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Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/10/2012  5:28:00 AM
I dance Pro Am and am finding myself developing feelings for my male dance teacher. We spend a lot of time together and dance is by nature intimate and it's hard not to feel something. Has anyone experienced the same issue? Thank you
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ballroomchick
4/12/2012  12:45:00 PM
If one is not careful one can easily get sucked in by the allusion. Working often to get ready for competition you need to keep in mind what is the romantic allusion of the dance, what is shtick from the instructor to keep his student in the moment of the number, and what he does to keep the girls interested in coming back for more lessons. They all do it to some degree. I paid for it when I went to Arthur Murrys when I lost all confidence in my dancing ability years ago. They all dripped the gewy "how happy I was there" yada yada yada - every time I walked through the door. I was always amazed at how so many of the students drank this shtick down as real. Use the good feeling it gives you for your performance, but don't swallow the punch.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ladydance
4/12/2012  5:10:00 PM
How much do you really know about him? Does he have a wife, girlfriend or boyfriend? I have seen some student/teacher relationships work and some where the pro has recoiled in horror and the student has left feeling stupid and miserable. One woman in our studio misunderstood the pro's friendliness to mean more than it did and she asked him out. He was completely shocked, said no, and she left crying. He felt terrible. Are you willing to risk a good dance relationship? You might have to change studios if things don't go well.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by belleofyourball
4/13/2012  2:59:00 PM
I don't want to sound jaded because some dance relationships work out. I know it is possible that he has feelings. I have to say really listen to the other two ladies. The chains are famous for making people think there is a budding relationship....that is how they make money. Many independent pros started there and it is just part of what they know and how they behave. It is intimate too and it is easy to get confused.

So the little test you can run is simple without risking your own feelings or any embarrassment. A guy who truly has feelings for you will be worried more about what you need and making you happy then making a ton of cash off of you. So when he tries to sell you the next package pay attention to who he is really looking after, you or his pocketbook (studio's best interest). If he blatantly takes you for as much cash as he can he doesn't care about you. Remember also objectivity because you may not want to admit the truth because you do have feelings. If you find yourself making excuses for why what he is doing is okay then you have a problem. Even if he does have feelings for you would you want to be someone who is willing to do whatever it takes and say whatever it takes to get to your wallet? I know that's not who I want to date.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/14/2012  3:20:00 PM
Thank you ladies..this is an independent studio, not a chain. My dance teacher owns it and is pretty busy and successful. He has students at all different levels. He has two other teachers that use the studio and pay for the rental fee. He seems genuine as far as wanting the best for the student and does not try to sell me packages or any long term commitments. I pay as I go and depending on my schedule, I try to make it twice a week. I have been with him for 9 months and we have danced one comp together. It was a good experiene because he cared about what I learned from competition and use it as a learning experience not something to benefit from financially. We do flirt and I think he does have feelings for me. I know I need to be careful not to allow my feelings to get too deeply involved, but I just enjoy being with him and the fun that we have. We laugh and joke around. He does not flatter me or compliment me,actually he is the type of guy who doesn't really give personal compliments, therefore harder to figure out what he is feeling. But the flirting is unmistakable. I am pretty sure he likes me. He may not make the first move, because it is tricky, with me being his student.I am stuck...I don't want to switch studios because I like his teaching, and I am having fun also. Besides, I do have feelings for him...
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by belleofyourball
4/14/2012  7:56:00 PM
Please remember that all instructors flirt. I haven't met a single one that doesn't. I have had straight instructors and gay instructors flirt with me. My current instructor is married and his wife dances at the same studio and he flirts with me in front of her in an outrageous fashion....she flirts with her students too. Flirting means nothing in ballroom...if that's all you have tread very carefully. It can be really hard to figure this stuff out because so many of those dances have sexual tension as part of the basic requirements of dancing them appropriately. I can't help but feel you are going to get hurt. This isn't a judgment on how pretty you are or what you look like or how old you are. I don't know any of that stuff....I know how your question sounds. If you really were positive would you be on here asking a bunch of strangers?
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/14/2012  8:42:00 PM
I just wanted to know what others experiences have been. I would argue that not all instructors flirt. I have danced with 2 others, and they did not flirt with me.What gets me is that if this were happening anywhere else in my life, but dance, I wouldn't be so unsure. Does this mean that because he's my dance teacher, he is off-limits? Should I ignore my feelings and what I think is mutual attraction? What is the etiquette here? In other areas of life, it is not so confusing. You like someone, and you give it a shot at dating. In dance, it's not the case...I just don't want to lose something by not taking a chance. Yet, I am afraid to. I also feel I should not. How confusing is this, and also sad. Everyday I feel like my feelings are growing. I tried hard to fight the attraction, but it didn't work.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ladydance
4/15/2012  5:40:00 AM
He is not off limits just because he is your dance instructor. If you want to broach the subject with him, then go ahead. I have seen several relationships work out. Two were female teachers with male pros and one was a male student with his female pro. Be warned, you may see less of him than you do now. Since he owns his studio and is busy and successful, he will be working evenings and weekends.
You might be one of his favourite students, easy and pleasant to teach, so he laughs and jokes around with you and enjoys the lesson. That doesn't mean he wants the relationship to go anywhere. Why don't you try booking the last hour of the day and then suggest you go for coffee or a drink afterward. If he seems keen, then you might be on to something.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by belleofyourball
4/15/2012  11:17:00 AM
Then go for it. If you feel this will work and you are sure you want to try then follow your heart. Just know that there is a chance this isn't for real. Be prepared with a new studio as a backup and the worst thing that can happen isn't that big a deal.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/15/2012  7:15:00 PM
I am thinking of going for it...just scared. This is unlike a regular dating situation. I think I will try booking the last appointment of the day and take it from there. My fear is I don't want to lose him as an instructor. It's so complicated and like you all said, it may not be real, just an illusion...somehow I don't think so, but have to consider all possibilities.
I really don't want to have to give up dancing, but the only other studio in my area is off-limits for me bacause I already tried it and the instructor's wife is basically insecure and jealous type. She is a $%&*@! and thinks all students if they are young and reasonably attractive, are there to get her husband...so that's completely out of the question for me. And I really love to dance, so I don't want to give up dancing
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by lol
10/17/2013  1:10:00 PM
Well... just to reiterate. It's there job to make you feel special. The reason the other studio's wife doesn't like you is because she knows youre just another one of those girls who don't understand that. And trust me, after enough experience she cant tell it by a first impression.lol
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ballroomchick
4/17/2012  12:44:00 PM
Think HARD about what you want in a relationship. It gets dicier when going for a dance instructor. Are you willing to come 2nd or 3rd in his life? His livelihood IS to be around girls and his work schedule goes into the evenings and weekends as well as out of town with these girls.

