Where to Dance

Steps to Creating your Wedding Dance

First, choose your song

Nothing can move forward until you have settled on a song. Choose a small selection of songs on your phone to play to your dance teacher, as not all songs will be suitable or necessarily easy to dance to. Also, your choreographer might guide you to suggestions they know will work.

Depending on the style of dance you choose, this will affect the tempo and rhythm (time signature) of the song. Music that is too slow will make you look like you are sleepwalking and music that is too fast will increase the degree of difficulty and cause you to break out in a sweat.

If you are keen on a song which is too slow or fast, it might be possible to get the recording digitally altered to suit.

Dancing in your wedding attire

Consider what you can manage in the clothes you will be wearing. You may want to prepare by taking off a jacket or hooking up a train. Very high heels, off-the-shoulder dresses or veils can be tricky. Discuss this with your dance teacher. Some couples change into a completely different outfit for this and the rest of the day.

Taking lessons

Some people like to start by joining a general class before continuing to private lessons and tailored choreography. Your first dance can be as simple or as complex as you can handle. A simple routine might involve a sequence of steps repeated over and over. Or, if you are confident dancing together, additions could include a gentle dip or drop. Your teacher will soon gauge what you can manage.

Lessons can start as early as three months to six weeks out with weekly sessions and practice time recommended. The bare minimum would be three or four lessons involving a simple routine that can be repeated, but practice time is a must. Rehearse again as close to the big day as you can, so the choreography remains fresh in your mind.

Length of dance

Do not feel obliged to dance the full length of a song, especially if it’s a rather long one. Get it edited or arrange for your DJ or band to fade it out at the prescribed time (or give them a small signal), two minutes is more than enough and will feel like plenty long enough while you are dancing it.

The dancefloor

Consider how you will begin the dance and how the best man or MC is going to announce it. What will the dance floor be like and what size will it be? Who will cue the music and fade it out?

How it will look

Take your personalities into account when choosing your music and dance choreography. Are you wanting something sexy, cheeky, loving or classic? If your wedding is themed to a particular era, this might help you choose a style of dance and music to suit.

Remember this need not be about knock-out moves (unless you are both professional dancers), but about creating moments of connection and love. That is what will give your friends and family goosebumps and bring tears to their eyes. Have fun, look into each other’s eyes, smile, be present.

When to dance

Personally, we wanted to get our first dance over early, so we could enjoy some champagne and relax and not worry about forgetting the routine. So, in our case, after the church service and after our photographs (which involved a bit of champagne), we arrived at the reception venue, were announced - “Please welcome Mr and Mrs dot dot dot” and we entered the room and danced. Then there were drinks followed by a meal, speeches etc.

Try not to leave it too late in the proceedings, for by that time you might be a bit frazzled or tiddly, and forgetful.

In summary ..

This ought to be something that you both want as part of your wedding nuptials. If one partner is not so keen, then this could cause unnecessary friction on a day that you’ll want to be all ease and grace.

Having said that, a wedding dance can be short, sweet and simple, it doesn’t need to be a big production. And if done well it will impress on friends and family with your ability to work as a team.

Ange Meyer