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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Dave62

Spousal approval or dissapproval.

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Dave62   
Dave62

Hello all,

 

Been a while since I've posted. Started taking an adult beginners class last fall and had to drop out by January due to my wife disapproving of me taking the class. She felt all the usual stereotypical reasons as to why I was wanting to take up ballet at 52 years old. A feminine activity, wearing tights, having your anatomy highlighted by the dance belt, dancing with younger women etc, etc, etc. I was the only man in the class. Although I understood her reasons, I was crushed and saddened by stopping the class, but a happy spouse was more important than a dance class. Yes, we talked it over, many times, but with the same outcome.

 

I would like to revisit the topic again this summer in hopes of taking class again this fall.

 

Have any of you had this issue with your wife or significant other, and how did you overcome it?

 

I look forward to suggestions and comments.

Dave

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draws   
draws

Why not ask her to take the classes with you? Would she be accepting of that option?

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Kini   
Kini

My wife is very very supportive of me taking several classes a week. I am very lucky that she isn't bothered by the fact that I'm the only male in class (she sometimes hears me complain about that fact) surrounded by adult type ladies and teenagers in standard wear, do partnering classes and pretty active at my studio. And oddly enough several of my female classmates have become good friends.

 

Heck, if it wasn't for my wife I wouldn't be going to Sunking this summer. It was her suggestion that I finally go. :)

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Dave62   
Dave62

Draws,

 

Unfortunately no. She has no interest in dancing or seeing me doing so. Don't get me wrong, we have a good marriage, but this is a sticking point with her.

 

Kini,

 

You are very fortunate to have that kind of support. Did you come to ballet later in life, or have been active throughout your marriage?

 

Thank you both for your thoughtful responses and suggestions.

 

Dave

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Kini   
Kini

Dave62,

 

Yup I know I am very lucky, I was a dancer when we first met (she was a musician in the orchestra). I stopped when the first child came along and didn't realize how much I missed it until our second child started taking classes but couldn't find adult evening classes for the longest time. Few years ago there was a explosion of quality evening adult classes and I started back with the full support of my wife and dancing daughter and have never looked back.

 

Is it the clothing you wear she objects to? Maybe switching to shorts could change her mind or is it that fact that you are in a location that has a lot of women and that makes her uncomfortable.

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dansair   
dansair

Dave62,

 

what would she think if you attended a Pilates class?

Would that kind of activity be acceptable?

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AndrewUK   
AndrewUK

Would she go along and watch one of your classes ?

 

Might be that her seeing and meeting others in the class , could make her more "comfortable" with you taking them. I know a couple, where the wife is the dancer and husband not and he never will, so she got him to take her and wait (so they could go out dinner afterwards), since he actually saw how the class works, and met others in the class ,he is a lot happier - he cant understand why guys take ballet - the old sigma maybe it had in past, and is often making comments to me when I see them ! Like I say to him if you don't try you never will know !

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BarreTalk   
BarreTalk

When I re-started ballet at age 48, my wife thought I'd lost my marbles, but she wasn't offered a vote. I think it's healthy for both members of a couple to do things individually, not just stuff you can both agree on.

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Dave62   
Dave62

Kini,

 

Yes it is partially the clothing she objects to. I don't want to switch to shorts. I feel that if you are going dance ballet, the clothing is part of the experience. I do wear support pantyhose and tights made for men for varicose veins, and she is fine with that. So, the ballet tights are not much different.

 

dansair,

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but I want to take ballet. The Pilates class would probably go over better, but I'm not interested in that.

 

Andrew,

 

No, she would not want to come along and watch me or participate. Just not her thing.

 

Barre talk,

 

I agree that couples need individual activities to stay together and be happy. My wife thought I was nuts too. I pushed the issue gently but firmly saying I wanted to do this for myself. The problem was every Tuesday morning leaving for work with my Ballet duffel bag for class after work would bring silence on her part and an uncomfortable feeling on my part all day. So after a few months of that and talking it over many times, I dropped out to keep the home happy.

