Ever dated a dancer? I have to admit, we’re not the easiest partner to have. At the drop of a hat, you can go from casually dating your dancer (and of course having a great time - we’re pretty rad) to suddenly, without getting any say in the matter, bidding farewell and wondering if you’ll ever see them again. If you’re dating a dancer long-term, you will (most likely) eventually find yourself having to decide whether long distance is worth the effort. Or for us, if taking that dream job is worth risking losing someone you love. More often than not, things end.
Don’t get me wrong - I know plenty of happy couples, including couples who are both dancers and couples where one is a dancer and one is not. It can definitely work, I’ve seen it. Shout out to those who have defied the odds! (Names featured at bottom of article.) Don’t not date a dancer, please - that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is I now realise a successful relationship with a dancer usually comes at a compromise; and that compromise can be the absolute hardest thing to achieve.
If you’ve made it through one or even two overseas contracts and you’re still together - that’s a very good sign. The success rate increases if the partner who was left at home has made the effort to visit their dancer. Or, if you both met whilst overseas, the two of you have made the effort to visit each other’s home and meet the family. All good signs.
What happens when the job offers keep coming and one person is feeling consistently left behind? A sacrifice of some kind must be made if the relationship is to last and it’s usually the dancer who has to make it.
Ok, I’m talking directly to the dancers reading this now. As you know, we are constantly faced with choices. Some of our friends are married, having kids, buying houses and are insanely happy to have found their person to do it all with. Of course we are so happy for them and I’m sure most of us want all of those things eventually (if you don’t already have them). For some of us, those desires sit high on our list of priorities and for others, they are replaced by other desires - such as career, travel and personal growth. It’s a hard choice. Can’t we have both? Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a way for your partner to come with you, travel with you, grow with you and have them by you side every step of the way? News flash: that’s unlikely to happen. (OK, I actually know of two dancer couples who have achieved this. It’s very, very rare but possible.) My point is, we are actually a bit selfish in this sense... we tend to want it all. Double news flash: dating a fellow dancer doesn’t necessarily get you this outcome either! You can be the best, most loyal, most in love couple out there - but none of that will ensure stability unless you are both willing to compromise.
So, if you’ve met someone who makes your heart want to escape and dance around on the table in front of you but you’re terrified because you know it will mean making sacrifices - this is my advice:
Be fearless. If it scares you, do it. Don’t play it safe, life is too short. You CAN make it work but only if you have respect for each other. If it doesn’t work out in the end, at least you can say you tried. You will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself along the way.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re faced with the choice of staying put because it’s comfortable, or taking the opportunity to travel and expand your career, my advice is EXACTLY THE SAME!
Respect yourself and your individual hopes and dreams. They are valid, they are warranted and they deserve to be fulfilled. If you meet someone who you want to share your life with, respect them as much as you respect yourself. Respect their individual hopes and dreams as they are just as valid, just as warranted and they, too deserve to be fulfilled.
Oh, and don’t forget to compromise!
Shoutout to these happy couples:
Ash and Rudiger
Tara and Simon
Gemma and Marc
Emma and Gerwin
Emily and Mikkel
Amanda and Mannie
Julia and Jonathan
Cameron and Ashley
Chris and Dan
Madz and Beau
Georgia and Daniel