Not everyone is blessed with the rhythm and poise that makes dancing as easy as walking. This can make the first dance at your wedding particularly nerve wracking, whether you have two left feet or simply lack the confidence to bust some moves in front of a group of people. That said, the first dance is still a popular wedding tradition. According to a YouGov survey, 75% of couples are having a first dance at their upcoming wedding. The remaining 25% either forgo the dance completely or replace it with a more fitting alternative. Those looking to conquer their first dance fears may want to consider hiring a dance teacher to perfect their moves.
Here we take a closer look at whether hiring a teacher for a first dance 101 is really such a good idea and what other top tips nervous couples can call upon to move confidently and gracefully on that dancefloor.
Is hiring professional help right for me?
Having a qualified instructor teach you a routine can provide the certainty, confidence and direction you need to ensure a fault-free first dance at your wedding. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect” and many professional dance teachers provide one-to-one training for couples looking to take on their first dance in style.
First dance training isn’t just for couples wanting to master a highly choreographed routine and get ranked on lists for the most amazing first dance videos. Most recommend taking a minimum of two training sessions, but just one lesson with a professional dance teacher can make the difference to your confidence. Dance classes also offer an intimate, pre-wedding experience for you and your partner. If possible, having a practice session at your wedding venue can provide the boost you need to understand the space that you’ll be dancing in and fine-tune any steps a little closer to your big day.
When should I start taking dance classes?
Offbeat Bride recommends taking dance classes well in advance – up to 8 months before your wedding day to be exact – to truly make the most of the experience:
“If you want to learn to dance, you want time to have fun learning without being under a time crunch. You want time to really learn how to lead and follow so that you’re actually dancing with each other and not just repeating rehearsed steps. You want to be able to relax, laugh, talk, and enjoy it, and that comes with practice. So give yourself that time. Wedding dance lessons become like date night for couples — it’s an opportunity to put everything else aside and just focus on dancing together. Dancing takes teamwork, and I can honestly say from both learning to dance and teaching dance that it brings couples together and teaches them how to communicate better.”
Any other advice for nervous brides and grooms?
If you’re still nervous about your first dance or want to take a DIY approach to settling those first dance jitters, there are several steps you can take in the run up to your wedding day to get over your fears. Practice with your partner as often as you can to ensure you know each other’s dancing abilities.
Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. These epic, choreographed routines may look good if pulled off successfully but there’s more to your wedding day than your first dance moves. Guest expectations are likely to be low so don’t overstretch yourself if dancing isn’t something you’re passionate about. Keep it simple and dance to music that’s meaningful to you and your relationship, not a song that features highly on the latest first dance song list.
If you do want to choreograph your first dance, check out this essential guide for tips.