Why dancing at a wedding really, actually matters
Dancing at a wedding is not about the steps. (In fact, we'd argue that dancing is pretty much never about the steps, at a wedding or otherwise, but that's a different conversation.) It's not about the song, or the shoes, or a dress; it's not about whether you have a choreographed routine or you're just winging it.
A first dance is a physical expression of partnership. It's two people, choosing for a moment to move together as harmoniously as they can, in front of a community that loves them. It sums up, without any words, what your whole wedding day is about. It requires good communication, compromise, the willingness to bring good energy regardless of circumstance, empathy, and compassion. (Sort of like marriage. Wait, what? See what we did there?)
It's no coincidence that so many of our wedding couples tell us that learning to dance together transformed their relationships. Dancing is a physical embodiment of your dynamic and a phenomenal example of teamwork: how you relate as a couple will translate directly to how you dance together on the floor, and improving one area directly translates into an improvement in the other. So no matter how you feel about the whole dance experience, it's an investment in your practical partnership skills that can't be beat.
You've got this. And we're here to help you feel fantastic.
Here's a big top-secret bit of insider dance knowledge: dancing at your wedding (or your children's wedding, or a friend's, or any wedding ever, or in the grocery store) isn't about knowledge. It's about FEEL. You need to be able to be comfortable in your own skin, and move easily and well.
We've all had moments where we feel great about life - whether we're killing it at work, or singing all the words to a Journey song so loudly in traffic on the 405, or seeing a beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Think about how your body felt at those moments: probably relaxed, easy, and ready to move. Chances are, you didn't THINK much about how your body felt, you just felt good. That's the place you want to dance from - out of your head, and in your body, feeling really good. How do you get there? Well, that's why we teach lessons. There are shortcuts and tricks and about a thousand and one ways to make that process easier and faster, and that's what we want to share with you.
There's no wrong way to dance at a wedding. You can do something really simple and elegant and connected, or you can create a huge joyful choreographed production number with your whole wedding party, or absolutely anything in between. But no matter WHAT you choose to do, HOW you do it is key.
What to expect on your first lesson with us
You will definitely end up laughing. So, you know, prepare for that. Stretch? I don't know.
The most important question we'll ask you is this: what's your vision? What do you want this dance to look like? Now, obviously, it's our job to know all the dance stuff and the twirly bits and whatnot, but if you have a picture or an adjective or an emotion in mind, that's essential for us to know before we get started. We can go in any direction, and it's really important that you are ultimately comfortable not just with the movement you're doing in your dance, but that it feels like YOU.
The more of your personality we can put in, the better.
(Because honestly? That's what makes it memorable and lovely and real. Moving your feet is just a means to that end.)
Beyond that? Well, serious faces on, it's practical advice time! To make the most of your lesson time, it would be 100% super fantastic if you could think about the following things before we meet. If you have some idea about any or all of them, awesome! If you have no idea, don't worry about it! We'll walk you through the whole conversation and help you figure everything out.
(1) Music: Do you have a song in mind that you'd like to dance to? (If you need some help or some brain fuel, check out this list of 50 classic first dance songs, or this list of less-commonly-heard jams. Also, if you're narrowing down options and want to get our input at any time, just give us a call or an email! We can also always edit music to make it shorter, or edit more than one song together. Typically you want to keep it under three minutes, but hey, rules are made to be broken.)
(2) Location. What size is your dance floor? Will you be dancing on wood floors, or grass, or bubble wrap, or what?
(3) Logistics. When in the reception process will this occur? Are you dancing to a live band, or will you have a DJ?
(4) Other dances. Are you planning on doing a father-daughter dance, a mother-son dance, or something with your bridal party? If you'd like our help on any of that, we can include it your preparation.
(5) Wardrobe. Do your slammin' outfits impose any restrictions on your movement? How about your shoes? (It's a great idea to bring your shoes with you to your lessons and dance in them at least a few times before the day of your wedding.)
How does this fit into my budget?
Lessons are $95/apiece, but we recommend our five lesson wedding package to get started; in addition to your five lessons, we toss in a consultation, music editing, and custom choreography for free.
How you want to proceed is entirely up to you; some couples only do one lesson, some do thirty or more. An average number is ten, but of course it depends entirely on how quickly you learn, what you want to accomplish, and your available time, energy, and budget.
What if I'm not a bride or groom but I still need to dance at a wedding?
Many of our clients come to us because they're attending weddings as guests, or because their children are getting married and they're going to be featured in a father-daughter or mother-son dance. We'll absolutely work with you to make sure you have as much preparation as possible - and what's more, we'll make sure that you actually ENJOY dancing at a wedding. Transforming dance from obligation to anticipation: that's kind of our thing!