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Thread: Dance Partner Dilemma

  1. #1
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    Dance Partner Dilemma

    Hey Guys,

    I have been a follower of Golden Skate for a long time but have never made an account until today. The reason being is that I need some advice.

    I am an ice dance hopeful working my way through my tests with my coach (testing junior at next test date). We have been searching for a partner for a while now, and i realize this is not always a quick process and can often take months or years to find someone who is a match. However I have recently had my parents tell me that unless I can find a partner by early next year, I will have to quit skating.

    I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice here. Is this a realistic time limit to set on finding a partner? Do you have any stories on people who have taken a long time to find a partner but then had some success?
    Also any advice on talking my parents out of this?

    Would be greatly appreciated.....

  2. #2
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard AusDance and good luck!!

    I probably can't help much but from what I've seen around my area I've got one small piece of advice. Choose someone you trust and have faith that they will put forth the same effort as you and are interested in the same results. We just watched an attempt made at converting two singles skaters to a pairs team at my rink where the girl was committed even though she is a fairly successful singles skater and the guy was kind of on the fence about the whole thing but he gave it a shot anyway. After a few months of training it fell apart because he wasn't really ever going to commit to it.

    I wouldn't be overly scared of trusting people but just be as clear as possible as to your goals and get on the same page as soon as possible.

    I'm wishing the best for you

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    If your username is implying what I think it is, then I don't know what to say. We have such a shortage of boys to begin with...and so few want to do dance or are capable of reaching that level...

    You say your parents have said they will stop supporting your skating in a year if you have no partner. Okay. How old are you? Because if that's the case but you want to keep skating, well, it's time to get a job, kiddo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I probably can't help much but from what I've seen around my area I've got one small piece of advice. Choose someone you trust and have faith that they will put forth the same effort as you and are interested in the same results. We just watched an attempt made at converting two singles skaters to a pairs team at my rink where the girl was committed even though she is a fairly successful singles skater and the guy was kind of on the fence about the whole thing but he gave it a shot anyway. After a few months of training it fell apart because he wasn't really ever going to commit to it.
    I agree, finding somebody with genuine interest and willingness to stick with it is much more important than skill level. Of course your partner should have some ability but I don't think they need to be at the same level as long as they will do what it takes to get there.

    Alternatively, what do you / your parents think of freestyle? If you can't find a partner then maybe it's worth switching to freestyle lessons until you do, in order to keep skating regularly.

    Beware, it sounds like your parents may be the type to do what they can to coerce you into getting married, having children, etc. too. Those are definitely not decisions to rush for somebody else's satisfaction!

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Ferinheight should never enter negatives! StitchMonkey's Avatar
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    I can't saw much to help, but I wanted to chime in and offer at least an Internet hug. Your situation sucks. Your parents. . . well some people just don't understand doing something out of passion or love along. It has to have a point. And people like that struggle to see the point with no partner.

    You might want to try to find a way to present a realistic goal to your parents that is both useful and achievable without a partner. Could you you maybe argue you want to keep going so you can get to a level where you could tutor/teach/coach kids when you are in college? Some parents might see the benefits of having a better income source in college with more flexibility and respect and enjoyment and often income potential enough to see more of a reason to keep going without a partner.

    The only other thing I can suggest is start pursuing something that they will like even less and call their bluff so to speak. They don't want to support you anymore? Start seriously looking into alternative school graduation paths. Ones that would let you graduate early, work and keep skating, but that they may not really like. Find out what you could, do what you would need to do, and have it at least the it's an option phase. Take the equivalent of a practice GED test, study up, make sure you can show your parents that you can and will pass if you take the real thing. If you can show you can and will do it on your own, they may reopen negotiations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Beware, it sounds like your parents may be the type to do what they can to coerce you into getting married, having children, etc. too. Those are definitely not decisions to rush for somebody else's satisfaction!
    What the...?! How the bloody hell do you figure that?!?!?!?!?!

