· Are you planning your wedding?
· Is the white dress hanging in the closet, the suit tailored, and the cake ordered?
· Is everything ready except for your First Dance?
It won't be long now before you hear these words: "And now ladies and gentlemen a big hand, please, as we welcome our Bride and Groom onto the dance floor for their first dance together as husband and wife!" Then all eyes will be on you as you slowly walk together onto the dance floor. What happens next will depend on the decision you make. It can either feel like a very long and embarrassing time where the entire magic of the day seems to fall apart and there is nothing you can do… OR it can be a magical moment that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Elegance is expected at all weddings, from the gorgeous decorations to walking down the aisle, to the touching vows, cutting the cake, and well beyond. The last thing you want is to stumble through your first dance together. Even if you try to make it comical, something beautiful appears tarnished. Whether it is the bride, the groom, or both who struggle with dancing, you will have to dance and all of your guests will be watching.
Whether you simply want to feel more confident in your coordination as a couple or you want to demonstrate some serious moves on the dance floor, consider taking dance lessons before your wedding day. Don’t end up with four left feet in your debut as a duo. Taking dance lessons lets you practice for a memorable wedding day as well as offers you something to enjoy throughout your lives. You will always have a skill to show off as a couple and at future events.
When and How to Begin
Depending on your level of experience, you will likely need anywhere from five to fifteen lessons to feel confident learning the rhythm, musical timing, dance steps, how to lead or follow, and do more complex moves like spins, dips, and potentially, a lift (if you’re feeling daring!).
If your wedding is in three months and you have picked a song that requires an elegant dance such as a waltz, you will want to allow for at least five to fifteen lessons. Ideally, you would plan for one lesson per week, so it is best to start three to five months prior to your wedding date and give yourselves some additional time (just in case).
Consider factors that can interrupt lessons such as family emergencies, sickness, work trips, and other social engagements. Cutting it too close to the main event can make lessons feel stressful instead of being an enjoyable part of the wedding day countdown that you look forward to every week.
Choose a Dance Style
While some couples prefer to keep it simple, others may want a medley of steps that moves into a fun choreography highlighting their playful sides. Is your relationship a little more romantic? Are you a couple who love to laugh? Consider your own personality and style, and bring it to the dance floor through your own unique selection.
What to Wear
When preparing for lessons, you’ll want to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to easily move. Formal attire including skirts are not necessary to wear for lessons. However, if your wedding dress is very full, you might consider buying a tulle skirt to practice in so you can get used to moving around with a lot of volume.
For shoes, opt for flats or running shoes to start. If you plan to wear high heels on your wedding day, you don’t need to wear them at every lesson, but will certainly want to practice in them once you have your choreography learned.
Have a Dress Rehearsal
Always meet with your dance instructor ahead of your lessons regarding the expectations of your wedding day outfit. It is even better if you have a photo to show your instructor, so they can visualize what type of choreography will work best.
Most dance steps require you to move your feet in distances of about 12 inches. A mermaid-style dress could constrict a lot of traveling steps and is an important consideration. If your outfit is strapless, dance moves such as lifts and some turns can lead to wardrobe malfunctions. Some fitted sleeves can impact the ability to spin. With proper planning you can choose your dream dress that works perfectly with your personal dance style.
Practice Makes Perfect
Dancing should never stop once you leave the studio. Get the most from every lesson by scheduling time with your significant other to practice. That means that between each of your lessons, plan to practice at least three times for a duration of 15 to 30 minutes each. Remember that your dance partnership (between you and your significant other) is built more from the practice you commit to as a couple in between your lessons versus the number of lessons you take.