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Interpersonal relations between partners in ballroom dancing
Competitive ballroom dancing is one of few sport disciplines with equal gender participation, because the dancers compete in ballroom and Latin-American dances in couples formed of a man and a lady. Sport fitness, technique perfection and artistic interpretation are all important in forming a top-level dance couple. But it is also important for a couple to have appropriate interpersonal relations. We have conducted a research on a sample of 55 Slovenian competitive ballroom dancers to discover reasons for bad interpersonal relations between dance-partners, how frequent they are, and reasons for changing dance-partners and dance schools. We also wanted to find out what could be the most appropriate dance-partner-relation to achieve highest competitive results. The results of our anonymous-survey study with twelve semi-open response questions indicate that the most frequent reason for couples to part and even for dancers to quit ballroom dancing is ambition difference. Dancers change dance schools mostly to gain access to better dance teachers and possibilities for faster improvement. Reasons for bad interpersonal relations are interpreted by man and ladies differently. Ladies expect men to take leading roles; men are mostly disturbed by their partners’ revengefulness. The social climate in dance schools also influences the quality of couples’ interpersonal relations, but not the competition results. Couples with better competition results take their relations more into consideration and interpret them in their own way, but taking the roles of a leader or a follower (disregarding gender) is suggested to be the description for relation of top-notch dance couples.