Then, Stephen and I signed up for a wedding dances class at our community center last summer. While definitely not ready to enter a competition anytime soon, we surprised ourselves by being one of the better couples on the floor. After just a few weeks of training, we had easily picked up the basics of foxtrot, waltz and rumba.
Buoyed by that experience, we were excited but a little nervous to begin our private first dance lessons earlier this month with the same instructor who taught our summer class – Kathy Carroll of Tom Woll & Associates. Would we remember anything? Would we still be as in sync on the floor?
Well, guess what? We were! After a few rounds of practice, we had brushed up on most of the moves from the class, including some of the fancier aspects. We still have one more lesson to go, but I think we’re hopefully on our way to a great dance routine that will be fun and memorable for both our guests and us.
Want your first dance to shine? Here, the best tips I’ve picked up so far for creating a fabulous routine that’s sure to wow.
- Never danced a step before in your life? Take some group classes to get started, and only go into private lessons once you have the basics down and just need to work on creating a routine. You’ll save time and money, since private lessons are costly.
- Don’t choose a long song. Our pick, “Fly Me To The Moon,” runs only a couple minutes in length. The short playtime eases the pressure on us, and won't push our guests’ patience levels to the limit.
- If you plan to wear a long gown at your wedding, be sure to bring a crinoline to wear during dance lessons. It has taken Stephen a while to get used to leading without being able to see my feet, and to become comfortable with putting his own feet underneath the skirt. Don’t wait until the wedding day to test this out for the first time.
- Encourage your DJ to start the music as part of your grand entrance, so that you can head straight to the floor and start dancing. Nothing is worse for a couple’s nerves, Kathy told us, than standing in position on a silent dance floor waiting to hear the first notes of the song.
- When your gown is bustled, be sure it doesn’t drag on the floor in the front or back, which might cause you to trip during your routine. Also be sure that the bustle is secured tightly enough that it won’t come undone during all of your twists and twirls throughout the dance.
- And finally, remember that it’s OK if everything does not go perfectly! Sure, Stephen and I miss a step here and there, and we still have lots of practicing and work to do before the big day. But we’re having fun together and working as a team, which is definitely the most important aspect to focus on.
(Photo Credits: Kathy Carroll)