Ballet is often viewed as a very individualistic form of dance; however this is far from true, there's plenty of scope for interaction and engagement with your fellow dancers. Ballet also offers an excellent opportunity for couples to spend time together, practicing, performing and building stronger connections. This is certainly the case in the world of professional ballet, where countless dancers have formed partnerships on-stage and subsequently in real life. The romantic partnering-up is likely at least partly the result of spending so much focussed time together practicing for performances – we're pretty sure it beats scrolling through your phones together while watching TV!
Professional dancers spend hours and hours practicing each week with their partner, and often develop a deeper understanding of each other as a result. So if you're looking for a genuine way to connect with your partner, ballet may be just the thing. Sure you'll argue along the way, but you'll also likely have a whole lot of fun and end up feeling closer together.
Great Ballet Partnerships
When a ballet partnership has chemistry, when two dancers are so in tune with each other and moving as one: magic happens! This ineffable magical feeling relies heavily on a strong relationship between the couple – one that's built on trust, empathy and the ability to react instinctively to the movements of the other dancer. To give you an idea of how a strong relationship between the dancers can elevate a ballet performance, look up any of the below famous ballet partnerships:
- Mikhail Baryshnikov & Gelsey Kirkland
- Rudolf Nureyev & Margot Fonteyn
- Carlotta Grisi & Marius Petipa
- Suzanne Farrell & George Balanchine
What to Look for in a Ballet Partner
Now maybe you've decided dancing with your romantic partner will be a great way to spend more time together; but many people will be looking for partners outside their romantic relationships. So what should you look for?
You'll ideally want to find a partner who has:
- A similar level of skill and experience in ballet to you (if you're both beginners that's perfect, just so long as neither one of you is holding the other back)
- A similar height to your own
- The time to invest in committing to regular ballet classes
- A strong core! This last one might sound trivial, but to perform many of the lifts required in ballet, you and your partner both need to have put the grunt work into building those abs
The last ingredient required for a quality ballet partnership is trust. This is perhaps the most important element of any partnership as you'll be relying on your partner in many challenging poses and lifts. However, often you'll find trust is something you build with a new partner over time; it's not something you necessarily start out feeling. But after dancing and practicing together regularly, you'll (hopefully) develop complete confidence in each other. If not, it's probably time to choose a new ballet partner!