Helpful Tips for Engaged Couples
Wedding Planning can be stressful. Take a break with these tips to create your perfect first dance and have THE BEST TIME learning it!
When Should We Start?
The easy answer is the sooner, the better. And it’s never too early. But here are some tips to consider when planning your lessons:
When you’re faced with a definitive timeline, you should start at least 3 months in advance if the goal is comfort and a manageable social dance. Start sooner if you want a choreographed dance with some wow factor. If you’re really nervous about dancing in front of people, give yourself the gift of time and start well in advance (6 months or earlier) so that we have time to build up your confidence and battle those nerves on the dance floor. If you’re reading this and you’re like “oops, my wedding is in 4 weeks”- we also have “Emergency Sessions” to help give you a basis for what you’re doing so you don’t have 3 awkward minutes of the high school sway.
My final piece of advice to wedding couples: learning under stress makes the whole process much more difficult so starting early to develop your connection and abilities in an enjoyable hobby-setting, without the stress of learning a routine with a nearby deadline, is the way to go. The brain and body will absorb more when it’s relaxed. The weeks leading up to the wedding can be the most stressful and busy, so build in a month of extra time. However you start, I’ll make sure you enjoy the experience and make it as stress-free as possible.
Oops! We waited…..
You, my friends, are what we call our “Emergency Couples” 🙂 Get in touch ASAP. You can book anywhere between 1 and 4 Emergency Sessions with our wedding specialist. Emergency Sessions are $99 each and are crafted to specifically get you more comfortable on the dance floor with an enjoyable basic dance that bypasses any major awkwardness about not having any idea what to do. We generally work with couples in this short amount of time to make sure you have an elegant entrance on to the floor and a comfortable start to your dance so you’re not just standing waiting for music, basic movement that looks looks comfortable and fits to the song so you’re actually dancing together and not standing awkwardly (sometimes that means understanding how to even maneuver and look good swaying), and a nice ending or a simple picture step. We’ll make sure you get you the tools to feel a bit calmer about it and look good in your photos!
What should we plan for schedule wise?
In my 15+ years teaching and dancing, I can tell you this much- learning dance doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like learning a foreign language. The process requires repetition for muscle memory to start delivering comfort and confidence in your steps as well as building a comfort with the music and remembering the patterns! During your intro lesson I’ll be able to analyze your learning curves as well as go over the dance goals and using all that information I’ll be able to show you what programs make the most sense for you as well as balance this with your timeline, availability and budget. Generally speaking, once a week is a great jumping off point for planning your schedules.
The Song, The Dress, The Shoes, & The What Ifs
It all starts with a song. If you have one picked out, great. I’ll let you know which dance styles fit and you’ll choose what you like. Don’t have a clue? I can help you narrow down some options based on which styles you like the look of and your personal preferences. The song should be something that moves both of you every time you hear it and makes you excited to be dancing together. In order to not burn out on your song, we will often learn to a song with a similar beat and get more comfortable with your song closer to your wedding day.
Thinking you want a medley of multiple songs? Rock on! We work with one of the best music production providers in San Diego to create the combination of music and work from a musically artistic vantage point to get you something unique and just right for the dance. I specialize in bringing couples through the multi-dance learning process so it doesn’t have to feel intimidating!
I’ve been working with wedding couples a long time. And you guys usually have lots of questions on how the details of your day will work. I will happily talk to you about the logistics of your day- how will you move in your dress, if you’re worried about wardrobe malfunctions, will your shoes work for the dance, what do you tell the DJ, what do you tell the photographer, where do you go on the floor…and the list goes on. I’m here for you and have lots and lots of insight and helpful hints to make your dance go smoothly on your special day.
Think about your main goals for your first dance
During your intro and wedding consultation and then throughout the process, we’ll talk about what each your goals, ideals, and preferences would be for the first dance. Below are a few overall themes to consider which help us craft the perfect learning experience AND dance! Often, creating your special dance and lessons you end up loving is a fine balance of all the mission points below.
Mission One: COMFORT, CONFIDENCE & CONNECTION
Are you nervous about dancing? Or maybe just one of you is anxious about it? Maybe you’re mentally comfortable with it but why does it physically feel so awkward? My primary mission with any couple is to first teach you both how to feel more comfortable with dancing; to teach you some control and to give you the tools to actually enjoy dancing together and move in sync. The key to all of this is learning how to use your connection.
Mission Three: SOCIAL, SHOWY, Something in between
Let’s figure out your style as a couple. Do you want an intimate, low-key social dance a step above a high-school sway? Do you want something social but with enough variety to be fun and exhilarating for both of you? Maybe a little challenge? Or maybe you want a fully choreographed routine full of shine and style and just a few over the top moments. Or, maybe you want THE dance from Dirty Dancing complete with lift. There is something for everyone and it’s my job to help you create it.
Mission Two: HAVE FUN, RELAX & ENJOY
Regardless of the intricacy of your dance, it is so important that you’re both enjoying dancing together. I believe learning needs to be fun for everyone because when the mind and body are relaxed, we absorb far more information than when we’re nervous or stressed. So let’s take a breath and shake off the nerves and enjoy the smiles and laughs! It’s not a competition floor and I promise (most likely) that no one is holding up score cards at the end of your song. It’s your wedding dance- it has one primary purpose- for you to love dancing together.
Mission Four: FEEL GREAT
Regardless of your specific wedding dance, I want to make sure you both know how to actually dance together. Even if you learn choreography, it is important that you establish the ability to follow and lead the entire dance otherwise it will still look and feel like both of dancing separately…but in front of each other. Moving as one is where the magic of partner dance happens. Connection is what makes it look good but most importantly, makes you feel great doing it. And you should feel great dancing for a lifetime together.
Father-Daughter and Mother-Son Dances
If you also want to work on your father-daughter or mother-son dance, great! It’s a really fun bonding experience to dance with a parent and we’re experts at handling moms and dads! You’ll have the option of doing a Wedding Program just with your parent, adding on to your own program to have a few lessons with them, or splitting up your Wedding Package between your first dance and a parent dance. Think about your song ahead of time and what your shared vision for this dance might be- Low key and comfortable or did you want to surprise your guests?