I've been watching a couple for some years now. He is a very good looking and charismatic dance instructor. He has a good string of dance students and he goes out of town with them often. When these 2 DO go out to dinner with friends they often split and both work the room. Often times he gets caught up or forgets to come back and be with her before it's time to go home.

Now he is getting back on the professional dance circuit and found a new partner who lives in another state. They take turns every other weekend flying to each others state to practice. This is even less time for his relationship at home.

It could work the other way. If he is perusing you to a relationship it could work out like my instructor who taught his (now wife) to dance and compete on the professional circuit. They retired from that when the kids came. He teaches and has a string of competitive students. She use to teach and have competitive students as well. Baby sitters ARE expensive.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/17/2012  7:33:00 PM
I completely get what you are saying and thank you. However dance is not the only profession where you work nights and weekends and have long hours. I am a physician and I work those hours plus I also have access to other male docs, some of whom are single...the point is, should I give up on someone I like and who maybe likes me, because of what he does? A lot of dance is illusion, but that doesn't mean these people don't have real relationships. However your point is well taken and thank you again...I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions. I still feel I am stuck, and basically have 2 options- go for it and risk getting hurt, or do nothing and maybe lose out on someone I really like...
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ticodance
4/18/2012  3:28:00 AM
Of course you have to risk it!
The worst regrets are about things we didn't do!
So you should at least try!
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by ClumsyFellow
4/18/2012  5:02:00 AM
You are being played, be scared that you don't see it. Your situation isn't any different than the hundreds of threads banging around in dance forums. There is no upside, enjoy it for what it is; a fantasy.

Dance or Date your choice but just think of how much you will enjoy your boyfriend flirting with other women...mmm, scrumptious.

Good Luck, I look forward to the new thread that you will be starting in a few months.



Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by sbrnsmith
4/18/2012  3:40:00 PM
Definitely possible that I am being played as you say. That's a cynical view and you are certainly entitiled to your opinion. I don't think I am naive, but neither do I want to be cynical and miss living my life. I have been thinking long and hard about this, instead of impulsively doing something I may regret. I haven't been able to get rid of the feelings.If I don't try, I'll always wonder...if I do, I may get hurt...I might as well toss a coin. This is not an easy decision
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by Freya LeFey
9/1/2013  7:40:00 PM
I find myself in a similar place as you. Here's the plan I developed to figure out what is going on.
1. The lessons are about me, not about him. Ask for nothing other than what you are paying for. If you dress nice for your classes you are doing so so that you like what you see in the mirrors, etc. I don't even instigate hugs. Seven lessons in and he finally instigated a hug and it was a great hug at that.
2. Give him a background check via the internet and don't tell him. Practice your surprise for when he tells you the things you have already gleaned so that you are not hungry to get to know him better. Independent research doesn't lie.
3. If he starts probing with questions about things other than dance make him admit that he wants to know. If he does he probably cares about you.
4. Don't be afraid to warn him off a little. In the pick-up artist community this is called a "neg". Examples include: backhanded compliments, feigned frustration, etc. This might seem counter intuitive but someone that genuinely likes you when negged unexpectedly will seek your validation.
Try reading The Game by Neil Strauss for pointers.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by swoop7
4/22/2012  6:44:00 AM
I think a lot of people have experienced this. I enjoy going to my studio and I enjoy the people that are there. But it is definitely a business. They embrace (Literally) you when you walk in, when you walk out, and it's a very friendly atmosphere with flirting going on all over the place. My instructor is an intelligent beautiful younger woman and of course she just has that look that screams "come to me". Let's be honest....most dance instructors are attractive people....

They flirt (for the most part) in order to keep the students coming back. Let's face it, if you weren't having fun at the studio, most would stop going. Left foot here, right foot there is not fun...it's the personal interaction with the other people that keeps us coming back. A real simple way to figure out if there are feeling between you and your instructor is finding out how he interacts with you outside of the studio away from a studio event. Does he call you on his personal phone to say hello or does he call you only from the studio?

When I leave my studio, I do not hear much from my instructor until my next lesson. I'm OK with that as well, but that solidifies the belief that the flirting is purely for business purposes. Also, perhaps you can hang out at the studio and watch your instructor interact with other students. Does he flirt with them also? If he does, then it's all part of keeping the money flowing through the studio.

My point is, if the instructor is not making contact outside of the studio, then he is probably not interested and his actions are likely just to keep you coming back.

Just my two cents.
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by LRVWB
12/20/2013  4:08:00 PM
Swoop7, that's the wisest answer I've read so far!
Re: Falling for my teacher
Posted by Linda Schlensker
4/21/2012  7:14:00 PM
I am a female teacher and co-own a school. I saw some good points being made about some unethical teachers who do take advantage of students. Like any profession we do have our bad eggs. However, I would like to say that there are many of us who have policies in our schools that forbid teachers from dating students. If we regard ourselves as professional teachers, we have to be guided by professional ethics. Teachers are in a power position and must not take advantage of students. It is not unusual for students to develop an attraction to their teachers. Deep friendships can develop. However, in many schools, a teacher may be fired or be forced to hide a relationship that goes beyond friendship. What happens to you and your dancing if he is taken by surprise by your interest and doesn't feel as you do? Will you be able to continue dancing with him? What if he is a bad egg and will play your feelings in order to get cash? Teaching dance is his career. Perhaps you are his best student right now. What happens when another student come along who dances better than you. How are you going to feel about the fact that he spends every day with other women in his arms. Will you be wondering if he has feelings for any of them?

I would suggest that anyone who feels as you do should ask themselves some serious questions. Has my reason for taking dance lessons shifted from learning how to dance to paying for time with the one teacher I want to be with. Is the dancing even important anymore? If I had to choose between dancing or that person, which would it be. Would I be willing to ask my teacher to make the same choice?

I hate to sound like a wet blanket, but I have observed similar situations many, many times. It is rare for this to have a happy ending though there are a few times when it has worked out. My best wishes for you whatever you decide.
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