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The Art of Great Dance Partnering


There are all kinds of partnering in the dance word professionally or in adult dance classes. How partnering gets executed depends on the type of dance. In ballet or modern, it is often expressed between two people telling a story through dance and based on the choreographer’s vision. Often there are many lifts and turns in this kind of dance with individual dancers moving “in partnership” as individuals. With ballroom, it is leader /follower with the dance expressed as a pair to set steps. Either way there are hundreds of split-second decisions to be made, all of which become beautifully utilized in the art of true partner dancing. The best dance partnering is not only a matter of skill; it is also about the attitude of awareness, grace and connection. The nonverbal connection between partners is the essence of partner dancing and what makes it such a joy to watch.


In the ballroom world, Richard Powers is quoted as saying, “The follower interprets the signals they’re given, with a keen responsiveness that is not passive. The lead makes a suggestion and the follower interprets. The follower may give a valid alternate interpretation of the signals.”

Being a great dance partner goes well beyond the technique. Dance partnering has a silent vocabulary that is about trust, plus, in a very real sense, is also about team. While dance partnering is a very real thing, what better metaphor for life! We hope the metaphor moves you to dance and moves you to learn to become a great dance partner.

Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself. “
Havelock Ellis quotes

The nimble, intelligent dancer, lead or follow, is in a flow state of relaxed responsiveness, paying highly active attention to possibilities. To dance with a great partner is an unbelievable feeling. We hope you have experience the joy of it.

Happy Dancing!

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Great partnering

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