Your big day is fast approaching. The flowers are ordered. The cake flavor has been chosen. You have the most amazing dress ever. What’s left? Only one of the most important elements that will tie your entire reception together…the perfect wedding dance! Oh yes, your first dance as a bride and groom is a key component of your wedding day. If you’re looking to nail your dance with ease and peace of mind, and I know you are, here are a a few tips on how to have a successful first dance routine.
Seek professional instruction.
Forget YouTube and those ballroom dance DVD’s your future mother-in-law bought for you when you got engaged. It’s time to put this project in the hands of professionals. My first tip is to contact your local ballroom dance studio for adults to sign up for Wedding Dance Lessons.
With every studio you visit, you will encounter a different approach to your wedding dance. Some will promise you unrealistic results, others will give you too little. Think about how much time you have to accomplish your first dance and work backwards from there. With a limited time frame, realize that you will end up with a more basic routine, unless you can come in daily leading up to the wedding. On the other hand, for those planners out there, the sky is the limit (with some exceptions) if you start taking Wedding Dance Lessons six months to a year in advance.
What is primary, though, is that you feel comfortable in the place where you are investing in lessons. If you’re casual people, you may not feel comfortable in an old-school ballroom. And, if you’re thinking about doing something on the trendy side, look for a place that specializes in the style of dance you like. For example, if you’re having a rustic wedding and you want a Country Two Step or Swing dance for your wedding, again a traditional ballroom will not be a good fit for you. Instead, seek out a social dance studio.
You see, there are two kinds of “ballroom” dancing; social and competitive. Most people do not want to look like competitive ballroom dancers on their wedding day, rather they want to be confident, maybe even elegant, but they certainly just “don’t want to look stupid” in front of their loved ones. With a qualified dance instructor by your side, you will surely give your guests a dance to remember.
Find a song that moves you.
Now that you have found the right studio, it’s time to pick the right wedding dance song. Again, your dance instructor will hopefully give you their honest opinion on whether the song you chose is danceable, so that you can have the perfect first dance routine.
When considering your first dance song, discuss with your fiancé what route you want to go first. Do you want to incorporate your dance into an overall theme, like a Salsa dance song at a Latin oriented wedding, or are you trying to make the dance a stand alone part of your affair? Does the song only have meaning to you, or will your guests love it too? (More on that in a moment…) Does that even matter to you? Do you want to dance as if no one is watching? It’s up to you! This is your wedding day.
Decide on what you want your guests to feel.
Being that you’re essentially performing in front of everyone that you love, think about what or how you would like your friends and family to interpret your wedding dance routine? Are you looking for a tear-jerker with a romantic dance? Would you like to put on a comedy skit, so to speak, with a slow dance that leads into a Hip Hop number? How about a dramatic Argentine tango dance to knock the socks off of your guests? Leaving a lasting impression is what it’s all about, so do consider how everyone will feel as you do the most important dance of your lives.
If you have been to a wedding where the bride’s dress lifted midway through her dance, or, worse yet, she “popped out” of the top part of her dress on her first dip? These mishaps are totally preventable with the right dress. If you’re open to changing dresses for your first dance, please mention this to your instructor, so he/she can plan accordingly. Ideally, they would make this suggestion to you if you were dancing an out-of-the-box first dance. It’s best to be prepared for anything, so think about what you’re wearing and if it works with your wedding dance choreography. If nothing else, an alternate dress means that you get to go shopping for your wedding one more time. Yay!
For the ladies who are wearing form-fitting dresses, a change of outfits may be right for you too. Something to consider when you’re pulling off this special dance.
Plan ahead. It’s never too early to start.
Lastly, why put off one of the most important aspects of your reception? Social ballroom dance lessons with your fiancé builds confidence in you as a couple. Through the experience of taking lessons together, you will learn how to work as a team, trust each other on a new level and develop a hobby that you will use throughout your lives together.
Couple’s dance lessons also gives you a fantastic way to de-stress under the immense pressure of planning a wedding. Who doesn’t need some of that?!
The key factor here is giving yourselves enough time to learn to shine on the dance floor. Learning a wedding dance routine is like learning to play an song on a new instrument. Please plan ahead so that you can go through the process of learning the steps, then your choreography, then making it look nice and polished. Step by step, lesson by lesson, it will all come together if you allocate the right amount of time.
So the big questions are: “How often should we come in each week?” and…”How soon should we start?” Start right when you get engaged. There’s never enough time to get it all in, plus lead your day to day lives, and set appointments for wedding vendors, etc.. With more time on your side, the worst that could happen is that you look really, really good and feel extra comfortable by your wedding day. With less time, you’re just rolling the dice. Why take a chance?
I often get, “Well, I’ve danced my whole life, so we just need a few lessons. He can pick things up too, since he’s played sports for forever!” Yes, you may be coordinated and even more comfortable in your own bodies as compared to the everyday person, but that does not mean that you can lead or follow just yet. Developing a partnership does take time, attention and effort. Ballroom dancing is quite different from tap, jazz or ballet.
Finally, ensure your success by coming in at least several times a week. Clear your calendars. I promise, this will all be worth it once you give them a kick butt dance! Even for those looking for a sweet and simple first dance, get into that dance studio and practice, practice, practice. You’ll be surprised at how much there is to learn!
I hope this information has helped you to prepare for the best day of your lives when it comes to your wedding dance. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me through our website, or leave me a message below. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Until then, happy dancing!