Should We or Shouldn't We: First Dance Lessons
Classes are a popular way to learn a routine or improve your moves for your dance-floor moment. But are they right for the two of you? Three couples weigh in on their dance-floor prep, and an instructor shares her tips for getting the most out of the experience.
We Did, to Learn a Routine
"We started dance lessons 13 months before the wedding, then began rehearsing a choreographed number in May, four months before we got married. I'm a trained dancer, but it doesn't come naturally to Robin, so having choreography helped him feel more comfortable. Not only are lessons fun, but they boost your confidence for your wedding day-and any other time you hit the dance floor. And the experience improved our communication as a couple." -Vanessa Delmer, married to Robin Delmer
We Did, for Fun
"We took dance lessons because Edson was a dancing novice and I wanted lessons myself. Our wedding was in October, and we took eight lessons total, on a weekly basis, beginning in July. While our instructor taught us different steps to create a routine, we decided to freestyle for our first dance to avoid the day-of stress. Knowing different steps from our lessons was useful, because we could use them when we felt like it. Plus, certain moves had our guests cheering!" -Lizette Gutierrez, married to Edson Gutierrez
"We discussed the possibility of taking lessons or learning a choreographed dance. But in the end, we decided not to, because we wanted to relax and not focus on memorizing turns or getting steps right. We didn't practice and didn't worry about making the dance perfect, but just enjoyed the moment, surrounded by our friends and family." -Adrienne Victor, married to Chris Formisano
An Instructor Says...
"Preparing for a first dance is so much more than mastering a few steps. You also learn coordination and performance skills-and you have to do it all with a partner. For a fully choreographed dance, I recommend lessons once per week, starting at least seven months before the wedding. For those looking to feel comfortable with the basics, I suggest beginning at least four months in advance. As for song choice, the optimal length is about two and a half minutes. If your song is longer than that, invite your guests to join in for the last couple of minutes." - zewai Lee, Duet Dance Studio, Chicago
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