How can we know the dancer
from the dance?
—W. B. Yeats
One
DANCE
LESSONS
FOCUSING
Preparing for
Partnership
hey had come far since deciding to dance
together for their big run at the Nationals.
Now the compulsory dances were over, and
the six finalist couples were each to perform their
choice of dance and music for the final judging. They
were to be the sixth and last couple . . . and they had
chosen to dance the tango to Hernando’s Hideaway,
going against their usual squeaky-clean, boy-and-
girl-next-door image to try to coax a national
championship from the judges.
As the fifth couple took the floor, they heard the
opening strains of Hernando’s Hideaway. Had they
made a mistake in the sound booth? Had somebody
gotten the music for the dances mixed up? They
T
A
Heels or Flats?
Boots or Toe Shoes?
Take a minute to think about a particular partnership of yours. It could be
one you are starting up, one you are in now, or one you are considering in
the future. Review the descriptions at each end of the ten scales below. On
each scale, circle the number that best represents the relationship you have
in mind.
I expect our relationship 5 4 3 2 1 I expect our relationship to be
to be intensely more like a valuable support
interdependent. system.
What we have at stake 5 4 3 2 1 What we have at stake is
is pretty much equal. far from the same.
We will march to our 5 4 3 2 1 We are very dependent on
own drum, without the others to make this
approval of others. partnership work.
The risk of failure is moderate. 5 4 3 2 1 The risk of failure is very high.
We expect this union 5 4 3 2 1 We honestly expect this union to
to last a long time. last a relatively short time.
It is our idea. 5 4 3 2 1 It is their idea.
I want to do this 5 4 3 2 1 My boss/organization wants
project. to do this project.
We know them and 5 4 3 2 1 We don’t know them
their products/services. very well.
We need them; they need us. 54321 We could do this without them.
We are intrigued by 54321 They are practical suppliers.
their talents.
Now, add up the numbers you circled and divide by ten to get your
“dance quotient.”
If your dance quotient is a: Your partnership is a:
5 Tango
4 Waltz
3 Square Dance
2 Twist
1 Line Dance
watched the fifth couple eagerly start
their routine—a tango!—and realized
the frightful truth: they would have to
perform the exact same dance, to the
exact same score.
In their panic, they barely heard the
emcee announce, “Our sixth couple has
also chosen to dance the tango.” As
the first few notes of Hernando’s
Hideaway blared again over the speak-
ers, their legs began to feel numb.
They stared blankly at one another as
they struggled to remember what their
first step was supposed to be.
ll championship
dancers, while waiting
their turn before the
fickle eyes of a judge,
think, “What am I
doing here?!” Those
who succeed are those who
can calm distraction, remem-
ber complex steps, and
self-talk their way to self-
confidence. But these are not
the only critical success fac-
tors. Choos ing to dance the
right dance for the right rea-
son sets the stage for success-
fully displaying the dancers’
talent and skill.

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