Finding a permanent partner is as or more difficult than finding a permanent life partner. So many factors have to be in place for it to work. You can be good on paper and horrible in real life. Just like a romantic relationship, a dance partner relationship has to have chemistry. Why? It can make or break the longevity of a pairing.
This does not imply chemistry to the point of becoming romantically involved with each other. That is usually something to be avoided, especially in the throws of a new dance relationship where everything is exciting, yet delicate. Many are sucked into the excitement to the point of crossing the boundary of just being partners. This is dangerous territory as the excitement of a new partnership mimics the affect of deeper feelings. It is usually better to let the new partnership glow wear off before determining if there is something deeper between you. This can be more easily said than done. You do have to feel amazing when you dance together. When I get to dance with a great partner, there is this building of joy that makes it almost difficult for me to breath, not unlike what I feel when I want to be romantically. It can be so exhilarating that I can barely sleep at night as I am on such an adrenaline high.
This dance chemistry has to translate to something beyond what the two partners feel when they are working together. The synchronicity of the movement will be captivating to the observer as you know each other’s balance and movement so well that you can compensate for anything that might go wrong during a performance. The audience should feel that chemistry between partners radiating from your pores. When you have the opportunity to observe it, you will understand what it looks like. Mesmerizing!
Beyond dance and physical chemistry, there has to be chemistry of communication. This takes effort to establish as everyone comes from a different background and expectation. It has to be good enough so no one is regularly getting defensive in discussion. If you have one partner more vocal than the other – especially in a negatively critical way – it can break the chemistry to the point of dreading any interaction.There is something to be said about setting rules of engagement in situations where there are egos at play. Yes, dancing is a beautiful art. However, behind that beauty are delicate egos that demand management.
When you are lucky enough to find that chemistry with a partner, relish it. Just like a romantic relationship, the chemistry has to be nurtured to maintain it. It needs as much attention as the dancing. Without chemistry, the audience will not be as drawn. Pick your partners carefully, pay attention to comments from respected observers, and be grateful everyday for the chemistry you have been so lucky to find. Some dancers are not fortunate enough to ever experience it.