When Your Non-Dancing Spouse Doesn’t Support Your Dance Life

Something unusual happened during dance class last weekend.  Upon walking into my Sunday afternoon dance class I noticed a young man sitting silently by the window at the front of the dance studio.  I generally make an effort to introduce myself to newcomers to the class, but the instructors started playing music before I had a chance to speak to him.

After our class warm-up I noticed that the young man was still sitting by the window. He was watching us quite intently, but made no move to join the class.  We soon began our partner work and I temporarily forgot about this “mysterious” stranger.

At the end of the class, nearly two hours later, I noticed that the young man was still sitting by the window.  However, by this time he was no longer alone.  Rather – he was speaking quietly with one of the female students in the class.

The two spoke briefly and then the young man left the studio.  As I was now beyond curious, I approached the female student and asked “was that one of your friends?”  She turned to me and said, “No. That was my husband.  He wanted to watch me dance.”  I said, “Oh—is he interested in learning to dance?” She replied, “No, that’s not it.  He told me last night that he wants me to stop dancing because he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for a wife to dance with anyone other than her husband. So he was here watching to see what goes on … he is really making me mad.”

Needless to say – many ears perked up at this last statement and some of the women in the room, including me, began to gather around this young woman.  No one expressed shock at her husband’s attitude; rather we all began to exchange similar “war” stories in an attempt to comfort our fellow student.

Unfortunately, many of us could relate to this situation as most of us have experienced problems in either past or present relationships due to our involvement in Latin dance.  Prior to meeting my fairly laidback husband, I was often interrogated about my “need” to go out dancing by the men that I dated.  I even had to break up with one man who totally lost it during a salsa social when I danced with someone other than him.

Based upon the experiences of myself and my friends, most of the problems between dancers and their non-dancing mates seem to fall into the following categories:  1) dancers being begged and/or “told” to stop dancing; 2) dancers being told that they can dance, but only with their non-dancing or beginner dancing spouse/mate; and; 3) dancers being given an ultimatum to choose between dancing or continuing the relationship.

I should mention that my friends who have experienced the “relationship ultimatum” are all male dancers.  Interestingly, two of the three men who complained of this situation actually gave in to the demands of their partners and stopped dancing COMPLETELY after years and years of dancing.  As a side note—both of these men are now happily married to the women that offered the ultimatum, so perhaps this was a good choice for them.

Although I am writing from the perspective of someone who is an avid social dancer, I do understand the perspective of the non-dancing spouse/mate.  The Latin dance scene is filled with attractive, interesting people whom are easy to connect with, both on and off the dance floor.  For many non-dancers this scene is intimidating and is ripe with many possibilities for jealousy to rear its ugly head.

With regard to myself and my female friends –none of us have stopped dancing, but most of us have reduced the frequency and intensity of our social dancing for the good of our relationships.  I can’t speak for my friends, but I understand that my husband did not marry me with the expectation that I would be salsa dancing in a club with strangers every night of the week.  We’ve informally negotiated a dance schedule that gives me the dance time I need, balanced with the time my husband and I need to be together.

Some people have suggested to me that I should encourage my husband to take salsa or casino lessons so that we can dance together, but this suggestion makes little sense to me.  My husband has no interest in dancing and would rather spend his free time doing something he enjoys, like playing golf or riding his bike.  And, while I do not consider myself to be an advanced dancer I am certainly an intermediate level dancer who enjoys being challenged on the dance floor.  Due to the inevitable gap in dance skills between a beginner lead and an intermediate follow, I doubt that my husband and I would enjoy dancing together on the social Latin dance floor.

A few of my dancing friends have spouses/mates who insist on accompanying them to dance events even though they have little to no dance experience.  This puts a lot of pressure on my friends as they want to please their mates, but they also want to dance with the more experienced leads present at these events. Once again, the imbalance of skill and training between my friends and their mates leads to an experience that is usually lacking in entertainment for either partner.

Ultimately, when these kinds of problems arise, it seems that communication and negotiation are the keys to erasing or at least diminishing the negative feelings the non-dancing spouse/mate may have developed with regard to his/her partner’s dance life.  The dancing spouse/partner should make an effort to balance his/her dance life with home life and to reassure his/her spouse that he/she will not allow dancing to destroy the relationship. Similarly, the non-dancing spouse should allow his/her spouse the freedom to dance, while making sure that he/she is still getting what he/she needs from the relationship.

How important is it for your spouse/partner to support your dance life?

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  1. says: Mark

    My ex-gf never had problems with my passion for ballroom dancing, argentine tango, bachata and salsa. We met during our first ballroom classes, but she stopped after half a year, while I continued for one more year. We started learning Bachata, but she stopped, I took her to Salsa classes, but she also stopped after a few courses. All three times we had argues about that, as I discovered our interests were not aligned. She trusted me when I went alone to international festivals and parties. For that reason, I stopped with Bachata classes and socials, and danced Bachata only with her the few times she accompanied me to parties. I appreciated her trust when I took classes in argentine tango, learning to lead in closed position.
    Eventually we broke up as our lifestyles were different. While I went to events about twice a month to improve my salsa skills, she preferred relaxing at home. Although she never opposed my dance hobby, it did not work out as the time and energy we both spent besides work were not in the same direction.

