If You Choose To "Wing It" & Go It Alone

Here are some important things to consider which can make a huge difference:

Start Practicing Now:
Everything gets more hectic as you get closer to THE DATE. The wedding dance is one of those things that you can focus on in advance so start working on it now. Whether you are taking dance lessons from a professional or trying to pick up the steps off of a video, the more you work on it, the better it will be. Practice now will mean that nearer to the actual event, you will only need some "refresher" practices to remember everything. The more practiced you are, the more comfortable you will feel with the steps and the less stressed you will be during your dance. That will put your guests at ease as well.

Try to make time for at least an hour a week for training - where you are learning the steps - and an hour a week of practice - whether it is six 10-minute practices or a single 1-hour practice. Your goal is to become comfortable moving as partners. And you don't need music every time you practice. Just running through the steps together will help you remember them better and will let you practice leading and following. That will give you the confidence that you can handle anything that comes up.

Don't Forget the Other Dances:
Your First Dance is the most important dance of the evening; but pay attention to the other dances as well. This is your event and you should be comfortable with whatever style/tempo music is played so that you can lead your guests in a fun evening of dance.

Budget Wisely:
Invest your time and money wisely. There are a million things to focus on but the wedding dance is one of the key moments of your wedding day and a moment that will probably be photographed and live forever. It can be a beautiful reminder if you invest your attention in it now. You can end up with photos or a video that you will be proud to share with friends and family for years to come. If you are on a strict budget, book a single dance class and ask the instructor to show you some simple poses, turns and dips that translate great on camera!

Picking Dance Music for the Reception:
When you are picking music, make sure you can hear the beat of the music and that the music conveys the "tone" you want: romantic; passionate; quirky or sexy. There are many wedding dances that are traditional to a reception. Identify which of these that you want to include in your ceremony and then pick several options for each dance.

The most popular dances for a First Dance are the Foxtrot, the Tango, the Waltz, the Rumba or Salsa, and the Swing. But don't be bound by tradition. Your First Dance is part of your introduction to the world as a couple and it's a good way to express who you are (or want to be.) You can consult a dance teacher to help you pick which dance style fits best the songs you have chosen, or visa versa. Make sure the song you select is not too long. Two to three minutes is long enough - especially if you are choreographing the dance yourself. If you are attached to a longer song, you can have the DJ fade out after a certain amount of time.

Choreograph Every Moment:
In the same way you rehearse the ceremony, you want to rehearse the reception. You want to know what you are doing and in what order and, equally important, the transitions -- how you move from one thing to the next. Some things to consider when choreographing:
  • How well will you be able to move in your clothing? If you are wearing your tux and wedding dress at the reception, are they styled so that you can raise your arms comfortably? If not, don't choreograph any moves that require you to do that.
  • Where will the photographer/videographer be standing? You want to make sure you stage your "photo op" poses where the camera can capture them.
  • How big is the dance floor going to be? You will want to practice using that same amount of floor space - at least a few times - to get the feel of what moving in that size space is like.
  • Where and how will you enter the dance floor when you are introduced? What will you do after your first dance? Will you invite everyone onto the floor, or move into one of the other wedding dances?
  • Is the DJ providing the music? If so, make sure the songs are played at the same speed you practiced.

Top Tip for the Groom:
It is your job to lead when dancing. Firmly but gently direct your partner's movements. You can lead her through most of what you want her to do using your right hand. Like when you are steering your car, when you are dancing look in the direction you want to move (don't look at your feet!) Listen to the music and keep the beat. If you are leading and staying on the beat, the dance is already half danced.

Top Tip for the Bride:
Don't lean on him and demand that he carry you around the floor. Be light and responsive to his lead. If he forgets certain steps you practiced, follow his lead instead of the choreography. And look over his right shoulder. Not at your feet and not at his face. This will let your face show up better in photos.

Lastly, and most importantly, have fun. Your guests will enjoy themselves much more if they see that you are enjoying yourself.

No comments: