Most couples decide during their planning process that they take dance lessons for their wedding dance, but there are also many who want to find out more about it as a part of their decision making process.
The interesting thing is that nearly all couples, whether they want to have dancing lessons or not, have one thing in common and that is that they do not want to look stupid or boring as they dance their First Dance as husband and wife. Often the reason is that the couple either do not care for dancing or cannot dance and never have. In their minds they see it as an unimportant part of their wedding day or something to just brush off. Yet, couples have spent months, sometimes a year or more planning every little detail of their wedding right down to the last buttonhole flower wanting it all to be perfect …… except for the dance.
The Bridal Waltz/Dance is an inherent part of the reception, if you’ve got a band or a DJ and a dance floor at your reception is surely follows that your guests will be dancing or expect to be. It naturally follows that the Bride and Groom be honoured by doing their first dance together as husband and wife.
At the end of the day, most couples want to look nice for every part of the day and if they could dance well together, they would probably like that very much. The problem seems to be more in a perception of dance. Nearly every couple that goes for dancing lessons that has never danced before believes that they ‘can’t dance’ or they are uncoordinated or that they have two left feet and it never fails to amaze dance teachers because how can one expect to be any different if you’ve never learnt how?
There seems to be some misconception in our society that if one has ‘natural rhythm’ one can dance and that may be the case for nightclub dancing, but it certainly not the case for partnered dancing (ballroom, Latin dancing etc). Ballroom dancing is based on ‘natural’ body movement, ie: walking and any good dance teacher will be able to teach you quite easily.
You don’t need to know how to dance much at all as the object is to look like you know what you are doing as that is what gives such a nice impression on your wedding day. If you stand there in a hug and just shuffle around it’s almost like wearing assign on your back that says “we don’t know what we are doing”!
The most common misconception is that learning a dance is complicated or takes a lot of work and if that were the case it could drive a lot of people off the idea. Learning to dance for a performance or to be critically judged might take a lot of work but that’s not the objective of the most couples for their Bridal Waltz, they just want to look like they know what they are doing and have their First Dance as husband and wife another well prepared and well presented moment of their wedding day.
And this is what you should be looking for as you make a decision about dancing on your wedding day, the lessons should not be something to turn you into something you are not, they should not be trying to turn you into good dancers, they should be wholly focused on making you ‘look like’ you know what you are doing.
Julie is the principal of Wedding Dance Lessons Sydney and teaches hundreds of couples their Wedding Dance each year. She has taught for dance studios in Australia and Europe, schools & colleges in Australia and is a lecturer, teacher and adjudicator for the Dance Council of Australia.