  2. says: Jonathan

    Would never date a woman again that cant dance or has a hobby that requires a deeper friendship/partnership with another person. Trying to make me choose (by ultimatum) between a long friendship (my dance partnership), my hobby (dancing) and her was her biggest mistake, it ended in a divorce. But it was more about the egotistical bs not being able to compromise that forced a divorce. Learned it the hard way, but I can only give this advice:
    if you are commited to a hobby/job/you biz and some woman tries to make you choose: dump her, she is not worth it, because she is not interested in you, the person you are, but in herself and what she perceves to be “the right way for a man and woman to live”. BS to that.

  3. says: Spence

    I’m a non-dancing husband of 17 years and 3 children. My wife of course love ballroom dancing, and I don’t. She danced when she was younger before we’d met, and started it up again 3 years ago. I have not, and still done completely embrace my wife’s dance habit, but I’m getting better. I have a hard time disconnection all the physical contact versus the intimacy it can imply. She try’s to reassure me that it’s all for the sake of dancing and there’s no sexual/intimate feelings behind it, at least for her. It didn’t help that at one point when she was going out 5 nights a week some weeks. After multiple arguments she’s agreed to dial it back to 2 nights a week, which she sticks to religiously, sometimes at the expense of family gatherings. I’d like to ask all the dancing spouses here how often do you go dancing?

    1. says: Ratko

      SPENCE, I suggest you try and go out few evenings a week and you will see miracle happen 😉

    2. says: Bogo

      We started out both dancing in Latin and ballroom, she moved into a more sensual style that I didn’t. There was no problem for years until she decided to hide a friendship from me. It caused huge problems, started mistrust and insecurity for me and years of anxiety. I was reassured only by doing my due diligence, actually checking on her and verify nothing was happening. I ended up doing a few unannounced dropins, checking her phone and such. I was never comfortable with her dancing ever again, and it nearly destroyed our relationship until it just faded over time and the frequency decreased, once kids show up trust me there’s no more time for that shit unless u want to be a really bad parent. So keep in mind little mistakes like that could cost you the relationship, you’re already on risky ground with dancing, pulling additional shenanigans easily blows the lid.

  4. says: Leo

    My wife loves dancing, but I don’t have the dancing bug, it doesn’t fill me with joy, much less social fitness dancing, AKA Zumba, as a matter of fact I just don’t do physical arts, but I do encourage her to dance, because I know she loves it. Now, she really wants me me to go and try it, but it’s just not my thing, I don’t feel it. To be fair, when we met and started hanging out she met the real boring me, and she chose to stick with me, even though I am not into anything “sabroso”, and I happen to be hispanic-latino.

  5. says: Nondancing_toolate

    It’simple.if you dont dance and your partner does just leave the relationship if you are still on time.
    I have two kids and for me it’s too late…
    Dancing will make her develope very close friendship with other dancing people and there are a lot
    of dancing single partner out there…just too many. She will spend more and more time dancing and being
    with dancing friends than you…so if you are still on time my advice is to run away as fast as you can.
    I should have seen this coming before starting a family…I hope other people will be wiser and luckier then I was.

    1. says: dancetothis

      yep i can relate and always in back of my mind when next agrument will arise. because i know im not going to put up with it. hoping it wont happen but its only a matter of time and i already told myself its a deal breaker because she knows where i stand and if you cant respect that then then you dont respect the relationship you dont respect me. you care more about having a goodtime only for the moment. i dont need music and dancing to feel happy. i need someone who is loyal respectful and willing to work on boundaries and not jeopardize a relationship from dance happy touchy feely friends. thats it

      1. says: Peta


        Bravo. You’re one of the few who’s made sense here (so far) on this thread. It’s insulting to immediately equate discomfort with insecurity. To me, it’s simply a romantic, moral and spiritual matter: I’d like the most sensual dance* I do to be with my girlfriend (who happens to be new-ish – 6mos).But for her part, she wants to do sensual dances with other men.

        We have a passionate relationship and outstanding chemistry, but we haven’t found common ground on this. For deeply personal, cultural, romantic and moral reasons, I don’t like the idea of many men having frequent and prolonged sensual contact with my woman – or of ME having frequent and prolonged sensual contact with many OTHER women! It’s not about what the dancing might lead to – it’s the actual act of the dancing.

        It’s not about dictating and ultimatums – but ultimately any relationship that thrives is one that builds on ”COMPLEMENTARITY”.

        *my most sensual ANYTHING

  6. says: NinjaMacNinja

    After seeing this thread in my junk, it’s been a couple of years since my comment, I think I can offer some more insight.

    After supporting my girlfriend and not taking issue with her dancing, I started to see she was getting closer to one of her dancing friends. I confronted her about this, and she got quite defensive. I could tell the guy hadfallen for her as he was always messaging and asking when she was dancing. I then asked if she had any respect for our relationship she would stop dancing with him. She said she would as she admitted that she felt he had become too attached. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and I found out that she was arranging to meet at the next salsa expo in another city. This marked the end of our relationship at this time. Fast forward a week before she was due away, I was in the process of moving out and she tells me that she won’t salsa again if we can get back together. Now Salsa is not a priority. She doesn’t go away for conferences anymore and doesn’t dance as often. I didn’t tell her to do these things, but I think she understood that the relationship depended on changes. I still don’t take issue if she goes dancing, but no more sneaking around.

