For All the Two Left-footers: Pro Tips for the First Wedding Dance
Updated: Apr 6
Dance can come naturally for some but, for others, it can be a daunting task. It becomes even more nerve-wracking when you have to perform in front of others, such as at your wedding.
In movies, the first wedding dance is always shown to be the most beautiful moment of the night. As the characters effortlessly frolic across the centre stage, the spotlight on them, occasionally pulling a move from Dirty Dancing as everyone else watches on. Everything is picturesque and perfect in movies, but in reality… especially for the two left-footers, the thought of it is far from perfection. Dance requires practice, confidence, and strong determination skills. The general idea with dance is that “perfection” does not happen overnight.
The first step for perfecting anyone's first wedding dance is finding the right song. A song that will tell a story for the couple. When a song has meaning to you, the feelings would come naturally and the dance would look effortless. Choreography is important, but when the song triggers a part of your emotions, learning the choreography to that song will be much easier.
If you are feeling nervous about the first wedding dance, we have compiled some tips for you to help you calm your nerves, prepare you for the big reveal and help create a unique and special first dance that will leave all your guests in awe!
Tip #1: Practice Makes Perfect
Set aside a specific time to practice. I’m not talking a-hour every day. More like 5-10 minutes now and again throughout your week. Short intervals will help you learn the steps and gain confidence without feeling overwhelmed.
When learning something new such as a new dance for your wedding, it can become stressful for both you and your partner. It can become even more stressful for someone who doesn’t have experience with dancing. The first wedding dance doesn’t have to follow perfect form like in Dancing With the Stars, but rather… has to tell a story… YOUR story.
Practicing every day will help with the remembering of the choreography until it begins to come naturally. When you begin to feel comfortable with the moves, only then, the confidence will naturally start to show as well.
Attend Dance Lessons Early
Cramping your dance moves with your partner at the last minute is a terrible idea and will lead to disaster on the wedding day. Mastering your first wedding dance choreography with confidence and poise requires patience and determination.
This is why we suggest booking and beginning your wedding dance lessons about 6-8 weeks before your wedding day. Not only does your body require time to build endurance and flexibility, but the mind also requires just enough time to grasp the choreography without feeling overwhelmed.
Tip #2: Understanding your Environment
Whether at home or in a studio, picture your floor layout and where your dance floor is. You don’t want a beautiful dip to finish your dance accidentally facing the back.
To practice movement and stretching safely, an open area should be made. This area should be cleared of obtrusive furniture and anything that can get in the way of the movements. You will want to be sure that you and your partner have as few obstacles as possible to prevent injury and to be sure that you can concentrate on the task at hand.
Tip #3: Know your limits.
The first wedding dance should be a moment of the night which you and your partner will remember forever. Knowing your drinking limits during the night is key to preventing any disasters from happening.
If your dance is the last on your order-of-events and you know you’re going to be drinking, do a ‘test drive’ at home. Record yourselves dancing after a few drinks and see for yourself.
Tip #4: Dress Rehearsal
Every professional dancer and performer follows this tip. Wearing the outfit you will be dancing in before the actual day will help ensure that you don’t face any wardrobe malfunction and you can break into your moves without difficulty. Of course, some may say it’s bad luck to wear the bridal dress and reveal it to your partner before the wedding day.
So except for the dress, you can still have a dress rehearsal wearing something else that can mimic that dress or suit. With a bridal dress, the biggest risk is tripping. Having a dress rehearsal with a mock dress can help you understand the type of choreography that will be best suited for you and your partner.
Another key component to a dress rehearsal would be breaking into your bridal or groom's shoes. Sometimes the floors could be a lot more slippery than you anticipated for the shoes you are wearing. Breaking into them and also familiarizing yourself with the shoe at home will do wonders. You’ll last longer on the actual day, and there’ll be no surprises in movement and balance.
Tip #5: BEST TIP OF ALL...Smile and Dance for the Camera!
Do your dance on your wedding day when you get your private ‘couples’ photos. Typically, after the ceremony, you are whisked off to get special private photos taken at a beautiful location.
Do your dance then!
Not only will you be able to practice in your wedding attire, but your photographers will also get unique action shots AND they’ll be more aware of what’s to come later.
With these tips, whether you have two-left feet or you are just feeling super nervous about dancing on your wedding day, you will be sure to leave your guests impressed!