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Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Anonymous
2/5/2007  6:41:00 AM
Our dance community is relativly small and a dance teacher and his wife hosted one dance weekly. The male teacher has been teaching about 2 years, kept his day job and had a few students and was preparing to compete with a local pro.

Recently he took on a amateur and started preparing to compete Pro Am. Within 2 months he left his wife of 25 years for this student. They announced at a recent dance that the husband and wife were separating. It was shocking to all since the couple was very involved in the dance community and all the ladies are sort of paranoid now about getting their husband stolen while dancing. Now they (teacher and ex wife, new girlfriend) are trying to be friendly and at dances both ladies are there and he continues to dance with both of them. It is very awkward for everyone and the teacher doesn't look like he is having much fun. If it was me I would relocate, disappear, or cool it for awhile. Some of us were wondering how angry this deserted wife could get seeing her ex out dancing and etc. with his new love interest. I even thought about dodging bullets from a handgun if things get heated up.

This is by far the stupidest and worst dance breakups I have ever seen. The male teacher says he had been unhappy long before--but to run off with a student and then rub his dance affair in his ex's face at local dances is a little much.

My dance teacher tells me that this is very typical of the soap opera dance world and started telling me about a previous sex harassment lawsuit that she testified in at a previous studio.

I am amazed how some dance Pros can be so unprofessional and not even think about what type of image they are creating for dancers.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by anon
2/5/2007  11:06:00 AM
I have witnessed something similar in our dance community, even though it did not involve a pro teacher. When I just started dancing, there was a married couple who had been longtime costumers of our studio and come to the Sat social regularly. Then a new girl showed up one day and she often asked the man to dance. Because she never asked any other man, it was obvious to everybody that she was interested in him more than just dancing. Basically their romance evolved while all of us were right there watching. I bet it was so painful for the wife. Eventually they separated and got divorced. Now all three of them stopped coming to the studio, so we don't know if the man and the girl are still together. Last time when we saw the wife, she looked great, losing a lot of weight, even though she was not fat before. One can only wonder what kind of damage her husband's affair did to her self-esteem. The man and the girl behaved themselves as if nothing were wrong, and it was almost embarrassing to us. (We called the girl Charlie's courtesan behind their back.) Another strange thing is, that this girl was a resident working to be a MD, and also good-looking. The man was just an average middle class middle-aged man. We still cannot figure out what she saw in him. The man was kind of shy and a quiet man. She was the one who chased him. If she had not been so persistent, their relationship would not have gone as far as it went.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Ellen
2/5/2007  12:44:00 PM
This kind of thing can happen in any group of people. Marriages do break down, people do find new partners, wives (and husbands) who've been freed from unhappy marriages do sometimes look great afterward.

Frankly, what bothers me is not what these couples are doing, but the attitudes of people like the previous posters. Frankly, it's none of your business. In the first case, here are three people, apparently trying to handle a difficult situation civilly and without disrupting their lives too much. If you really cared about them, you'd be supportive, not snarky. In the second case, please spare me your sympathy for the wife. If you were really sympathetic, you wouldn't talk behind their back and make jokes about it.

In reality, people do find the sexual and marital behavior of their acquaintances entertaining and gossip is fun. But at least admit that's what you're doing and spare everyone your fake moralizing.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by anon
2/5/2007  12:59:00 PM
I did not try to moralize anything. It was just so weird because all this drama unfolded right in front of our eyes.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Ellen
2/5/2007  2:05:00 PM
Right, you regarded it as entertainment. That's my point.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Anon2
2/5/2007  6:09:00 PM
Get over it Ellen. Talk and gossip go with the territory, especially with us women. What's different about ballroom dancing is that it is supposed to be so civilized. Where I grew up no one would dare to flirt or attempt to take someones dance partner. We had plenty of cat fights (women) and dog fights (men). When attending a dance you can see the drama develop by watching body language and expressions. Especially with mate or partnership breakups that choose to keep their drama going by all parties attending the same dances or studio events. This is a recipe for drama and gossip.

There should be some respect in ballroom dancing with student-teacher relationships. This is true in colleges, offices, high schools, and etc. Ballroom dancing studios are behind the curve in this area, maybe not enough law suits yet. Or maybe there are lots of independent unregulated teachers out there.

In our area it's considered normal for changing partners,teachers and students getting together and so on. The dance world just has more emotion, high drama, and general lack of respect than other professions. Adults trying to be teenagers again. Sure some teachers are very professional and some are not, like any other field. There are lots of masquerading teachers too, sort of like the personal trainer profession.

A good teacher of any kind is worth their weight in gold and should be repected and not get themselves entangled in too much drama at the office.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Ellen
2/5/2007  8:47:00 PM
How about you being civilized and not airing other people's dirty laundry in a super-public forum? This thread could be read by anyone! Including people who might well recognize the setting you describe. Or the people involved themselves.

Fine, if you want to be a gossip. At least you admit it. But then don't throw stones at other people's conduct of their lives. Gossiping can be extremely hurful, is unattractive in any case, and does more to poison a ballroom dance scene than a couple breaking up does.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by Anon2
2/6/2007  8:49:00 AM
Who knows if any of these stories are even true? No names or places are mentioned and no specific gossip. Maybe it is just a discussion of the darker underside of the dance world. Probably every studio can come up with about 20 similiar stories. Why are the Spiral Stories with Dance Beat Magazine so popular or the recent Ballroom Dancing books out that tell it like it is?
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by I-Just-Wanna-Dance
2/6/2007  11:04:00 AM
Believe me, the dance community is small and gossip seems to be the trump card in a small dance town. There's quite a difference between "exploring the darker side of the dance world" and flat calling everyone's attention to what should be a private matter, and doing so with unsubstantiated rumors. If these two Lady Gossip Queens are so disgusted with the goings-on of others, then they should confront the people involved personally rather than attacking them anonymously in an open forum. But that's just me... an outsider to the goings-on so I don't speculate.

Dancelover, you have spoken your words with true eloquence and I believe everyone should remember why we all have gotten into the dance world in the first place. Thank you for your refreshing words.
Re: Dance teacher leaves wife for student.
Posted by I-Just-Wanna-Dance
2/6/2007  1:46:00 PM
So Anon2, according to you gossip is civilized? Your social compass is most definitely skewed if indeed you do think that. The civilized, grown-up thing to do would be to NOT gossip and spread rumors behind the persons' backs. That is the type of civility I see being a part of the ballroom dancing world. I do not go to dances to relive my high school days all over again. I go to mingle with a great group of friends that, despite our own faults, all have one thing in common; we all love to dance. We do not go to these dances to hear the "he said, she said" gossip; we go to dance and socialize with wonderfully amazing friends. Those who feel that gossip comes with the territory are only drama-driven and frankly, I don't want you a part of my dance world if you feel it simply "comes with the territory".

You also mention that maybe there are enough law suits in this arena. You know, you might be on to something here. Maybe there aren't enough law suits pending for those who feel the need to slander someone's professional and personal character and integrity based on unsubstantiated rumors.

With that said, I'll see you on the dance floor, but please... leave the high-school gossip outside.

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