    Her parents are paying an awful LOT of money for their daughter's skating. I don't think it's unreasonable, from that point of view, that they want to start seeing the payoff. Solo dance obviously isn't a payoff for them. Now, is it displaying a certain naivete about how skating works? Of course it is. Especially skating in Australia. I guess they've probably seen Dani and Greg and gone, well, there are partners out there!

    Parents wanting to start seeing some value for the money they invest does NOT mean they're going to force her to get married. That's the most stupid comment I've read today, and I started the day reading Abbott-fan comments about Jason's plush toys...

  7. #7
    Ferinheight should never enter negatives! StitchMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    What the...?! How the bloody hell do you figure that?!?!?!?!?!

    Her parents are paying an awful LOT of money for their daughter's skating. I don't think it's unreasonable, from that point of view, that they want to start seeing the payoff. Solo dance obviously isn't a payoff for them.
    I think the passion on their child's face is the payoff. I don't agree with the mindset that you have to get to a certain level, or have a certain amount of success for their to be a "payoff"

    Kids should not be treated as such literal investments by their parents.

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    Non-obvious solutions.

    1. Tell your parents that ice dance is not only your passion (they won't care) but the best physical exercise there is. But you'll give it up if they'll let you take up other exercise in its place. Then pick something more expensive than skating, like equitation or dressage, or boat racing, or ballet.

    2. Look at the hockey skaters. You see that guy who occasionally does a spin or waltz jump or spread eagle in hockey skates? Tell him you'll PAY him to ice dance with you. Of course you'll have to get him to learn to ice dance. If he says no, tell him you'll PAY HIM IN BEER! When his friends call him names all he has to say is "THEY PAY ME IN BEER!"

    3. Start visiting immigrant clubs (if they have them where you live), or advertise in the newspapers for recent immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, or Itally that can figure skate. So what if he has an accent! If he can skate in black boots, you can teach him !

  9. #9
    Ferinheight should never enter negatives! StitchMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babbette1 View Post
    Non-obvious solutions.

    1. Tell your parents that ice dance is not only your passion (they won't care) but the best physical exercise there is. But you'll give it up if they'll let you take up other exercise in its place. Then pick something more expensive than skating, like equitation or dressage, or boat racing, or ballet.

    2. Look at the hockey skaters. You see that guy who occasionally does a spin or waltz jump or spread eagle in hockey skates? Tell him you'll PAY him to ice dance with you. Of course you'll have to get him to learn to ice dance. If he says no, tell him you'll PAY HIM IN BEER! When his friends call him names all he has to say is "THEY PAY ME IN BEER!"

    3. Start visiting immigrant clubs (if they have them where you live), or advertise in the newspapers for recent immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, or Itally that can figure skate. So what if he has an accent! If he can skate in black boots, you can teach him !
    I love you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    What the...?! How the bloody hell do you figure that?!?!?!?!?!
    Sorry, in retrospect there's really not evid nice for that, I just have bad experience with overbearing parents that I suppose I am speculating a bit, but it was only intended as a casual "hey, just in case this should happen, be prepared", not "your parents are definitely going to do this, so brace yourself!". Of course there's also the text-only Internet communication factor in addition to being from different cultures, but to me the OP did not read as a parent calmly expressing their desires and coming to a reasonable agreement with the child.

    Her parents are paying an awful LOT of money for their daughter's skating. I don't think it's unreasonable, from that point of view, that they want to start seeing the payoff. Solo dance obviously isn't a payoff for them.
    I think it's unreasonable. I don't think it's fair to a child to invest a lot into something they love and then threaten to cut it off if it's not going exactly how they want. I don't think it's reasonable for a parent to coerce a child into making a rushed decision which if they really love the sport and believe the threat, they will find a way to satisfy, even if they have a bad feeling about it. I find that sort of behavior manipulative which is why it reminded me of the other examples I said. I have seen parents push children into serious life-changing decisions like the ones I mentioned using similar tactics, simply because they had selfish interest at heart.

