Anya Brodech is a professional salsa, Latin, swing, and ballroom dance teacher in Oakland, CA.
Wedding Dance Lessons
Wedding dance lessons can feel stressful and overwhelming if you are learning to dance for the first time or even if you already know how to dance but have never performed in public before. Fortunately for you, I've taught a lot of couples how to dance for their weddings. Here are some tips that I recommend to all of my students so they can memorize the steps quickly and efficiently, making the most of their lesson time.
Tip #1: Memorize Your Song by Heart
The song is the most important element of your wedding dance because that is what your entire routine is based around. So make sure that you memorize your song and learn it by heart because it will make the whole process a lot easier.
When you are familiar with the music and lyrics....
- You know exactly where you are in the song at all times, so if you ever space out on your wedding dance and forget what to do next, just listen to the words and it'll help jog your memory what to do next.
- You can pace your dancing and have better rhythm, so you don't end up going to fast or slow.
- You can anticipate/prepare for what happens next by knowing all of the musical/lyrical "cues" that you should be listening for.
Tip #2: Practice Dancing the Basic
Usually, I have my students learn a wedding dance routine that is based on a particular style of dance, whether it's east-coast swing, foxtrot, waltz, rumba, etc. In addition to all of the spins and turns, I always teach them the basic step. I emphasize the basic step because it has the easiest and clearest rhythm out of all the steps, and is the best way to learn how to dance on time with the music. So if you or your partner have trouble hearing the beat, then practice dancing just the basic to the music, because it will help you internalize the rhythm.
Tip #3: Practice Dancing Together
Since most wedding couples have never really danced before they started taking lessons, there is usually some difficulty with learning how to dance the steps correctly, while staying in-sync with your partner, and on-time with the music.
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This is why I recommend that all of my wedding couples take the time to practice dancing together, so this way they can used to how the other person moves, as well as learn how to adjust their own dancing in order to better accommodate the other person. Plus when you dance together a lot, you can come up with little cues and hints to let the other person know what to do in case he/she forgets to do something or makes a mistake.
Tip #4: Practice in Your Wedding Shoes
The shoes that you wear can have a significant impact on your dancing, especially if you're doing a lot of turns or spins. This is why it's important, especially for the bride, to practice dancing in the shoes that you are planning to wear on your wedding day.
If you want to wear high-heeled shoes on your wedding day, make sure you get comfortable dancing in them first so this way you can figure out how to keep your balance as you move around and spin.
For grooms, it helps to wear your dressy wedding shoes during your dance lessons and practice, especially if they're new, or you rarely wear them. Dancing and practicing in your dressy shoes will help you break them in and make them feel more comfortable when you wear them on your wedding day because they won't feel so stiff and hard.
Tip #5: Make Sure Both of You Know the Routine
As a couple, you want to work together as a team and help each other as much as possible. However, it is unfair to have just one person, whether it be the leader or follower, learn the entire routine while the other person slacks off. It's important to understand that both partners are responsible for making sure that the routine goes smoothly on the big day. If only one person knows what to do, but then spaces out and forgets what to do next, exactly how is their partner going to help them if he/she doesn't know what comes next?
It's important to understand that both partners are responsible for making sure that the routine goes smoothly on the big day. If only one person knows what to do, but then spaces out and forgets what to do next, exactly how is their partner going to help them if he/she doesn't know what comes next?
Furthermore, when both parties are actively involved in learning their routine, it makes the whole process a lot easier because you can remind each other what to do and always be on the same page with one another.
Final Tip: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Remember that there is no better way to learn how to dance other than practicing it over and over and over again!