A dance crush is a real thing. There are many reasons this can happen and for the most part it is harmless and doesn’t have to be a problem. In this episode we discuss some reasons why it happens and why it’s totally normal and even expected.
1. The dance teacher is the professional and shows up as such. They have an investment in you staying on as a client and will treat you well to make that happen, as they should. They put their best foot forward and are (hopefully) on their best behavior. They are nice, encouraging, and bring out the best in your dancing.
2. There is physical closeness. There aren’t a lot of people that we let inside our personal space. A dance teacher gets that special privilege. Culturally, everything we do with a dance partner is similar to if we were dating someone. Being close, touching hands and such, expressing emotion all are also found in romantic relationships.
3. Sometimes we just want what we can’t have.
4. You love dancing and so do they. You are working toward a common goal. You respect their talent and expertise and they may respect yours as well. The lead/follow dynamic can be attractive when the other person is in charge.
5. Dancing will produce the feel good endorphins produced in physical activity. Oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, can be produced by being close to another person, touching them, and feeling connection, bonding and trust.
6. The brain can get confused about where the acting ends and real life begins. It can’t tell the difference between these signals and the ones given off in romantic relationships. This is called transference when the brain starts seeing the partner as a romantic situation rather than a working situation.
None of this is your fault, and it is mostly harmless, especially when you realize why it happens.
It becomes a problem when it interferes in your outside relationships, when the feelings get in the way and distract from the dancing, and when feelings are unrequited and result in an awkward exchange, embarrassment and often the end of the partnership.
To keep the boundaries clear in your mind, you need to be the one to frame this relationship so that your brain understands what is really going on here. Rather than leaving your brain to guess, you need to tell it.
–Remind yourself of the true nature of this partnership: it is paid. You have hired them to teach you to dance. That is the literal nature of your relationship. They have many partners. You have one. They definitely understand this, and are good at making sure you want to keep taking lessons. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s good business.
–Just because you have chemistry on the dance floor does not mean you have chemistry in real life. You only know them in this container. And remember, they are being their professional self because they are at work!
–Reframe your feelings so that you see it as the DANCING that makes you happy, rather than the partner. It’s dancing you love. It’s dancing that produces the good feeling hormones and we can assign the feelings to the activity rather than the person.
–Notice other relationships that you have in which you respect and admire someone you are around a lot. You feel good around them, work well together, care about one another, but you don’t have to DO anything about it or act on any feelings you have. You just enjoy each other’s company and work together toward some common goals. It could be a friend or a coworker. This can be the same.
The dance crush is common and doesn’t have to be a problem. The key to get clear in your head about what is really going on and then consistently remind yourself of the boundaries of the partnership. It requires discipline to keep your head in the right place, but when you do, you get to enjoy the partnership for the long term and avoid complications that can end a beautiful thing.
Isn’t it time you took your dancing to the next level? Your head is what’s in the way and I can help. The fastest way to overcome your head drama is to schedule a strategy call. It’s free, it’s fun, and we can skip right to addressing the specific obstacles to YOUR ballroom success. You’ve got nothing to lose!
As an amateur ballroom dancer myself, I understand the issues that come up for dancers, the pressures of competing, and the desire to make the most of my ballroom experience. I also really like to WIN! As a Life Coach by vocation, I have the tools to cut through the mental garbage that is holding you back so that you can maximize your potential. Using my own tools, I have been able to skyrocket my own skills, learn faster, lessen the pressure, win more and have tons more fun. I can show you the way. Here’s a couple tools to get you started: