(Closed) First Dance-Dance Lessons

posted 4 years ago in Traditions
Post # 2
Member
1506 posts
Bumble bee

So, as background, I can dance and was involved in a social dance club in college (e.g. ballroom). So I’ve watched how quickly people can learn over the years. I’m not an *amazing* dancer myself, sort of rusty, but I’m definitely not a beginner anymore. 

People pick up dancing more quickly if they have 1) prior dance experience (e.g. ballet) of a different type, 2) experience with a sport that emphasizes the placement of weight (e.g wrestling), 3) background as a musician. People who fall into one or more of these categories tend to learn *much* more quickly than others. They can usually understand basics enough to look acceptable within 7-10 hours of practice.  

In contrast, I found that people who didn’t fall into any of those categories tended to be really slow on the pickup. It took some of them 6 or more months of weekly practice to get the basics enough to look acceptable. 

 

 

Post # 3
Member
1056 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

If you’re not a confident dancer then I would recommend swaying to the music! This is coming from someone who is a proficient dancer and still intends to sway to the music!

My opinion was formed by watching other first dances, the majority of which either a) stressed out the bride and groom because they were worried they’d forget the steps, or b) turned out to be really hard for the bride to do in a poofy/restrictive wedding dress!

If you really want to do something more than sway, my recommendation would be to:

  • Cut down the length of the track. Anything more than 1.5 mins will feel like eternity (alternatively ask family and friends in advance to join you on the floor after a minute).
  • Consider starting to go regularly to a Ceroc/LeRoc class if there is one near you (or similar). It’s a great social dance, has almost no footwork so it can be danced to almost any beat, and you only need to learn about 4 moves before you can reasonably get through a song. The sessions are normally fun and you and your fi might enjoy them for their own sake.

I personally think learning a few basic moves and pulling them out is better than choreographing something, because then you won’t need to worry about ‘getting it wrong’. But really, I’d just make sure that whatever you do, you and your fi enjoy it. If you look like you’re having fun on the dance floor then everyone else will enjoy watching.

Post # 4
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Backyard

We took ballroom dance lessons for several months before our wedding and yes, we did choreograph a first dance. That said, a big part of the reason we did it was because we were interested in learning ballroom anyway. We had a lot of fun with the lessons and would like to start taking them again at some point in the future. I don’t think we would have bothered with the lessons if it was just strictly for the purposes of putting together a first dance.

Post # 5
Member
2260 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We took a 2 hour community education class to learn a few basic steps/twirls.  Then we practiced a bit at home so we would be comfortable.  We didn’t have a choreographed dance, but we did do the steps we learned (basic box step) and a couple of the twirls.  If we had to do it all over again, I would do the same thing.  We both had a lot of fun at our class, and I think we were more comfortable on the day than we would have been had we not done the class.

Post # 6
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2018

View original reply
ctbxbee :  we took about six hours worth of dance lessons and we loved every minute of them! We both didn’t think we could dance and wanted to work on some basic moves so we signed up for a wedding workshop. We ended up being the only couple who signed up for that one so she turned it into a private lesson and started choreographing a dance for us. We had such a fun time learning it and everyone loved it! I totally messed up a part of it the day if but no one noticed and we were told by so many of the guests that it was so much more fun to watch than swaying back and forth. We cut the song but it was still 3.5 minutes. I would say it was totally worth it! 

Post # 8
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

We took about 6months worth of dance classes leading up to our wedding.We’d always wanted to take ballroom classes so it was a no-brainer for us to go all out on our first dance. 

If you get a good studio (stay away from planet ballroom and chains like that, they are just money grabbers) you could take three or so private classes and know enough to do some basic steps and a little spin here and there for some flair. They will also help you identify the right type of dance for your song. 

I 100% recomend taking some classes. It will make you more confident during your dance, you’ll be a better dancer all around for the party, and honestly its a great way for you and Fiance to spend some stress-free time together before the wedding.

 

This is our first dance if anyone wanted to see it.

https://vimeo.com/253869108

password is: Firstdance

Post # 10
Member
2353 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We had 6 lessons and our first dance was choreographed. We spent the first lesson doing some ballroom basics (I have previous ballroom experience – nowhere near an expert but still knew some of the dances – whereas DH had never done dance lessons in his life). Then we spent 3 lessons putting together the choreography with our teacher. And then we just spent the last 2 lessons practicing until we had it down as perfectly as possible. Neither of us really wanted to just sway on the spot for 3 minutes (and, like you, our song was a little too fast to do that with) and we were gifted the lessons as an engagement gift, so it worked out perfectly. 

Post # 11
Member
1506 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
ctbxbee :  your experience from your youth will transfer. Depending on the style (waltz, swing, salsa),  you might be able to practice the basic step in your own for like 10 minutes a day (while you brush your teeth, even) before your fiance’s foot heals. As long as your fiance doesn’t get frustrated too quickly and isn’t particularly lacking in coordination, your plan should be enough to get you through. 

Post # 12
Member
736 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
mrsgtobe2018 :  Where did you take your lessons?  

Post # 13
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2018

View original reply
ctbxbee :  you could definitely learn enough in five weeks to do more than sway back and forth. I would say it took us about one hour to learn the box step and two different spins. We had our dance completely choreographed after 3 hours of lessons so a few hours for five weeks should be more than enough time to learn some moves 🙂 

View original reply
BEEelegant :  we went to a local dance studio in San Francisco! 

Post # 14
Member
590 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

We did six lessons for about half a songs worth of moves (didn’t want it to go on and on). We actually did the same choreography twice (about 50 seconds worth) to make it simple for my husband. I have a dance background, and actually still dance now so I wasn’t nervous and had a blast! My recommendation is to know your dress and what moves will be possible.

Post # 15
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee

We just had our first dance lesson tonight. Neither my Fiance and I are dancers and we were a bit stiff starting out, but we did lossen up a bit by the end of our lesson. We are trying to learn the Rumba and Waltz.

I found it harder than I expected. The dancers on YouTube make it look so easy! I think though with a few more lessons it will start to become easier, especially with practice in between our weekly lessons. 

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