    We now do other things together, which we both enjoy. She’ll maybe go dancing once a month. I think it has now changed our relationship. I feel Moore strongly about time spent together and she shows a bit more concern for us. That was 2 years ago and I think we are now just getting over the mess it caused to our relationship.

    1. says: Ratko

      Dear NINJA who needs all this crap abt. understanding her needs for dancing, bhlah blah blah, there is no respect it will happen again 🙁 maybe you should go, next time, dancing without her :))

  7. says: Joe J

    Have to agree. I think its inappropriate for a married woman or man to be dancing with someone who is not their partner or family. This isn’t the innocent 1920’s anymore. Many men go to the club looking to pick up women, married or not. I don’t think its appropriate to place oneself (married) in a situation where they are being flirted, picked-up on, and these type of relationships formed.

  8. says: Fernando

    Over my years of bachata, zouk and salsa, I’ve had a number of women who have taken romantic interest in me. Mostly single, but some were in long-standing relationships. In sensual partnered dancing, both individuals may become sexually excited. However, it is what the individuals decide to do with that energy that is important. If you go and cheat on your SO with your dance partner, you’ve acted upon your feelings and committed a moral wrongdoing. IME this seldom occurs with seasoned dancers, but classes are generally a mixed bag. Personally, I would want to know the intentions of a potential SO and understand why she enjoys sensual dancing if I was a non-dancer. Latin dance is certainly not rife with adulterous behaviour as some believe, but I have also seen many healthy (sexual) relationships arise from dance partners who have met in classes. If your partner is going to cheat, any hobby or activity could provide a potential ‘avenue’.

  9. says: Ratko

    Jose, great commment, I have issue with my partner as well, as she start Tango lesson I really dont appreciate her “rubbing” her body to the other men. We had few fights and probably this will cost us our relationship. As you said its not a matter of trust its simply matter of good taste and morality.

  10. says: Jon

    Someone here stated “We women are the ones who get to decide how and with whom to move our bodies, and what our personal boundaries are for sexuality, sensuality, playfulness, respect and faithfulness in a committed relationship.” This is a one-sided way of looking at a relationship. You shouldn’t be in a committed relationship if you only want things your way or the highway. You shouldn’t continue doing things to hurt your partner. That’s just ridiculous, inconsiderate, and often lead to negative results.

    Trust definitely plays a part into this intimate dancing that seems to be a hot-bed topic. However, you can’t always shift the blame completely to one side because it’s not always black and white. Things like this tend to have a gray area. Like some pointed out, it’s up to what both partners are willing to accept or meet for a middle ground. In fact, the most successful relationships that last throughout a couples’ lifetime involves effective communication, respect, and compromising.

    If you’re single, yeah you have no one else to answer to or compromise with. You have more freedom. In contrast, you need to take your significant other’s feelings into consideration if you’re in a committed relationship. This is the reality of having a good relationship. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices and decide what’s more important to your relationship. Basically, I wouldn’t do something if it’ll make my girlfriend uncomfortable or hurt her.

    Personally, I don’t like seeing other men getting so close to my girlfriend even if it’s “just a dance”. There are dances that involve very intimate positions and some say it’s “just a dance”, but some other dude is basically getting to feel my woman in intimate ways and I’m not okay with that. Yeah, she goes home with me and blah blah, but I’m uncomfortable knowing that other guys are basically sharing my woman in a sense. Dance rehearsals can last for a long time and it’s disturbing that my woman is spending lots of time being held in these intimate positions with her dance partner(s).

    My girlfriend and I like to dance for fun. She loves it far more than I do. At first, she couldn’t see things from my point of view. The situation was reversed and she discovered that she wouldn’t like it if I was placed in the role where I’d be spending lots of time rehearsing in intimate dance routines with other women. We came to an understanding and decided that we’re both more comfortable dancing intimately with each other only.

    Everyone is different though and some couples are fine with each other doing these things, whereas some aren’t. This is where it’s important to establish boundaries and understanding early on in the relationship.

  11. says: Herbert Moser

    Thanks for your reply Niko, I appreciate that! As a native German speaker my English is not 100% but I will give a short answer. I am CEO of a very busy company have several hobbies of my own like running and swimming. My wife has a similar job. We are well educated and we have a very open communication. I tried to dance (for myself and for her) as this could be a common hobby, this Salsa and Bachata is for me no fun as I don’t like the music (for longer than 30 minutes..) and cannot feel the rythim as it should be. So everyone has his addictions, this will not be mine for sure. It is not a matter of trust or limitation of her freedom. It makes me sick when she is in that ‘scene’ even when I know that nothing happens. I feel absolutely reasponsible for this feeling / behaviour and spoke to doctors about it. They are concerned about my health because of the stress. I would never complain if this was not something that threatens me in a serious way. Now we look how to solve it. I want her to dance and not stop her hobby and she wants me to get better again. Our relationship is very good and there is no lack of intimacy and there are no other problems, we will survive and learn from this situation. Wishing you all the best.

    1. says: Ami

      Dear Herbert,

      Would you mind updating me about how your situatuion turned out since your last comment here?
      I can completely relate to your problem described. I m also struggling with this unbearable feeling of not being able to handle my partner’s hobby (tango in this case), feeling sad about causing trouble with it, on the other hand very bitter that my hurts are not heard.
      thank you!

  12. says: Niko "Suave"

    Hi Herbert,

    You do have intuition about what you notice. I’m not going to lie and give you a promising response that will deny any of your observations.

    Salsa is my career actually and I help ease the minds of many in this same situations. I too am married, but I was a dancer long before the relationship.

    There will always be people to watch out for, and if it makes your wife uncomfortable during the dance, she should be able to at the very least verbally defend herself. There will also always be people who have malicious intentions. In truth as long as they are able to keep those intentions in check, those people are actually better to have around, than those who drink irresponsibly, have no filter, among other things.

    It’s no different than any other social interaction, and as long as the communication between you and your wife is healthy (open book communication) – then it should be great.

    Don’t say that you are not, however, not feel bad about her hobby. You want to identify what is missing in your personal life, or your intimate life, that a hobby for her is worrying you. It is not a slam on your marriage, yourself or your wife that you have these feelings. More people have it than care to admit.

    Do you have hobbies you get lost in? Dancing is work for me, so I play a lot of video games and watch anime. These activities for me are very similar to the high women get dancing.

    Also, where is intimacy missing in your marriage? Most women in a relationship/marriage are not out dancing to look for intimacy. But if it’s a concern to you, your fears will come to reality when you focus on your worry instead of having a healthier intimate marriage.

    I’ve encountered this with many people who have cultural differences around marriage, relationships and whatnot, so keep in mind, that if you have time to think about what bad things could happen, it really boils down to 1 of 3 things – 1. You’re not busy enough with your own hobbies/work, 2. your communication/intimacy with your wife isn’t consistent/concrete, 3. you don’t trust her(in some cases, yourself)

    Keep the conversation alive – I’m curious what you actually do for work, because I’ve also taught many people how to dance that didn’t think it would be their cup of tea, you just have to change the concept about what you think partner dance is. If you want to make a serious attempt at wanting to dance, it has to be for you, not for her. And you would have to learn without her. If you’re doing it for her, then you will have ill feelings about it all if it doesn’t work out.

  13. says: Herbert Moser

    When my wife started Salsa dancing in the beginning of this year I did not feel bad about it as I know that she wants to dance and further nothing. But during the last months it became a big issue. There is no lack of trust or a reason to think that she goes out dancing to meet other men. It just became something that made me feel terrible and I experienced that I could not think in the way I should.. It even caused health problems and endless discussions as she did not understand my feelings. On the other hand she did not want me to feel bad or sick for her Salsa hobby. Now we are looking to solve this, our marriage is good, our life is good and we were always a happy family. Is it worth to feel like this? Do I need help to get over it? Or does she have to stop her hobby now she is only in her first year? I am absolutely not a jealous person and never was. It feels bad that I am the one to mess up her hobby although I cannot suffer longer the stress. My present opinion on Salsa/Bachata is a sensual and sometimes very close way of dancing. I know that most dancers are only there for dancing, but from my experience there are always several men dancing Salsa/Bachata etc. for other reasons. And yes, I tried to dance together with her, not my piece of cake unfortunatelly. Stepping, counting and listening to the music? My brain is not made for that.

  14. says: Jarita

    I’ve been struggling with this a little lately as my partner isn’t into “partner” dancing. Also I’ve never seen this side of him come out with the jealousy (lol)? Seriously though, in some ways I think he just needs to get over it and either go with me because I’m willing to go back to basics with him, or find something he enjoys and do it more. However, we have a child together and he has to be the bread winner until I find another job. Our little just started pre-school. I do enjoy dancing and expressing the music a LOT with some leads and have a connection with them that is different than with a non dancer, but not the same as a marriage. It’s a challenge, but I don’t want to give up dancing. I don’t want to break up every either though and really do find it important to re-assure my husband that he means the most to me as far as any male is concerned. I don’t think he’ll ever really get the dance addiction, and yet I don’t always get it either or myself. Plus, balancing a son that I love so dearly and then needing to make a living is a reality. Anyways, I can’t say I fully agreed with any of the 3 options to vote on. I do think it’s important for me to be able to dance, but I also want to keep my dear family. Life is a catch 22.

  15. says: Emma T

    My husband doesn’t dance, and it’s a shame. But it does give me more freedom to dance comfortably without him being there. He’s never seen me dance outside of parties/weddings, and I’m not sure he’d be keen if he had. Because it must be strange seeing you partner dance up close with other people. I’m not sure how I’d feel if I was the one who was watching my partner dancing. I’ve not heard of people’s partners stopping them from dancing though – but lots of people meeting their partners through dance

  16. says: aleste

    Hi People, i think most dance addict are being a little hypocritical.

    Dance is truly intimacy between a man and a woman, and when you finally have a deep connection with a partner, it is literally like making vertical preliminary before horizontal sex.

    It then become obsessive, and the relationship with your non-dancing partner is going down.
    Sure thing.

  17. says: Melissa West-Koistila

    Hello Everyone! I wrote this article some time ago, so I’m genuinely happy that people are still commenting on it. I guess it’s an issue that affects a lot of dancers in different ways.

    Anyway –by way of an update — I just found out that the husband and wife I referred to at the beginning of my article are now divorced. While I don’t believe that this dancing issue was ultimately responsible for ending their marriage, I’m sure that it certainly played a part. Thanks again for reading and commenting on my article, and HAPPY DANCING!!

  18. says: Dayana

    Hi Everyone….. I am so glad I was able to find this article and read every comment here. I learned that it is OK to have a passion for dance the way I DO. I often find myself questioning my NEED to dance; and usually end up giving up this hobby as my husband disapprove me dancing. He sometimes dances with me at home and thinks that’s enough, but he doesn’t understand that’s not I a mean. When I dance I get lost on the rhythm of the Salsa, Bachata , Merengue , not just “a ” song dance with very basic moves. I have been dancing on socials ( 2 in the period of 12 months) on my own , there is a huge event this Saturday and I wanted to go but he says this ” dancing thing” it is getting too much… I absolutely LOVE my husband him as he is the love of my life, but I really want to go to dance because it makes me super happy. I guess it doesn’t sound good ” she went to dance while I stay home with the kids tonight” but I really hope he sees it as ” She is doing what she loves while I trust and support her” instead.

    What do you think?.

    Will let you know what happened after this weekend LOL….

  19. says: Daniel

    I tend to think of dancing in the same terms I think of sex. Meaning, let’s say that one person has a whole lot more sexual experience and is super into anything and everything to do with sex and the other one is not really all that experienced and possibly not as much of a sex geek. If you cannot find a way to negotiate that disparity in experience and interest, it is inevitably going to tear you apart. The fact is that if your partner can’t meet your dance needs and isn’t willing to make concessions so that you do get them met, you will inevitably become dissatisfied. By the same token, you have to ask yourself what and how much you do need and communicate that. It’s all about the middle ground. In the end, dancing only brings out the things that were already there. Issues of trust, jealousy, possessiveness, disparities in what is “appropriate”, social and physical needs; all these landmines were already there. If dancing didn’t set them off, something else would.

  20. says: Melissa West-Koistila

    Thanks to everyone for your insightful comments. I learn something new from each and every one of them. Happy dancing!!

  21. says: Jose

    I have to take issue with many of the assumptions and judgements made here about people who are uncomfortable with their significant other dancing salsa, bachata ect. – socially labeling them as “insecure” and highlighting trust issues.

    Consider for a minute that the intimate contact inherent to many of these dances in and of itself can make people feel uncomfortable. I suppose it depends where you draw the line for what is “appropriate” behavior in a relationship or what “cheating” may even mean.

    Even if it isn’t heavily sensual, the idea of my significant other being physically close and intimate with someone, moving together to sensual music makes me extremely uncomfortable. I am not afraid at all that she will jump into bed with anybody and I trust her endlessly. But that does not mean that this type of physical contact with other men is automatically ok for me. This is something I personally would feel uncomfortable doing when I am romantically involved with someone. I have been socially dancing for years but it feels very different when I’m single. That physical closeness and parallel movements are moves that I want to reserve for my romantic partner.

    I love to dance. But I don’t feel a drive to dance those types of dances closely with other women when I am involved romantically with someone. It’s just a values thing – not an insecurity or trust thing.

    1. says: Peta

      Bravo, Jose. You’re the only person who’s made sense here (so far) on this thread. It’s insulting to immediately equate discomfort with insecurity. To me, it’s simply a romantic, moral and spiritual matter: I’d like the most sensual dance* I do to be with my girlfriend (who happens to be new-ish – 6mos).But for her part, she wants to do sensual dances with other men.

      We have a passionate relationship and outstanding chemistry, but we haven’t found common ground on this. For deeply personal, cultural, romantic and moral reasons, I don’t like the idea of many men having frequent and prolonged sensual contact with my woman – or of ME having frequent and prolonged sensual contact with many OTHER women! It’s not about what the dancing might lead to – it’s the actual act of the dancing.

      It’s not about dictating and ultimatums – but ultimately any relationship that thrives is one that builds on ”COMPLEMENTARITY”.

      *my most sensual ANYTHING

  22. says: R

    You are an extremely supportive guy..girls think differently, trust me. They thinking about one..two..three..lala..watever..it’s about the dance..and of course all women want to be desired by men..but I heard by my non supportive husband that men think differently..a touch is more than just a touch..they are wired differently..u must be knowing that. .if u don’t have passion for dancing u just dont have it..I think your gf should be supportive of u too..u can tell her that u will not reach that level of dancing and u are OK with that..! Just as she expects u to be OK with her dancing with men!!

  23. says: Ninja MacNinja

    My girlfriend started salsa dancing a few months ago and I don’t have any problems with it. There is one guy that has “fallen” for her, but I don’t feel threatened by this this one bit. I 100% trust her and support her dancing fully, plus the guy is a bit creepy and not her type. She has started to get very good, being one of the better in the dance school we attend so she is being increasingly asked to more and more events.

