Singles-Sided Deafness Makes Dancing Work

Mark and I take ballroom dancing lessons. As with many couples who’ve been taking lessons for years, we are working on different problems in our dancing. We have different strengths, different weaknesses. While we both have great frames, he has a much better frame in promenade than I do. I have much better leg action in rhythm than he does. When we take lessons with our teachers, we work on our weaknesses apart so that when we dance together, or with strangers, our partnership is stronger.

To make a partnership work, we both learn both parts, the leader’s and the follower’s parts. We learn to solo the parts, we learn to lead and we learn to follow.

I have a lot of trouble following. I bet you are so surprised at that :-) Once I learn the steps, I anticipate the steps. That’s not good. I’m supposed to wait for the gentleman to lead me. Oh boy. Patience. I might learn that. One day. Maybe tomorrow.

Last night, during our lesson, Mark was saying the steps out loud. But what he was saying did not match what his feet were doing. The good news is now that I’m deaf in my right ear, when I am in the correct frame, I can barely hear him in my left ear, so he doesn’t confuse me any more. I follow his feet, not his mouth—which is what I’m supposed to do!

This is great for our dancing partnership.

Single-sided deafness is a bit drastic as an answer for making a dancing partnership work, but it is one solution. And, on a loud, crowded dance floor, it works.

In case you’re wondering, dancing is a vestibular challenge, which is a good reason for me to keep doing it.

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