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There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health - it rusts your spirit and your hips. ~Terri Guillemets

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Learn To Dance - Motivating a Reluctant Partner

"So You Wish You Could Dance" - or better still- "So You Wish Your Partner Could Dance". Never fear - all things are possible by taking just a few small steps.

We would like to begin by sharing a true "reluctant partner" dance story with you. Years ago a couple came into our studio for their first dance lesson. The wife was happy and excited about the prospects of learning to dance and the husband casually commented: "I'd rather have a root canal." What? "A root canal?" Wow! This really opened our eyes as to how difficult it might be to convince a "reluctant partner" to try dancing! (The good news is he loved the lesson and they continued with us for many years. They became beautiful dancers and to this day still enjoy their dancing.) True story!

The secret here was to get the partner in for the very first time. (Trust us when we tell you that 99% of the time the "reluctant one" will be the "enthusiastic one" on the second lesson.) So, before bringing up the subject of dance lessons to your partner, your first small step is to do a little research in your area and locate the best studio with a competent and patient instructor. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Your next small step is to start "buttering" them up by pointing out the many benefits of taking dance lessons together - key word here "together": it's fun; it provides great exercise and increases stamina; it's a wonderful way to reduce stress; it enhances the relationship by improving communication; and it's incredibly romantic. Oh, and don't forget to reiterate "fun".

Your final small step (if your partner is not yet convinced to try dancing) is to "barter". Promise to join them at a baseball game or some other interest they might have in exchange for a dance lesson with you. A fair trade.

Ah ha! They have finally agreed to join you for a dance lesson and they're hooked! This next bit of advice is the "best advice" you will ever receive about "keeping" your partner interested in taking dance lessons. Resist the temptation to correct or teach them yourself (no matter how experienced or talented you may be), and always compliment and encourage them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate dancing with them, and don't forget to remind them how great they look on the dance floor. Sometimes keeping your partner dancing is more difficult than getting them started in the first place.

Good luck. It's worth the effort and someday they'll thank you for it. (P.S. In the meantime, you'll have a great partner and a great hobby to share.)

Happy Dancing,

Blanche & Emilio

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