    If finances are the concern, the parents should work with the child so that they clearly understand this and help them to find alternate sources of income for their sport. If the child is not progressing or taking it seriously or enjoying it anymore, then there is reason to think it is not worth the investment. Not just because they aren't accomplishing something, particularly something as personal as finding a dance partner, on the parent's schedule.

    I think "all or nothing" isn't reasonable in general, and "if you don't find a partner, there will be no more funding whatsoever" sounds pretty all-or-nothing. If you think that's stupid then so be it.

    Parents wanting to start seeing some value for the money they invest does NOT mean they're going to force her to get married.
    Perhaps not, but I don't think it's reasonable either. if the parent isn't mak no the investment *for the child*, then they should not be making it.

  11. #11
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babbette1 View Post
    Non-obvious solutions.

    1. Tell your parents that ice dance is not only your passion (they won't care) but the best physical exercise there is. But you'll give it up if they'll let you take up other exercise in its place. Then pick something more expensive than skating, like equitation or dressage, or boat racing, or ballet.

    2. Look at the hockey skaters. You see that guy who occasionally does a spin or waltz jump or spread eagle in hockey skates? Tell him you'll PAY him to ice dance with you. Of course you'll have to get him to learn to ice dance. If he says no, tell him you'll PAY HIM IN BEER! When his friends call him names all he has to say is "THEY PAY ME IN BEER!"

    3. Start visiting immigrant clubs (if they have them where you live), or advertise in the newspapers for recent immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, or Itally that can figure skate. So what if he has an accent! If he can skate in black boots, you can teach him !
    OMG!!!! Boat racing....I just...I can't...

  12. #12
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    I second karne and stitchmonkey- some people just always think in term of payoff. (Case in point, my little brother saw no reason for my parents to share a plate of ribs with the neighbors. He said"why, what'd they do for you")

    This might be a good time for the Op to sit down with her parents and discuss what she wants to get out of skating, goals, the life skills it teaches, etc. I know my parents never would commit time/$ to an activity bc they perceived a lack of attention from me! So who knows, perhaps they're just not seeing your perspective

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    Before I continue, I would like to point out two things that people need to keep in mind.

    1. In Australia, everything is more expensive - ESPECIALLY for a specialty sport like skating.

    2. We only have very few details from the OP. With all due respect to her, we don't know the full story - her own behaviour towards skating, her parents' financial situation, even her age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    I think it's unreasonable. I don't think it's fair to a child to invest a lot into something they love and then threaten to cut it off if it's not going exactly how they want. I don't think it's reasonable for a parent to coerce a child into making a rushed decision which if they really love the sport and believe the threat, they will find a way to satisfy, even if they have a bad feeling about it. I find that sort of behavior manipulative which is why it reminded me of the other examples I said. I have seen parents push children into serious life-changing decisions like the ones I mentioned using similar tactics, simply because they had selfish interest at heart.
    We don't know everything. Maybe the OP skips a lot of practices, or otherwise gives indication that she doesn't take it completely seriously. Maybe the OP (or coach) promised the parents she'd be competing with a partner within a set time frame. Maybe the OP keeps flip-flopping about wanting to continue (especially if teenager) and the parents are sick of it. Maybe the parents are jerks. Maybe OP's siblings are starting to complain about the amount of money going into OP's skating and the lack thereof for their own interests. Maybe OP's schooling is suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    If finances are the concern, the parents should work with the child so that they clearly understand this and help them to find alternate sources of income for their sport.
    Here is the only point where we do agree. We don't know the OP's parents' financial situation either. Unfortunately nowadays there seems to be a rather stupid parenting trend where parents hide the state of their finances from the kid and never say, "We can't afford it", thus allowing the kid to blithely carry on with activities the parents actually can't afford.

    But at some point too the OP has to take responsibility for her own skating - and this is maybe the true point. Hard to say more without knowing how old the OP is.

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