    One issue we have is her wanting me to learn. I really don’t like dancing but I’m willing to give it a try. In m second session of lessons and getting better, but still not enjoying it that much. Been to a few socials with her but I would prefer to just chat to everyone and see her dance with more experienced dancers. I’ll maybe have 1 or 2 dances with her but that’s as many as I’m willing to do as I don’t feel comfortable. She sometimes gets upset with this, but we never really fall out because I hope she understands how we feel. I have my own hobbies as well which she has no interest in.

    She has also started bachata and sensual bachata, which I won’t go and watch her dance. Bachata is ok, but sensual bachata is a bit too much for me to watch. She doesn’t seem to see an issue with it, but I don’t really like watching her grind with other men with “very” insinuating touching. She can dance that as well, just not when i’m watching lol.

    I just feel worried that she expects too much of me, mentioning how she cant wait until i’m as good as her. My heart isn’t in it to say that’s never going to happen so I dread the day she realises this, but I’m sure we can get over that. we love each other very much.

  24. says: A

    Hi..I’m 35 and wanted to dance ever since I can think of..I met my husband at 16 and have been with him ever since too..got married at 23..I waited for him to get interested in dance but that never happened…so 2 years back I started taking classes and felt awesome..I got an award in a competition but my husband hated watever I did..I try staying away but I love it..I should have been diplomatic about not saying to my husband that my dance partner has fallen in love with me..after knowing this he totally gets upset about me dancing…now it’s the next competition coming up..I want to take part in this..but I am so stuck…Wat shd I do..

  25. says: Mary Forrester

    Thanks a lot for sharing these comments – as a result of my husband having read your “horror stories” I can’t even go to one test lesson as my husband wants me to stop before I could even try! Sick.

    The truth is you can find an interesting partner everywhere – football team, choir, symphony orchestra, gym, restaurant, swimming hall, church… if it happens, it happens.

    My violin teacher and her 3 kids were left all of a sudden and after 15 years of marriage by her husband (he worked for a church as a cantor) because of a woman who was working for the church as a deaconess. All very religious and proper people in mature age. No dancing hobby or profession really needed to provoke a sexual relationship.

    Probability of something happening in dancing societies might be higher than in a church BUT what does the probability matter if your partner decides to leave you for whatever reason? Being left because of a serious dancing hobby or profession may be just a fake reason, and my understanding is there certainly exist also other (maybe more hidden) problems behind. It’s so easy to blame a hobby…tooo easy….

  26. says: Cait

    I’m a fairly young (19, almost 20), intermediate female dancer. And I already can’t count the number of times I have heard some variation of the question “What do you like more, dancing or being with me?” I’m not saying that I can’t understand why people often get the wrong idea. Dancing is a physically intimate acting involving two people. A lot also depends on what your favorite dance is. It can be even more difficult if your preferred dance is one of the dances known for being a bit (or, in some cases, a lot) more on the sensual side, like bachata or kizomba. If that’s the case, the chances of finding an understanding significant other drop drastically. I love my salsa, but I am definitely more of a bachatera than anything else, and I really like sensual bachata. It’s not something I could give up. Unfortunately, this seriously limits my dating pool to pretty much exclusively other bachateros because, let’s face it, asking a date/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/partner/fiancé/husband/wife to be OK with you dancing salsa, even a romantica to some extent, is one thing, but asking them to be OK with you dancing sensual bachata with someone else is very different.

    1. says: Anna-Ruth

      Hey Cait, I would say, definitely don’t tell yourself that you can’t find someone who will support your desire to dance sensually, and still go home to him faithfully every night. I am married to someone who I met dancing, so we go out together when we can, but he fully supports me going out by myself and dancing however I want to dance: which yes includes close bachata and kizomba.
      If a man thinks that you dancing close with other men equates to being unfaithful, that’s his problem, not yours. We women are the ones who get to decide how and with whom to move our bodies, and what our personal boundaries are for sexuality, sensuality, playfulness, respect and faithfulness in a committed relationship.
      I am so stoked that I have a life partner who is dedicated to me and my happiness, which means I can dance freely how I want and with whom I want, knowing that at the end of the day, he’s my man. Its something that requires a lot of trust, but ultimately, you want someone you can fully trust, and vice versa.
      I’m so glad I broke up with a previous boyfriend who had some crap he had told me: “its ok if you dance salsa with other guys, but not close bachata”: oh hell no homeboy, you are not the one to go and put restrictions on how I want to move and live my life, the days of controlling and repressing women are behind us, at least in my life!
      Also: my hubby just doesn’t enjoy bachata and kizomba like I do: he loves his salsa, but knows that he isn’t into B or K that much.. I’m all for people following their passion and excitement, not letting anyone put restrictions or limitations on themselves or others!

      1. says: Mark

        Hey Anna, so by your thinking, you should not be able to tell your man who he can have sex with or kiss. Who are you to put restrictions on your man or tell him how he should move his body and be physically intimate with right? If you do tell your man he can’t have sex with a girl he wanted to it would just be you exposing your insecurities and you being jealous… lol wow. What if the roles were reversed, would you be ok if your husband danced the way you do to bachata and kizomba?

