NOT experienced that electric connection so go read about it in my other blog article.

    I believe the answer to this question really boils down to a trade off:

    Are you willing to risk that the POTENTIAL DRAMA from a failed relationship with a fellow dancer will far OUTWEIGH the POTENTIAL BLISS of a relationship that works?

    I know that I don't control how someone else feels and reacts, I can only control what I do and how I act. I know that when it comes to drama generated by other people, I may get sucked into it for a time, but, I trust that I can extricate myself intact from that drama when necessary. So, for me, the potential bliss far outweighs any potential drama.

    1 comment:

    1. "As dance crazy as I am, dancing isn't life (its a reflection of life) but life is much better and fuller and happier with dancing in it. Life is comprised of my loves: my passions, my family, my friends, my activities and my Prince Charming (when he comes along)."
      I LOVE this!!!

      Everything you wrote in the "Yellow Flag" is RIGHT ON!!! GREAT blog, Frances!!! LOL for me, I think I just want to "marry" a dancer, not "date" one :P