The other day I mentioned some ideas why it’s a HORRIBLE, VERY BAD, NO GOOD IDEA to date your dance partner.
That goes TRIPLE for dating, or wanting to date, your dance instructor!
And … POINTS TO SUPPORT MY HYPOTHESIS:
1. In a student/teacher relationship, there is an authority figure and a… grasshopper. I’m no psychiatrist, but translating that dynamic into a real-world relationship of two equals does not seem easy.
2. That teacher you have a crush on? Who is soooooo nice to you and listens to all your problems? Um, it’s their job.
NOT that teachers don’t genuinely care about their students and want to know what’s going on in their lives, but students are paying teachers for their time (which hopefully includes their awesome teaching skills).
Most teachers would love to teach you how to improve your dancing from the first second of our time together to the last, but sometimes your bad day at work is making it hard to concentrate and they need to ask you what’s going on and you need to talk about it before getting to that nasty promenade position.
As good as I am about stopping a guy twice my size in the middle of a wrong step, I cannot actually physically stop you from talking.
3. I, usually, think of us ballroom dancers as a masochistic bunch: striving for perfection in the infinite progression of partner dancing. In a world where everyone gets a participation award, it’s quite a change to have someone [your teacher] always tell you you’re doing it wrong or even a slightly nicer, “Yeah, that’s sort of right, but here’s how to do it better.” The supportive and developmental, yet disciplinary and correctional demeanor that many instructors have is appealing. It’s black and white in an often grey world. That clarity is ALLURING. But don’t be fooled: that’s not your teacher; that’s dancing.
4. All that time you put into your dancing (and a friendly, somewhat professional relationship with your teacher) will be for naught if you date your instructor and break up. That authority position will be compromised (you now know they can’t drive a stick shift or they don’t balance their checkbook properly or something) and THEY’RE NOW YOUR EX. Ew. You have to go out and find a new instructor, which is no easy task.
5. Yes, you’re spending time with a positive, good-looking (ballroom dancers are an attractive bunch; that’s science), encouraging person who is expanding your boundaries and personal horizons and with whom you depict romantic gestures a few times a week. But, so are 20 other people.
Using ballroom dance as a hobby, therapy, exercise, social engagement, “Me Time”, a competitive outlet, and a creative outlet is GREAT. Expecting fellow ballroom dancers to be your potential dating pool makes everyone a little uncomfortable. Have fun! Learn to dance! But don’t date your dance instructor!