The wedding day is rich with tradition and new trends as well. With all of he rituals, perhaps the sweetest is the first dance. It can however be a point of stress if the couple has not prepared for it. Couple dancing is a skill that takes a little bit of practice. When the bride and groom take the spotlight, it is much easier to have confidence and grace if they have had a bit of practice. So, how should you prepare? What are your options and where do you start? Here are some tips that will help you make this moment a great memory. |
The first step is of course to choose the song. But you will also want to consider what type of dance would best fit you as a couple. Slow and romantic, a classic waltz, perhaps a jazzy foxtrot, or the energy of swing, tango or salsa. What ever your choice keep in mind that some dances styles are easier to learn than others, so plan accordingly.
Classic songs like "Our love is Here to Stay", "Just the Way You Look Tonight", "At Last" are songs that most wedding bands should be able to play. If your song is more obscure, you could play the recording for the first dance. However if your band is going to play your music, you should make sure the band leader knows in advance what tempo you have been practicing to and for how long you want the song to play. If you have been practicing to a certain recording, be sure that you make a copy for the bandleader so that they understand the arrangement and feel of the music you are expecting. The same song can have several styles so it is important to communicate so there are no surprises on your wedding day.
You should not feel that some sort of performance will be expected of you, remember that it is your day and your first dance should reflect the two of you. However if dancing together is something that you have always wanted to do, there is no better opportunity than your first dance at your wedding to make a statement. Your first dance will be a memory that you will share forever.
So if dance lessons are in your future, you should have no problem finding a dance teacher who has experience with wedding couples. Most dance studios offer private and group lessons. Of course private lessons will cost more, but with private lessons you can concentrate only on what you want to learn and go at what ever pace suits you as a couple best.
There are many types of partner dancing, so it is a good idea to discuss this with your dance instructor before you begin. Once you have located the the dance instructor that you are comfortable with, you will want to bring a recording of your song. If you have not chosen one yet, your instructor will most likely have some good suggestions.
For some it can be uncomfortable going to a dance studio to learn your wedding dance. Or you may have schedules that conflict. In that case we suggest instructional videotapes. There are several products out their that cater specifically to the bride and groom. Some feel too much pressure working with an instructor, or are too shy learning with a group. The videos are a great way to bring the lesson into the privacy of your own home, learning at your own pace. No matter how you decide to proceed, remember to be supportive of each others difficulties. Your efforts will be rewarded.
Often times the wedding couple will go into the first dance just after being announced into the room. Traditionally the father/daughter dance will follow the bride and groom's first dance. After that, the groom will dance with his mother. Both sets of parents and the bride and groom can then take the dance floor together. The groom may ask the mother of the bride to dance while the bride dances with her new father-in-law. Finally the entire wedding party, and then the guests may join in. As the bride and groom, you will ultimately decide before the wedding day how you would like the dancing lineup to be, and it will be important to communicate with everyone how you want the dancing to flow. Just make sure you have a good selection of songs to complete the formal dancing.
Your first dance will be one of your most beautiful memories from your wedding day. By taking the time to prepare for it you will be able to relax and have fun with it. Try not to think of it as a performance but rather a very special moment in time that will only happen once, as there is only one first dance.
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