 

 

To all,

Basically I'm a regular guy. I'm not a 'mans man'. I don't drink, smoke, hang out with the guys after work, watch sports, work on cars, hunt, or other stereotypical manly things. I'm not saying that those who do are bad. It's just not my thing. I like taking care of our home, working in the yard, hiking, cycling, taking walks with my wife, and playing the banjo. I'm very much in touch with my feminine side more than my macho side, BUT not in a girly way. Just a softer side a lot of men are afraid to show. I relate to woman and can talk with them better than men. I can be ripping apart a wall in our house to fix, planting a garden, putting up gutters on the house, and then dancing ballet. I don't think that is a bad thing. My wife likes the fact I'm not a manly man. She likes the softer side of me, but ballet pushes the limits.

 

Have any of you had to wrestle with this, and how did you overcome it and keep things in harmony at home?

 

I really want to return to class this fall, but with her support.

 

Thanks for reading this and your comments.

 

Dave

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Kini   
Kini

Dave62 I am assuming your uniform includes a dance belt doesn't it?

 

Wish I could help otherwise but I have no idea why your wife would be so dead set against you taking ballet classes.

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Old_Faun   
Old_Faun

For the clothing - I mostly use long elastic sport pants from Nike you could wear in every gymn while lifting iron or do other manly things (they cost only a third of "real" ballet tights), and the women wear what they like. As the teachers do, too.

There is no formal ballet wear here in Germany, here is too much modern and contemporary so clothing is very relaxed in adult ballet(and in ballet companies while probing, they have an explicit bad taste in clothing...).

 

Since I startet adult ballet 2 years ago I noticed much positive feedback from women. It's everytime parttalk they find out - and wear your ring in lesson, it's too much interest from women in dancing men... perhaps I am a bit biased because I am gay. But dancing it's not a gay thing, the other male adult dancer I know is hetero, and he likes it.

 

I got flirting from students and teachers alike - sometimes I often do a forced outing when I visit a workshop when it's too much for me(and I'm not the youngest anymore). Perhaps you wife is afraid of this.

Edited by Old_Faun

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MJ   
MJ

I like the idea she take class with you, even occasionally. She will also learn that the last thing on your mind is the other ladies, but focusing on dance.

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Garyecht   
Garyecht

How about taking her to a professional dance company performance so she can see how you enjoy seeing dance and perhaps she will also enjoy the experience which in turn might soften her objections.

 

In my case, I've been involved in physical activities all my life so when my wife first met me (47 years ago) she knew I was a serious and dedicated athlete at the time. When I began dancing 21 years ago, it was just another one of Gary's activities. Over time as I got involved with little amateur dance companies, we all (dancers and spouses) became good friends.

 

I do believe that in a good marriage each person has to do their own thing as well as things they do together.

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silvergreydancer   
silvergreydancer

Dave62,

 

I've read all the comments made, many of them are are good and if you have a wife that is equally interested in your happiness, dance isn't a problem. On the other hand, if you must sacrafice your happiness for hers, then there is something wrong. Yes, my wife had a similar reaction on finding out I was taking class. I made it clear that it was something I wanted to do for my own well being. That was the end of it. i think you have to ask yourself how much do you want to study this disicpline. Then act accordingly.

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Dave62   
Dave62

Hello everyone!

 

Thank you all for your thoughtful suggestions and responses. I've been working long hours lately so haven't had time to respond.

 

Responding to some of your suggestions:

 

- she has no interest in taking class with me or even observing a class, no debating that issue, just not her thing.

- not interested in going to see a dance performance either.

- I fully agree that couples should be able to do things on their own, I let her do whatever she wants to do and that was my argument to her.

- I don't see her a being jealous of me taking class with other women.

 

I think a few things lie a the heart of her objection to it. I took a class 25 + years ago for a year. She never knew that. So, this was coming out of left field, so to speak. My comfort with my feminine side can sometimes push the limits with her. Ballet really brought things to the edge. She doesn't like the idea of me 'prancing', her words, around in tights. Also, with work, and home repairs and upgrades on the house we bought last year, there hasn't been much time for us to connect. She feels distance from because of the and I recognize that too.

 

Yes, I do wear a dance belt, tights and t-shirt which is the regular dress code for a man.

 

Silvergrey: How old were you when you started and did you take class previously, and did your wife know about it? What was her reaction when you told her, and even though you went ahead, were things a bit 'cold' between you for awhile?

 

My instructor came into the store where I work yesterday, and we had a good conversation and told her I was hoping to come back in the fall, if things could be worked out at home. She said I was missed by the other students and would be welcomed back.

 

So with continued input and suggestions from you gentlemen, and more discussions with my wife, I hope to return to class.

 

Looking forward to further discussion,

Dave

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