Wedding Dance Tips and Tricks to Make Your First Dance Magical!
When planning your wedding, there is so much to do. The venue, the flowers, the cake, who to invite, and the list goes on. It can be overwhelming. One of the most memorable parts of this important event is your first dance as husband and wife. Our goal is to make your momentous occasion everything you have dreamed of and as easy and stress free as possible! Out of all the things you may have to worry about, your first dance shouldn’t be one of them. With this goal in mind, here are some tips and tricks to consider.
That is what the lessons are for. Choreography doesn’t have to be a scary word. From an instructor’s perspective, choreography just means placing patterns and steps in a particular order and practicing the dance consistently in the same order. For couples new to dance, choreographed routines are nearly always less stressful. It’s a practice playbook. You don’t want to be making up your game plan while you are on the field. Knowing exactly what you are going to do takes a great deal of pressure off a day that has plenty of it already. The complexity of this game plan is up to you. If you want something incredibly simple, your instructor can teach you 3 or 4 step patterns that you can repeat until the song ends. If you want something more complex, your instructor will add more musicality and variety of steps. It’s entirely up to you and your comfort level.
Treat your first dance the same way you treat the cake, flowers, and DJ timeline. The more notice, the better. It takes 3 to 4 months to learn a dance depending on how quickly you can pick it up. In addition, your instructor will put their heart and soul into making sure that your choreography is unique to your song and to your personality. That often requires spending time outside of your lesson creating the choreography, cutting music, and preparing practice documentation so that each lesson with you is productive and progressive. All this takes time. Start early!
Your dance should reflect your character and personality. Many couples who are looking for an intimate, romantic moment, choose a slow song for their first dance. Some wish to have fun and celebrate, so they choose an upbeat song to entertain their guests. If you are having a difficult time deciding between songs, you might want to do a mashup of several songs. Either way, the song(s) will guide what dance(s) you should do. Many songs are suitable for several dances. Your instructor will be able to provide options. But first, you have to pick the music options.
Your wedding shoes are a part of the finishing touches to your overall “wedding look”. Unfortunately, they aren’t always designed for comfort or dancing. We recommend that you bring your shoes in so you can practice in them. Different heel heights, different soles and different shoe shapes can all affect how you dance. You may find that you want a separate pair of shoes for your first dance and the rest of your reception. You won’t know until you try to dance in them.
At some point during your lessons, we recommend that ladies wear a practice skirt that is the same length as their wedding dress. You will likely find that you both need to move your feet differently as to not step on the dress. It’s much better to discover this in practice than on the day of your wedding.
Prices vary by many factors. The type of dance(s), the number of dance lessons you choose to take and the level of choreography you want will all factor into the cost of your first dance. We will discuss all of this at your free introductory lesson which includes a consultation and a dance lesson. We often have group lessons that are the same dance as your selected wedding dance which can reduce the cost of learning the dance style. We are proud to say that we are a no-pressure sales environment. We want you to feel comfortable with how we can help you which is why the first lesson is free.
It’s the age-old joke. How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice. Whether you progress through new choreography each week or spend the entire hour reviewing the same patterns as the prior lesson depends on how much time you spend practicing each week. Spend a few hours a week practicing outside of your lessons. Not only will it make your dollar go farther but it will also help you from becoming dependent on your lesson space for remembering the dance. Your brain gets used to seeing a particular wall, clock, door, stairs or anything else in your sight in studio with the instructor. Those things won’t be present at your reception venue. Practicing in multiple locations will help you from getting visually thrown off at your reception.
In the same way that you wouldn’t walk into a cake tasting or dress appointment without a plan, make sure that you have at least a rough idea of what you would like from your first dance. Your instructor will need to know the size of the venue dance floor and the room layout. Your first dance should use all the space available and should play to all the sides where people could be watching. Come prepared with this information so you instructor can teach you a dance that works for the space.
You should also come to your first lesson with your music choices or some options so your instructor can start teaching the basics of an appropriate dance style. Let your instructor know if you have a specific theme for you wedding or any particular elements that you would like to include. We want your first dance to be perfect for your personality and style.
Don't forget to bring your calendar(s). Should you choose to take additional lessons with us, your instructor can start getting them scheduled at your first lesson.
In the same way that we recommend that you practice at different locations than the studio, we recommend that you do an un-dress rehearsal at your venue. While you won’t have on your wedding dress, you should practice your dance in the actual space. Before your bridal party arrives at the rehearsal, run through your dance on the actual dance floor at your reception venue a few times. You can get a feel for how slippery the floor is and get some muscle memory on which direction you are facing for different parts of your dance. This will help eliminate nervousness on the day of your wedding.
While we certainly want your first dance to happen perfectly, you will positively make mistakes in practice. We say that screw-ups are funny. We laugh when we make dance mistakes because we certainly make mistakes. Everyone does. Your wedding guests are not coming to see you perform a perfect dance. They are coming to share your joyous occasion with you. Should you mess up on your wedding day, laugh and start again. If you get upset, your guests will also feel bad. If you handle it with fun and humor, everyone will share in the positive vibes.
Lastly, learning to dance is a skill that takes time. Come into each lesson with a “We got this” attitude. Your instructor will celebrate your progress and all your wins. Don’t compare your dancing to your instructor or anyone else. Ultimately, its up to you to make sure the experience is pleasant and not just another check box on a to-do list. This is an experience that you and your fiancé will share forever. Make it a good one!
Remember, this day is about celebrating your union and having fun!