The Pro-Am Relationship

The relationship between a ballroom dance teacher and a student (when you are the student) has to be one of the most unique you’ll ever encounter.  On the surface, the arrangement is a professional one.  As the student, you pay the teacher to teach you ballroom dancing and dance with you at competitions.  The teacher teaches you because they are paid to teach you.  It’s a business.  But there are aspects of this arrangement that mirror a very personal and intimate relationship.  They are impossible to ignore and difficult to escape, which is why, I assume, so many professional dance partners are also life partners.  And why you hear so many stories/rumors about students and teachers entering romantic relationships or going through bad “break-ups.”  For a new student, it can be very confusing and often leads to that student getting hurt emotionally. But why?  You know coming into it that you are receiving a service that you are paying for, nothing more.  What is it about this sport/art that turns a business arrangement into an emotional rollercoaster?

Continue reading