THE ULTIMATE WEDDING DANCE GUIDE

10 Steps to Your Perfect First Dance

If you’re reading this post, first of all thank you very much! Also this means you’re getting ready for your big day and you want everything to be perfect. One of those things being your first dance. Probably you don’t know that much about the first dance and this is where our help comes in. We want you to have a great first dance so we’ve put together our 20 + years of dance experience to help you achieve it. In this article you will be able to find every aspect relating to your first dance and preparation to that moment, including ideas related to music , dress, shoes and how much it takes for a normal person with no dance experience to get there and feel comfortable dancing. So without further ado, let’s get started! 

1.Understand your final goal

The first thing that you want to think about when planning your first dance is having  a goal, an intention. What do you want to achieve with your first dance? Do you want to be able to just move freely on the dance floor and be relaxed with your partner? Do you want to go all in and learn a more challenging routine? Or maybe you want a group dance that you and your bridesmaids can perform. Whatever you decide on this, it is important to have this in mind and tell this to your dance teacher so they can help you achieve that 

2. Decide on a feeling

Pick a feeling for your first dance. Wether you want your dance to be romantic, funky, fun, classic, this is an important aspect. Again your dance teacher will be able to help you with this therefore you need to tell her/him this. When you know what you’re going for, its easy for the teacher to recommend you moves or steps that fit your specific requirements. 

Wedding couple dancing their first dance in black and white.

3. Pick Your Song

This is the part where couples spend either lots or very little time . Your song can be one that means something deeply for both of you, like the first song you danced together on , or the song you heard on your first date, or a song that symbolises your relationship. We definitely recommend to be something you both agree on , you both like and you both enjoy dancing on. This is your song so this is the most important aspect. Based on this, your teacher can recommend a certain dance style if it’s not obvious from the song. ( Songs like traditional waltz songs have a clear rhythm different from others or swing songs are more clear as well but more contemporary songs are not straightaway clear to an unexperienced dancer).

4. Dance experience

Based on our experience with newlywed couples , over 90% of them do not have previous dance experience/training. And that is absolutely fine. We are here to help you build a first dance that you will enjoy and feel comfortable dancing within a few lessons. As First Dance London teachers work mainly with unexperienced dancers, they have knowledge to build the choreographies for beginners and intermediate levels as well as advanced, so no matter your level, you will be able to dance and learn the steps easily in a few sessions.  We will show you the steps and even make videos for you to have an practice when not in the dance studio. 

5. Get inspiration for choreography

A very useful step after choosing your song, is to have a look online to see what other couples dance on that song. This way you can find inspiration and see what you like and form a better opinion before actually starting to dance yourself. If you see something that you like but it feels bit too challenging, we can help you modify it to suit your ability, so don’t get in anyway discouraged. We can make it happen.

6. Know the venue

We take a few aspects of the venue into consideration when choreographing your first dance. Aspects like:

  1. Space on the dance floor;
  2. Your entrance. If you are on the dance floor already or you will come onto the dance floor when announced;
  3. How will the venue be arranged on the day;
  4. Where will the guests be seated, or if they will stand up around you;
  5. If you can make use of a feature of the room like stairs or a special set of doors etc.
  6. Also if the music will be played by a band or DJ.

7. Know when your dance needs to be ready

This is important for us and for you. For us because we want to book your lessons with enough space in between so you have time to practice relaxed. For you because you will have a very busy period a few weeks prior to the big day and you don’t necessarily want to be stressed by learning how to dance and perfect it. You want everything to be ready 2-3 weeks before your wedding. This way if anything unexpected happens, as they do… you will be able to deal with it. This means ideally starting to prepare your first dance a bout 2 to 3 months before the wedding. 

8. Pick the right package of lessons

The reason we have this step towards the end of the list is pretty obvious. First you want to know as much as possible about your first dance, then take an informed decision, especially because it involves payment. This is why we recommend having the 30 minutes free trial lesson. If you’re not yet decided or don’t know everything before this, speaking to a professional will help you and then you will be able to make a better decision. The available options we have are the 5 and 10 lessons packages. Most of our clients prefer the 5 lessons if they go for a simple first dance. By simple I mean having only one song choreography which can be about 2-3 minutes long. If you chose to have a more elaborate dance, song 2 or 3 songs, we can do it in 5 lessons but it will be very rushed. We then recommend having the 10 lessons or the 5 lessons plus an extra 2 or 3 lessons.  This will give you enough time to have the choreography ready and plenty of time to practice supervised by a teacher.

9. Booking the lessons

When booking the lessons we recommend as mentioned before to have the 30 minutes free trial lesson and then go from there. After the initial session, you can book the rest of the lessons directly with your teacher or with Ana. The process is very easy. After sending us the information via our contact form, Ana will contact you via Email or WhatsApp to book the lessons. After the booking has been made, you will receive a final email with all the details of the location and services provided and we’ll see you in the studio.

10. Practice Practice Practice

I’ll say it here one more time: Practice makes perfect and that why we insist on you doing it. We recommend booking the lessons with a few days in between to give you enough time to practice before the next lesson. We also record a video of the learned steps so you can have it as a reference at home. This way, next time the teacher sees you, you can continue an improve on what you learned on the previous lesson. 

In terms of practice gear, you can use whatever shoes are comfortable for you . As a man it won’t be a very big difference between trainers and dress shoes but as lady it might be. Therefore we recommend wearing something similar if not exactly your wedding shoes for at least a session, so you can get comfortable with dancing in them.

A good idea would be, if you can, to practice once on the actual dance floor as well. This will help you get your bearings so you don’t feel as nervous on the day.

That’s it from us! Hope the article was useful and e can’t wait to welcome you in our studios!

Leave us a comment if you have any questions and we’ll try to answer as best as we can.

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