Anya Brodech is a professional salsa, Latin, swing, and ballroom dance teacher in Oakland, CA.
Why Breaking Up With Your Boyfriend/Dance Partner Is So Hard
Break-ups are hard, especially if you really liked the person. Break-ups are even harder if that person was not only your boyfriend, but also your dance partner.
It’s beyond rough breaking up with somebody that you dance with because you suffer not only one, but up to FIVE simultaneous losses: 1) boyfriend, 2) dance partner, 3) mutual friends at dance, 4) studios/venue(s) to dance at, 5) competition/performance opportunities.
That’s a LOT to handle for anybody. But don’t worry, life WILL go on and you WILL dance again! It may take some time, but I have faith in you: things will get better, they have to!
My Personal Dance-Breakup History
I’ve been dancing for almost ten years now and have been through a dozen break ups, ranging from light-and-easy transitions back into friendship, moderate annoyances, to agonizing soul-crushing ones that made me want to quit dancing altogether and fall into a deep depression. Regardless of how absolutely terrible you feel right now, just breathe. It’s painful to lose someone that you love and care about. It’s okay if you feel bad, you have a right to feel that way; it’s only natural for us as human beings.
Why You Shouldn't Feel Bad About Losing Your Dance Partner
It’s easy to think bad thoughts about how your dancing is no good without your partner, that you’ll never find another partner again, or that you’ll never enjoy dancing again. These thoughts may seem right, but they are WRONG! Yes, you lost someone really special, but that's only one aspect of your life. You are a beautiful, wonderful, special person with plenty of talent and potential inside of you! You’re just going through a bad time right now and it will take some time and motivation to get you going and feeling good again.
The Answer to the Question: How Do I Get Over Breaking Up With My Dance Partner/Boyfriend?
You learn how to dance again, by yourself. Taking back charge of your dancing and making it your “own” is the key to moving forward with your dance career.
How do I do this?
You must first recognize that dancing is something that no one can take away from you. No matter what happens, you will always know how to dance.
That is a special skilled that you put time, money and effort into learning. You might feel a little shaky right now which is perfectly understandable. You need to get in touch with yourself and your dancing and learn that it is something that you do for you and you alone.
You can’t surrender and give up something that you love just because someone hurt you. What you need to realize is that it was the person, not the dancing that caused this pain, and that they are two separate things. Dancing might hurt you for a while because of all the memories you had with the person. So the solution to this, is to make new memories and new feelings.
How to Get Over Your Breakup by Dancing ZUMBA
This is where Zumba comes as the solution to your break up. I love Zumba because you don’t need a partner. It’s rough going back out to dance when your partner/boyfriend is missing and you feel overwhelmed and alone that he’s not there. (I’ve had this feeling happen a LOT, which put me off from going out dancing for a while more than once). It can be hard to find a new partner or to dance with someone new for a while after your breakup, so you have my blessing to take a break and get yourself centered again.
I know you might want to hide at home and not show your face to the world, but you need to get out of the house! Go to Zumba, trust me, you’ll feel better afterwards! What I discovered about Zumba is that it’s a great way to get over break ups because:
- No partner needed,
- You’re exercising and doing something good for your body,
- You’re dancing around to fun, exciting, happy, upbeat music in a fun, happy, exciting environment,
- No one cares what you look like because everyone’s too busy paying attention to themselves, so you can play around with the dance moves and have fun doing your own thing, e) You get a break from reminiscing about your ex and all of those bad thoughts while you’re focused on doing Zumba.
- Even if you don’t get the moves perfectly, you can at least have fun trying and laughing and smiling with other people in class
- No one can accuse you of moping around after your ex because you're out in the world having a good time, now that looks like a girl who's got her problems under control!
I picked Zumba as my dance to learn how to do alone because I have a strong Latin dance background, so I know a lot of the moves and am familiar with the music already.
Alternatives to Zumba for Helping You Get Over Your Breakup
Another option that you can do instead of Zumba, or as a supplement to it, is Hip-hop. There’s lots of adult group hip-hop fitness classes in gyms (such as WERQ and U-JAM, depending on where you live). I love adult hip-hop classes because they’re a lot of fun and teach you how to be sexy and move your body on your own without a partner. You can have a lot of fun pretending you’re in a music video, and if anything you’ll have some moves for the next time you go out clubbing with your friends.
You can also sign up for adult ballet classes, because ballet principles apply in a lot of other dances, so you’ll be getting something useful out of it. You won’t be jumping around, clapping your hands and shaking your booty like you would in Zumba or hip-hop, but you’ll still be getting a workout!
7 Steps to Getting Back on the Dance Floor After Quitting Dancing
So, in the meantime, this is how you get yourself ready to come back to regular partner dancing.
1) Identify the fact that you are still a dancer without him (or her)
2) Tell yourself, “I will dance again!”
3) Sign up for Zumba or another adult dance class and go as often as you can
4) Learn how to dance by yourself and have fun moving around
5) Make a playlist of fun, happy music that doesn’t remind you of him, and listen to it whenever you need to drown out your bad thoughts, especially when you’re driving
6) Spend time with your friends/family and catch up on the non-dance aspects of your life
7) Repeat steps 1-6 until the idea of going out to dance doesn’t give you a panicked/overwhelming feeling
Once you’ve done these seven steps (as many times as you need), brace yourself and go out to dance to a place where you know a lot of people and where you’re not likely to run into him. In the beginning, it helps to have friends there with you that you can sit and talk to and hang out with on the side in case you get a case of nerves and don’t feel quite ready to venture out onto the dance floor. It may take a very short time or a very long time, up to year or more, before you feel like your old self again, but don’t despair, things will get better!
How to Transition to a New Partner and Deal With Your Ex
If you’re feeling bold and in need of assistance, you can set yourself up with a rebound or friend with benefits, to help you clear your head of your ex and to help you transition on to your next dance partner. Obviously, be nice to your transition person and don’t abuse them and make it clear what your relationship with them is about.
But either way, do what you need to do to move on with your life.
Don’t sit around obsessing about the past. Also, try to avoid contact with your ex as much as possible until you feel strong enough to face him again.
If you see him somewhere, you don’t have to talk to him or say hi if you’re not ready.
In the future, you may end up reconciling things with your ex and becoming friends and/or dance partners again. However, in the meantime, just focus on yourself and your dancing.
You’re going to be okay!
You're going to dance again someday, I believe in you!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2014 Anya Brodech
Arthur on July 14, 2017:
Thank you! It does help a lot for treating myself well.
Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on December 10, 2014:
Thanks, I'm glad you liked my article!
Going back and dancing again is always hard after a break up.
Thanks for your support!
Pinky de Garcia on December 08, 2014:
Break up is one of the most difficult phase of life we don't want to experience.But, we've fall on the pit of love to live happiness and sadness it offers.
It's really sad to experience the end of the relationship we've been treasured and seen for the rest of our life.It's really devastating.
However, we couldn't let this sadness to swallow our present and future lives. Life must go on.
I like the question and answer style you've used in this article. I also admire the tips you've provided here.