Whether you’re the future Mr. and Mrs. or an honored guest, dancing at a wedding is not just entertaining — it’s expected! While some couples yearn to show off their moves during their first dance, others view this wedding day ritual as a source of anxiety. Not to worry: Whether you’re a dance aficionado or have two left feet, anyone can master the art of dancing at a wedding with a little practice (and some helpful tips from your trusted instructors at QC Dance Studio).
Top 5 Tips for Mastering Your First Dance
Almost every wedding features a first dance with the bride and groom in front of all their reception guests. While the internet has been overwhelmed by viral first dance videos, your wedding day dance can be as simple or as complex as your personal style allows. The most important thing to remember is that this day is a celebration of your love together as a couple. As such, your first dance should be an expression of who you are. Will your first dance be romantic? Silly? Trendy? Use the tips below to begin the creative process and design the perfect first dance for your wedding:
#1 – The Song
First things first — you need to select your song. Many couples choose “their song” as the one they dance to first; however, the song you choose can be whatever you like it to be. When choosing your song, consider the following:
Lyrics: Make sure the song you choose has meaningful lyrics. These can be words that express your love for one another, or even a shared joke between yourself and your partner. Just be sure that the song you select is appropriate for the setting. If it’s not something you feel comfortable jamming to in front of your grandmother, it’s probably best to find a song your entire family will love to see you dance to instead.
Timing: While many first dances are slow, others use their first dance as an opportunity to set the tone for the reception with a high-energy tune. Whatever you choose, be sure that you’re comfortable with the speed of the music so your instructor can begin to choreograph a great routine for you. Plan on dancing for around 90 seconds to two minutes of the song. A shorter first dance gives plenty of dazzle and leaves your guests impressed and ready to see you dance more during the actual reception.
Popularity: Some couples prefer to choose songs that are unique to a deeply personal experience while others want to stay on-trend with what’s popular. When making your song choice, consider how you’ll want to remember the moment. Will it be a romantic, private experience shared between you, your partner, and your guests? Or will this be the opportunity you and your partner have been looking for to go viral? Let your heart decide!
#2 – The Entrance
Before your first dance, it’s tradition that your DJ will formally introduce you as Mr. and Mrs., allowing you to make a grand entrance into the reception hall in front of your guests. In most American weddings, each member of the bridal party as well as the bride and groom’s parents will be announced prior to the couple. During this part of the reception, all the bridal party members dance their way onto the floor as they are announced. The bride and groom will also dance their way onto the floor during the entrance as they assume the position for their first dance.
In many ways, how you enter the reception hall sets the tone for the whole event. As such, you may want to select a separate entrance song that’s more lighthearted — especially if your first dance is on the more serious side of the spectrum. The entrance is an opportunity to showcase your personality, so keep it fun to set the stage for a memorable night.
#3 – The Basics
If the thought of dancing in front of a crowd fills you with dread, there’s good news: You don’t have to be an expert to master the basics. For couples who aren’t as keen on cutting a rug, consider choosing a slow song for your first dance. This way, you can move slowly and deliberately during your routine.
With a basic partner dance, you’ll want to start by holding your partner close by embracing one another. Basic dance cues are easier than they look: The most important part to remember is that both partners should be completely comfortable and at ease. A good dance instructor will tailor every aspect of your first dance to make sure you and your chosen one are as comfortable as possible on the dance floor. Professional dance instructors are specifically trained to show you the details of how to move effortlessly without being nervous.
On your special night, be proud and self-assured that tonight is your night as husband and wife. Stand straight, but not stiff, and try not to look down at or worry about your feet. Your guests will only remember the love you share, and not the quality of your dance moves. Remember: The people in the crowd are your closest friends and family who love you dearly. They are here to celebrate you no matter what you do!
#4 – The Dazzle
Swaying back and forth can get a little boring after a while, so ask your instructor to add a little pizzazz to your routine by adding in a turn or two. If you’re not comfortable adding in a dazzling dance move, consider changing it up by having a high-energy song interrupt your slow dance. Music editing is a service that the highest-level dance instructors can easily provide. This is a fun way to add a layer of surprise to your first dance while also giving you the opportunity to change up your choreography without having to go overboard on learning complicated dance moves.
#5 – The Dip
Of course, no couple’s dance is quite complete without a dip. Practice this dance move with your partner before the big day so you get more comfortable with the movement. Dipping in a wedding dress and heels can be cumbersome, so you might want to practice with your partner by wearing a formal gown and heels (no peeking at that wedding dress before the big day!). This simple but classic gesture is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests.
Become a Dance Pro In Time for Your Wedding!
If you and your partner are feeling underprepared for the first dance at your wedding day, fret not: QC Dance Studio offers the couples dance lessons you need to have the perfect first dance, no matter what your current skill level may be. Our dance instructors will help you choreograph a personalized routine that highlights your personality as a couple. Take to the dance floor on your wedding dance with confidence by signing up for dance lessons in Charlotte with our team today!