  27. says: Jennifer

    I’m a dancer married to a non dancer for 13 years. When we were introduced, my friend told him that if he doesn’t support me dancing, there is no reason to go out. It takes a secure relationship for a dancer and a non dancer to be together. My husband understands that I go to dance and see friends. When he goes with me, it’s to have a beer and sometimes to point out good male dancers for me to dance with. He is secure in knowing I come home to him. If he asks me to dance, it’s to do the three moves he learned 13 years ago when we were dating. We both knew what we were getting ourselves into and we were and still are both okay with it.

  28. says: Ingolf

    I am a man who hates to dance more than anything.

    My wife is constantly forcing me into situations where there is dancing and I am forced to dance or cause a big scene.

    My wife loves to dance.

    I often get the argument “it would take you so little to make me happy, please dance with me”.

    It would also take her so little to make me happy, just never ask me to dance.

    I understand that the main purpose of dancing is to make the woman feel beautiful – to make her look good. I do dance on some occasions, but I never enjoy it.

    It is a lose/lose situation really, if we don’t dance, I would be happy, but she would not.

    I would have to admit that if she wanted to dance with other girls, I would have no problems, but if she were to start dancing with other men I would not like it.

    ~ Ingolf, still fighting the dancing battle – going dancing next weekend.

  29. says: Dan Ashley

    My wife is a non dancer. My dancing salsa, bachata and ChaChaCha with others has been the subject of a certain amount of discussion between us.

    We have agreed that I will emphasize student performance teams, and de-emphasize social dancing. This seems to work for us. She comes to my performances and takes video of me. Then we go out and grab a bite to eat.

    My social dance time is limited, but within the context of my marriage, life is good.

    – Dan Ashley, Chicago

  30. says: Jenny

    As one of the non-dancing spouses you refer to I’d like to raise an aspect you haven’t touched on – the predator. My OH has been dancing for years and it has only once caused a problem. A woman (newly single, I later discovered), took a fancy to my husband and hung around him at every opportunity, texted him constantly, was always looking for lifts to and from salsa, and seemed to think that because I didn’t salsa we must have an unhappy relationship. He didn’t know how to handle it – the salsa community is a small one and he didn’t want any awkwardness, so it was left to me to explain to her that she had over-stepped the mark. This was done with his knowledge and blessing and she backed off. So,before you you hold the non-dancing spouse responsible, consider what may have caused her (or him) to be that way in the first place. The salsa world is not immune to people who see it as a dating opportunity!

    1. says: Michele

      So true. There are a lot of women out there (I’m sure this applies to men too but I can only speak from personal experience) that don’t know how to respect other people’s relationships and use dancing as an excuse for not recognizing boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed.

  31. says: Ains

    interesting article. touchy subject for sure. I actually teach a class now so this actually comes up a lot. it really just depends on the stage of life you’re in. if you are trying to build a life with someone and they strongly oppose you going out and dancing with strangers every night then you have to consider their position seriously and ask yourself if dancing worth losing a good relationship. if you are in a great relationship and you break up over dancing then that probably is a true addiction you have there! lol! on the other hand, if you are not ready to build a life with someone then it really doesn’t matter. either your partner gets with the program quick and learns how to dance or they have to deal with you being out at night. or they can just leave the relationship. you just have to be honest with yourself in determining where you are in life and what you really want.

  32. says: Courtney

    I have dated a few men who didn’t get my passion for dancing. One even got jealous of my going to team practice. I was a dancer before I met them and I was unwilling to give that up. Now, I’m with a dancer and we both totally get it. He doesn’t care who I dance with and vice versa. We need a break from each other from time to time, nothing a few dances with others can’t cure (though he knows certain songs we have to dance with each other, mostly because they’re awesome on2 songs with great breaks and we can both read the music for a great dance). We also know that no matter who we dance with, we’re going home together at the end of the night.
    I think it’s important to respect your partner and yourself. If you need to dance to feel whole, no one should tell you no. If you can give up a day or 2 of dancing to respect your partner, then that’s ok too.

  33. says: AVB

    It is worth to point out that the title of this article reflects only one type of situation: Non-dancing partners. But how about in cases when your dancing spouse doesn’t support your dancing life?
    This may sound oddly strange, but think on a situation in which the dancing spouse have chosen a demanding career in which the fun of dancing is put in the back burner for career, while the other spouse have to make all kinds of pleasant request that at the end are met with an ultimatum from the heavily career-oriented dancing partner. In this case, jealousy is hidden by the “work-very-hard” and cannot attend excused. People change over the years; nevertheless, fun of what you so in a relationship should never be renegades for career, since we all live once.

    1. says: Josh

      I am a husband to a ballroom dance instructor. She takes her students out to other cities to compete. I have decided after 4 years of marriage and one kid which makes me sad to have mommy and daddy separate to leave because i am dealing with this as i typing that i cannot deal with this life as a spouse to a dancer. Its too hard and i feel totally rejected. I like dancing but if you are a dancer and your potential spouse doesnt like it i suggest u way whats more important to you. You or your family. I on the other hand have been through turmoil everytime im home alone with my little boy while mommy gets to fly and stay in a hotel with her male students. Its to hard on someone like me. I’ve been through multiple therapy to deal with this jealousy that I have and I cannot seem to get over. I have Sadly come to the conclusion that I cannot live this life because I’m drowning in it and I cannot seem to accept living with a dancer. If you are a dancer I imagine it is really really hard to have a spouse that is non-dancer coming from experience I suggest that dancers stay within their community and marry within it because they are the only ones who can relate.

