“I desperately want to participate in DanceSport competition – but I can’t find a partner!”
If these are words are familiar – then ask yourself – do you really want to compete? If so, are you doing everything in your power to optimise your chances? Sure… there are more girls than guys looking, but it’s also hard for guys to find a suitable girl too! So, here it is, the no hold barred , no more excuses list of “Increasing Your Odds – how to find a competition partner and maximise your DanceSport try-out”.
- Get out there! Go to competitions, go to socials, go to classes at different studios` and everywhere you go look awesome, and be friendly. (I found my first competition partner during a progressive dance!).
2. If you are seriously looking for dance partner, work on becoming the best dancer you can be – take as many private lessons and classes as you can afford from the best teacher you can find, listen carefully to what they say – and then practice, alone if necessary! Girls, don’t buy a gown yet, buy lessons!
3. Make sure you’ve got an advertisement with flattering photos in costume on all the partner search sites, DanceSport Australia, Dance Partner Search on Facebook etc. and update them regularly.
4. Learn all three DanceSport styles (Standard Ballroom, Latin American and New Vogue) and become proficient in each. Knowing only one or two styles immediately lowers your chances of finding a partner. Do multi style medals while you are looking for a partner, to get you used to performance under pressure.
5. Look for potential in a partner who’s not at your level. If you think you can work together, then go for it. Many a time a girl has forfeited a beginner boy and then seen him a few months later with someone else – dancing like a pro. And sometimes guys it’s worth take second look at a girl who has experience in other dance styles.
6. Be flexible across which age group you wish to dance in. You and your perfect partner might be better competing in Masters, than Adult, or a Junior might have to be content with a ‘perfect for them other than age’ Youth partner.
7. Get fit! Carrying extra pounds? Aim to trim down – now! First impressions count and prospective partners (and even you) are looking for someone who looks like a dancer – fit and athletic.
8. Update your dance practice wardrobe and wear it to the tryout. Choose flattering styles for your figure. Black is safe, and you will look serious. Men, get some dance practice trousers and top – or wear a black shirt – and girls, bring a Latin and Ballroom skirt.
9. Make sure all elements of your personal grooming are impeccable. Wear clean, odour free, competition style dance shoes. Be freshly showered and use subtle fragrance. Use deodorant, clean your teeth and floss to ensure you have no bad breath, and don’t eat garlic. Update your hairstyle (a conservative style and colour is best) and girls – wear makeup. Guys – shave!
10. Tryouts can be nerve-wracking but be on your best, most friendly behaviour. Avoid bragging about yourself, avoid trashing your last partner, be positive, friendly, open to conversation, a good listener and above all, SMILE. No one will sign up to partner a negative or solemn person, including you – no matter how good dancer they are.
11. Be flexible if an otherwise good match cannot meet your expectations regarding lessons or practice time. Sure, you know it takes 5-7 days week and 3-4 hours per day for most champions, BUT, right now, you don’t have partner, so be prepared to compromise. Likewise with teachers and studios.
12.If you are looking for a romantic or life partner, try RSVP or EHarmony. Make sure you are clear yourself that this search strictly for a dance partner. You’ll need to get along, and be friends, but keep it business.
13. Be positive at all times, and don’t teach or criticise your tryout partner – even if you know better!
Monica Fincham competed for 17 years – culminating in the top 3 in Australia in the professional ranks. She had four partner during her career, the longest and most successful, was for 13 years. She own a dance studio in Lilydale, Melbourne, Australia and now coaches the next generation of Ballroom champions.
Dancesport Kingdom 18/70 Cave Hill Road, Lilydale 3140 03 9739 6011 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dancesportkingdom.com.au