How to Learn to dance for your special wedding day.
When people get married, there comes a time during all the busy wedding planning of organising the invitations, receptions, flowers, dresses, cake and kitchen sinks, that they forget that they haven’t acquired the dance skills for their first dance as a married couple. One the reception night there is a tradition for the bride and groom to have their dance together for a chosen song to entertain the guests and seal the deal. The evening wedding dance is just as important as exchanging vows and rings during the daily ceremony as it completes the night and kicks off the celebrations with the other guests.
Getting started – What do i need to do?
First of all a bridal couple will need to decide what they want from the dance. Will the dance be a simple and slow sway routine? Will it be danced to a special song, will there be choreography? These set the requirements for what the instructor will deliver as a service. Many couple opt for simple sway routines which still require an instructor at least. Shuffling from foot to foot like two clueless sheep can be boring for the guests. A good routine will get the guests to cheer you on as a dance couple and look engaging, intimate and dynamic. The ideal routine is a mixture of the couple having some dance foundations to make them look like dancers as well as some candid improvisational nature so they don’t seem they are executing a choreography like a pair of broken robots in serious concentration mode.
Choosing a style – Traditional styles vs Modern vs Hybrid
Traditional styles may range from simple slow sway routines, slow rhythm dances, foxtrots, Viennese waltz and Argentine tangos. Some traditional music can have a 3/4 timing or the standard 4/4 timing signatures. they range from slow to medium tempo dances. Many couples are happy just to do a simple sway with rotational aspects. Some songs have more flair and require a more flourishes.
The basic composition of a Bridal Dance comprises of the Intro/walk out, the casual sway, the transitional body, Climax, intimate section and ending, of course with variations in structure depending on the chosen song.
Modern styles include the up tempo ballads. These can be danced to Bridal Waltz, Viennese waltz or Slow Rhythm. Some modern songs are suitable for Bachata, Rock and Roll or Salsa. Some couples opt for nontraditional routines with entertainment value such as the famous JK Wedding dance, Thriller Dance, Gangnam Style or History of Dance routines.
Hybrid styles include those routines which break out of song style. eg. Dancing a 3/4 Waltz to a 4/4 song. Or Mixing styles of dance into one routine. eg. Rumba flourishes with waltz routines or waltz flourishes with a rumba routine. These can work if executed well with the song with aid of choreography.
Choosing a wedding song
It is recommended that the couple chooses a song special to them, Also a song about 3-4 minutes is the ideal time. Over that the audience starts to get bored unless the choreography is filled with interesting flourishes and adornments which communicate drama. The song that is chosen should also not exceed the tempo of what the dance couple is capable of, This can happen when a couple chooses their favourite song only to find out that the tempo is rock and roll and requires more energetic movements, dancing a waltz to this song will be a mismatch.
Traditionally couples choose a ballad with acoustic guitar, piano and perhaps strings in the form of a ballad.
Here is a list of songs that gives you some idea of what other people choose:
Finding an Instructor
First thing to do is to find an dance instructor. A simple sway routine is easy enough to do on your own, but learning how to dance convincingly definitely requires a dance instructor. Depending on the type of song and dance style matching this requires different amounts of time. The average waltz lesson may take 4 lessons for a simple foundation in the dance. Any additional choreography requires 6-8 lessons. Tango lessons may require alot more as the dance is more difficult to learn. A simple sway may require at least 2-4 lessons.
The dance instructor will first determine your ability levels on the first lesson and establish the foundations of footwork. Since bridal lessons are private lessons, you and your partner will require that additional attention to work on compatibility dance partners. The instructor will pair you up and get you started on the basic footwork and holds.
After each lesson the instructor should give you homework to practice before the next booked lesson, It is essential for you and your partner to have substantial practice at least once before the next booking as it makes it easier for the instructor to move onto the next content.
Passionata Dance offers Bridal Dance Instruction, Specialising in Bridal Waltz and Argentine Tango.
The instructor will also ask about floor type, dimensions at the reception and layout of guests to make decisions on how to choreograph the dance for maximum aesthetics. The dress type is also important in determining if some dance moves can be executed or not.
We hope this article helps you out