Your first dance: Tips and secrets from Dance SPA’s top wedding professional.

There are so many details that go into planning your wedding.  Color schemes, invitations, DJ’s, bands, food, location,dress…you name it and I sure it has crossed your mind.  There is no doubt you will pour your heart and soul into one of the biggest events and days of your life.  Every little detail will give you and your guests a night to remember.  Don’t let your dance floor moves be the down fall of your night!  Impress your guests with simple social dance moves and look your best on the dance floor.  Dance SPA offers private dance lessons catered just for you and your first dance.

Here are helpful tips on preparing for your first dance as husband and wife



Why should an engaged couple take dance lessons prior to their wedding?

Engaged couples should take lessons prior to the wedding for many reasons.  Most brides dream about twirls and dips on the day of her wedding and many grooms are unsure how to properly lead a twirl or dip.  It is important to look cool and confident on the dance floor or most couples. In just a handful of lessons, an instructor can have the couple moving across the floor and twirling and dipping with ease.  The next important reason is often over looked.  There is a lot of pressure, stress, and tough decisions to be made months prior to the wedding.  Couples have found dance lessons to be fun, relaxing and perfect one on one time during the intense planning leading up to the big day.


Should the engaged couple already have their wedding song picked out, prior to their lessons?

Couples do not have to have one song picked out prior to their lessons.  It is good to have a few options.  The instructor can show you different dance styles that will work for each song.  The couple can then decide which style best suits them for their ideal first dance.
How long should the couple’s main wedding dance last (i.e. the couple’s first dance)?
Wedding dances should be 2:30 minutes to 3:30 minutes.  Just enough time for everyone to oh and awe at how happy the couple looks!  There are two main styles of first dances.  The first is the most simple and can be done in 3-10 lessons.  This first dance includes a few turns, dips and poses and travels around the dance floor.  This style is more about comfort and has an elegant look with little “entertainment value.”  The second style is more complex with flashy moves, side by side choreography, and lots of show stopping and entertainment pizzazz.  Depending on the couples vision, this can be achieved in 5-20 lessons.  Most of the time, the instructor is able to splice music to provide the couple with the ideal song length. 

What are some of the most appropriate dance styles for the couple’s main wedding dance?

 The dance style for a first dance is often dictated by the song the couple chooses.  Most common dance styles used are Foxtrot, Rumba, Night Club Two Step, Swing, Waltz and Tango.


How many lessons should an engaged couple typically take, so that they are prepared for the big day, and what will they learn at these lessons?

Anywhere from 3 lessons to an entire year of lessons is typical for wedding couples.  The amount of lessons really depends on what the couple would like to achieve.  A first dance that is simple with elegance will take fewer lessons than a dance with complex choreography.  Most importantly, couples should give themselves time to prepare for the first dance and not cram dance lessons into the crazy 2 weeks before the wedding. 
Couples learn about holding each other, lead and follow tips and steps, pointers on posture and how to pose for perfect photo shoot opportunities.

Do the bride-to-be and groom-to-be both need to attend the dance lessons at the same time?  If not, how do ballroom dance instructors typically work around situations where both people can’t be present for their lessons at the same time?

Most of the time, couples find the time to take lessons together. However, couples can take lessons separately and in some studios couples are encouraged to do so.  In ballroom dancing there are steps and patterns and each has a “leader” part and a “follower” part.  We can teach each part on separate lessons.  When the couple is able to attend together, we should be able to have the leader and follower do their parts and they should fit together even if they have never danced it together before.  As the instructor, I can practice with the individuals since I understand both roles.


What are some of the main differences between group and private lessons?  What are the advantages and disadvantages to each?

In group dance lessons couples are forced to learn at the pace of the others in the group and limited to the steps that are planned for the class.  Groups are a great way to get started and learn about your teacher and some of the dance terms and vocabulary.  Private lessons are more individualized and planned for the couple.  On a private lesson couples can learn at their own pace and often feel more comfortable asking questions when having trouble with a step.  A disadvantage is often scheduling conflicts.


Should the couple wear any specific types of shoes to their lessons?

 Comfortable shoes that you can dance in are the best to wear on a lesson.  Most common shoes are ballet flats, dress shoes, and wedding dress shoes.  Never wear a flip flop to a dance lesson.


What is the best way for a couple to select a wedding dance studio and/or an instructor?

The best ways to select a dance studio or instructor is to read online reviews, find a convenient location, and ask friends!  Word of mouth and others experiences is a great way to find a comfortable place.

Does the couple typically bring their own music to each lesson?

Couples typically bring their own music to ensure the correct song and artist of a song.
What if the bride-to-be or the groom-to-be is far more experienced in dance than their partner?  Is it still possible (and advisable) to take lessons together?
Regardless of dance experience, it is important to take lessons together.  All eyes will be on the bride and groom during the first dance.  Couples want to look good together, comfortable without hitches or stumbles.  Going over steps and making sure you are on the same page is the best way to look confident during the first dance.


What types of clothing should students wear to their dance lessons?

Clothing for dance lessons can vary from suits and ties if they are coming from the office, jeans or comfortable workout clothes. Come dressed to move.


How far in advance should a couple start taking dance lessons before the big day?

Couples should start lessons 3-6 months prior to the wedding.
Is a wedding dance usually a choreographed/pre-planned routine?
Most wedding dances have an outline or plan.  Depending on the couples taste for flash and entertainment will determine the extent of choreography.