Dance & Relationships

In a recent chat with Kiner Enterprises, Inc. the topic was on dance and relationships. Some of the questions discussed were:

Shoulder dancers marry dancers?

What do you do if your partner doesn't support your career goals?

How has dance affected your relationships?

First, it is perfectly OK to be very protective of your dancing. If a person wants to love you, they have to love what helped shape you and make you... YOU. Dance is such a huge part of our lives, somewhere along the way it gets folded into our personalities. No longer is it just "what we do" but it's "who we are."

For us, we've always known that whenever we enter a relationship the person must understand 4 sentences: We never hide our passion for dancing. We never pretend that dancing doesn't require a lot of time and energy. We never act as if our thoughts are just silliness. This is our life.

Advice to artists who are dating / married / working together / living together / blending their lives:

1. You have to MAKE time for EACH OTHER.

Dancing (but most art forms) take a lot of our time, and it's always odd hours. It's not a 9 - 5 gig. Dinners will get cold. Family outings may be missed. The movie you rented may sit by the TV for weeks. But eventually, time must be manufactured and set aside for just you and your partner. Make dinner together. Watch that abandoned movie. Take a walk. Drink some wine. Grab lunch/coffee.

2. You have to MAKE time for YOURSELF.

As an artist, inspiration comes from the external world but it's what happens in the quiet of the mind that makes it yours. Have "you time." Know yourself so well that you know when you need to go take a yoga class, or when you need to just sit there and read a good book. Know your partner too. Know when he/she needs his/her time to perfect his/her talent or decompress. Your skills and talents are what make you unique individuals. Your partner's creativity and talents can inspire you and motivate me as a dancer.

3. Have projects you do TOGETHER.

Artists go off into their own little worlds when working on a project. Don't leave your partner out of that journey. Pick up a random project you can do together. Volunteer. Make something. Set a goal. Plan a trip. Save money to do something or buy something. Give back to the community. Track your progress on your "together project" with the same diligence you do with your other projects.

4. Listen. Talk. Repeat.

Many times, the artistic world is hard to understand. Rehearsals run late, and plans are cancelled. The money may or may not be fantastic. It may require you to be in a different city from the one you love. Your lives may end up on very different time tables on very different emotional growth paths. It takes many conversations to keep up with each other. Listen. Talk. Repeat. Do this however you can. Text. Send cards. Leave notes. E-mails. Letters. Flowers.

5. Support each other.

You may not always understand "where" your loved one is, be that during one of their projects or a life change. Give it time. Support them. Let me go through the waves of emotion and stress that come with new projects or life changes. Give them space to breathe and grow and come around. They will.

6. Remember: They aren't coming from the same place you are.

It's going to take them time to understand your visions and your goals. Eventually, they may come around. If they don't, they will still be the first person purchasing a ticket to your show (we can hope!) But give people time and don't pester.

7. Be involved.

Make an effort to be in "their world." If they are performing for a charity event, donate! If they need you to spread the word, do! If they need a hug after a bad day, hug! Be actively involved with their needs and wants during their life. Don't let a moment slip by. Days add up far too quickly.

You will be amazed daily by the joy and freedom a relationship can have when a partner supports your dreams.

Yes. Artists can date/marry/work together with artists. You can make it work. Dancer with dancer. Painter with painter. Musician with musician. Photographer with photographer. Whatever the combination. You can make it work if you work + they work + both still producing creative work.

Life is beautiful crazy like that. It's a blend of everything we are, after and during life's shaping of us.

It isn't an easy task, but it's a genius path. Learning how to love someone as much as you love dance will make you a better dancer and performer.


 

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