I'd like to understand the mind of my Ukrainian coach, who, upon hearing that I was trying out for a Latin partnership (she coaches my standard partner and I) in addition to my standard partnership, told me that it 'can't be done.'
My coach is quite young and competes in professional standard. My standard partner, who was there when she said this, had been okay with me dancing Latin with other people but after hearing our coach say it wasn't all right, she too began to hum and haw and said,"now that I think it about, it does seem weird.."
It isn't for lack of ability that my coach said I shouldn't do it - the issue seems to be that having two amateur partners is somehow not okay. When I asked her why, all she could say was, "you just can't do it!"
A little background information: I practice 15 hours or so a week with my standard partner, and that hasn't changed since I've trained Latin with others. That will -not- change even after I decide to compete with one of these other partners. I have an abundance of time (yes, I know, good for me) outside of those 15 hours of standard and want to fill it with Latin.. and spend an additional 8-24 minutes every competition doing Latin.. that would be the practical difference from what I do now, to what I'd like to do.
I did ask my standard partner if she could/would do 10-dance, and the best she could do was offer adding Latin, but without any more practice/coaching.. so we'd split our 15 hours between the two styles, and just take one coaching a week for each, for example. As I don't want to slow down the progress of our standard, this really isn't an option for me. My own situation is that I relocated a few months ago to dance standard with this woman, quitting my job and leaving my friends and some family behind. My goal, at this time, is to dance and improve as much as I can. Standard is my priority, but I don't want to leave Latin by the wayside.
So I'd be very interested to hear what others have to say on this. Is there something strange about having more than one amateur partner? Why is my coach saying that I "can't do it?" To me, it's just the same as if I were enrolling in a yoga or chess club; both have no real bearing on my dancing or my partnership.
You can do it...but it's like having two girlfriends at once...it can be big drama. You have to be sure they won't fight with each other and they still probably will. If pros can dance with their partners and their amateurs you can do it. It won't hurt anything. Just make sure both your partners are mature.
I can`t see anything in the rules which say it is not allowable to dance with two different partners in two different styles. Three if you want to add American Smooth. As Terence said . It is most unorthodox. I`m one of those who believe that old saying. Jack of all trades . Master of none. I would bring to your attention one of the greatest Standard Dancers of all time Marcus and Karen Hilton.They were Latin Champions 1982 and 83 at Blackool long before they gave the Latin Style away and concentrated on the Standard Style. It wasn`t untill they turned professional did they win a major title in the Standard Style.
I was in a similar situation (as your partner). My partner wanted to practice more and take more lessons than I was physically and financially able. He then said he would practice and take extra lessons with someone else. I felt he should be committed to our partnership and we broke up. Like your partner, I was OK with it at first but later changed my mind. It felt like an ultimatum to me, sort of a 'practice more, spend more, or I'll go elsewhere'. We danced worst than when we first started. So, since your partner agreed to add latin, but not more time and money, that means she can't do more. I don't think it is fair to her to do latin with someone else. Even though it is totally unrelated (in your mind), it may be a slap in the face to her.
Ok. This is a subject that I feel very strongly about. The absolute biggest reason you should not have plural partners is because when you do you dont become common with one person. Notice how the couples who are most tuned in to each other have been together for the longest time and only dance with each other. Everyone in this world has different tendencies and having one partner lets you get specifically tuned in to that persons natural tendencies. You should want to know the ins and outs of your partner! When you constantly switch partners your body doesnt get the chance to become naturally tuned in and loses focus. This is such a problem in Utah!
May I offer a contrary view, and one which is based on dance as a social form, and not in respect of dancesport.
No one who does not regularly seek out and enjoy dancing with a variety of partners can really dance at all. Dance is, fundamentally, a social activity, and restricting yourself to one partner is basically anti-social, and also means that instead of becoming 'attuned' to the nuances of your partner's style of movement, you lose all abiity to dance with good technique, and to develop, properly, the lead and follow skills that would enable any first-rate dancer to dance with anyone - complete novices included.
Having a preferred partner (spouse, commonly) and being particularly 'at ease' when dancing with them is one of the great pleasures of dancing, but dancing at our best with a regular partner is the product of our experience and skill, not the foundation for it.
I agree with Telemark that when dancing socially, it is important to have more than one partner. I dance socially every Friday night and dance with several men. However, the original poster was talking about competition. And in my experience, it is not possible to dance with more than one partner if you want to win. You need one coach and one partner. Concentrate on what your coach tells you and work with one partner to get it right. As soon as one partner feels inadequate or pressured, the partnership is doomed and the results will not be good. I also think that dancers should not forget that dancing is a social activity first and foremost. I'm always sorry when I hear someone say that they never dance socially anymore.
This is an example of the difference in attitudes between hobby dancers who may compete recreationally, and the traditions and decorum of more dedicated competitive efforts.
To some extent, you could call any competing professional who has pro/am students out on the inconsistency of this (and there are very real costs to their partnership that arrise from it) but for economic reasons that is seen as normal, while multiple partners is seen as a hobbyist thing to be outgrown if one wishes to really focus on achieving something in a partnership.