  34. says: Albert


    I would not blame on the jealousy but blame on understanding each other and trust

    A man/women who trust their partner and the partner who values the trust does not have any issues with the other. However, the insecurity (due to lack of trust) is what making people to give such ultimatum. Unfortunate but harsh reality.

    As you pointed correctly, The Dance floors are filled with beautiful and smart people with whom we get attracted easily. My Girlfriend/boyfriend or Wife/Husband will stay with me only irrespective of whether he goes out with Miss Universe is the trust factor that is missing in many relationships. So these Ultimatums are used to protect themselves for not being porched.

    In my indian context which is heavy with the social norms, Dancing with other people who are not related makes big hue and cry (yes India is becoming modern society even then the norms still in place). That is another reason for the ultimatum.

  35. says: Melissa West-Koistila

    Thanks so much for taking time to comment on this article. I really enjoy reading and learning from your responses!

    1. says: Ivone

      Hi Melissa. Really interesting text. I’ve been dancing Latin dances for 10 years – alone. Thousands been asked: why is yr husband not dancing, or attending parties … ? Thousands: he’is not a dancer, he hates moving on a dance floor….Thousand : oh …you should press him. STOP…. Latin music and dance turned into passion, sport, challenge and entertainment for me. My husband twice attended my partner dancing in a connected way. We communicated: We both trust each other, I need dancing, I fully respect my own body, and our marriage. We care the two of us, We care our friends …and we reached an agreement. My personal experience has been: enjoying joyfull music; latin partner dance is improving dance skills, high mutual respect, kindness…and…fun! Nothing else !! Keep happily dancing boys and girls?

  36. says: Juan

    Great Article!
    I’m an intermediate level dancer (about 1 year), Male who’s already experienced this a couple times. This can be explained in one simple word, Insecurity! I’ve invited non-dancer dates so she can see it’s fun, challenging and its the love of music that attracts Me.
    If a man or woman wants to be unfaithful, there are many places it can and does happen where Latin dance is not involved.
    My advice to everyone is date who you can trust, lighten up and $hake your booty! 🙂

    1. says: dancetothis

      Its not insecurity its all the bullshit that comes with it. Like you know i got to put up with your bs because my wife dances with u. facebook instagram calling and talking to one another. oh he is just a friend. I call it protecting your relationship. its like a key to yoyr house you give your key out to your friends. its called protection. I also dont like the body contact the closeness and sweat and holding of hands. Its okay when your single but or not a couple. once you get to that level its time to not have these opposite sex friends of that nature. Ive seen it happen time and time again. Oh we are just friends. dance partners or thats my co worker or thats bob from church or so forth. the problem is you start to develop friendships tthat may or may not be good for a relationship. My suggestion is find like minded people or find something both the partner can do without opposite contact. there is a reason there is a 50 percent divorce rate in america juan. Im ol fashioned and in this way. Oh and there is no just relax and chill unless its a picnic or get together. but close contact shoukd be reserved for the partner inless they dont care. If i dont care i would not think twice but i care about my partner in this regard.

  37. says: Niko Suave

    I would first ask more details before making any assumptions. Some people have a cultural history of what is and isn’t appropriate. I think this man took responsibility and checked out the dance class. He gave it a chance, and made his decision. He may not like it as much as we don’t want people to feel restrained from doing what they want. At which point, measure the priority levels of the relationship. You cannot ask every person to be open minded, but there is always risk when something like this happens. I know most people want to promote fun and freedom, however, significant others having insecurities need to be dealt with in compromise. I support freedom and fun myself, but I also respect someone’s concerns to insecurities, whether trust or culture based.

  38. says: Charles

    Great article. By the way, this applies to dancing in general, I believe. I like to country dance and over the years have developed several dancer friends that enjoy dancing. So it’s not unusual for me to go out dancing and have several female friends ready to dance and keep me on the floor. It’s always been a challenge to date someone who can understand and appreciate this.

    I recently started dating this girl that also loves dancing and even dances with a dance company. And so far, it’s been great! But now, she actually dances more than I do. And I definitely don’t mind her dancing with other people, it gives me a break! LOL

    It all boils down to confidence and comfort. She gets to enjoy what she loves to do, and I get to watch her enjoy herself. And at the end of the day, I get to go home with her. 🙂

  39. says: Elena

    Having your own hobbies is a great start to a healthy relationship. Having enough time for everything – individually and together – is always a challenge, but it is certainly possible to have a strong, non-jealous relationship when you each fully understand how much one’s hobby makes one happy. I dance, and my husband rock-climbs. Sometimes it is really frustrating that neither of us likes the other’s hobby, but we also know that it makes us who we are…and we each understand how much the activity means to us. That freedom crowds out any jealousy or other negativity (Though, for the record, dancing is much safer than rockclimbing!).