My dance heart is something very precious to me, and only a select few partners every get to keep a part of it. Those dancers I remember forever; the moments danced with them are permanently blazed in my memory. So, how did they do it?

1. They smiled when they asked/accepted. It set the tone for something kind and lovely.

2. They took the time to connect to me. They spent time sensing what exactly I responded to in a partner before jumping into the dance.

3. They didn’t rush the music. Instead, they felt the music keenly and connected my movements to the music.

4. They were gentle; light but firm touches guiding me where I had to go (or an easy response to my lead), rather than forcing me with their strength.

5. They kept me safe – both in how they partnered me and keeping an eye on the dance floor around me. My favourite partners never

6. They covered for me when I made mistakes. Because of this, no mistakes got in the way of our dancing.

7. They tried being creative. Musically and movement-wise, my favourite dancers have always had a little something “extra”.

8. They wanted more as much as I did. There is nothing better than a partner who loves dancing with you, and is not shy about their desire for Round #2 (or 3 or 4…).

9. They didn’t demand more off the dance floor; if it happened, it happened naturally. My favourite dancers do not press beyond my comfort level, but are open to developing avenues for friendship.

10. They didn’t literally stink. Cleanliness issues would otherwise have ruined all of the lovely things that can arise from such a wondrous dance.

Have any other dancers had partners who took home a piece of their dance heart? How did they do it? Leave your thoughts in the comments!