Your wedding day is a celebration of your love, and your first dance is one of the most memorable moments of the event. Choosing the right song sets the tone, and tells a story about your relationship.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing a song because of how many dang choices there are! How do you even begin to narrow it down?
In this guide, I'll walk you through the process of choosing the right song for you, ensuring that your first dance becomes an unforgettable part of your wedding day and part of your love story.
1. Reflect on Your Relationship
Take a moment with your partner to reflect on your relationship. Think about the songs that hold significance to both of you, whether they remind you of your first date, a special memory, or an important milestone in your relationship. Songs that have sentimental value will make the first dance even more meaningful and unique to your relationship.
2. Consider Both of Your Tastes in Music
Explore your music tastes as a couple and find common ground. Whether it's a classic ballad, a modern pop song, a romantic jazz tune, or a timeless song from a favorite artist, you should choose a song that resonates with both of you.
3. Analyze the Lyrics
Pay attention to the lyrics of potential first dance songs. The words should reflect the love and connection you share. Look for songs with lyrics that express the emotions you feel for each other and convey your promises and commitment. If the mood of the song is romantic, but the lyrics tell a different story, you might consider another choice.
4. Assess the Danceability
Consider the tempo and rhythm of the song. The key is to find a song that you both feel comfortable dancing to and that complements your chosen dance style. This is absolutely something that your dance teacher can help you evaluate!
I usually recommend something mid-tempo for a first dance, with a BPM between 70 to 95. Slower than that tends to be a bit more challenging to dance to.
5. Seek Expert Advice
If you're unsure about which song to choose, don't hesitate to ask your dance instructor for help. They'll be able to offer valuable insights into which dance styles might be appropriate for different songs, and how easy or difficult a song might be to choreograph. I recommend sharing a short list of between 3 and 5 songs with your teacher, so they can give you the lowdown on each one.
6. Trust Your Instincts
In the end, go with your gut. Your first dance is an intimate moment between you and your partner, so the most important thing is that you both love the song you choose. Trust your instincts, and you'll find the perfect song.
Some of my students choose more classic love songs like "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran or "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye. But many people go for the unexpected. I loved choreographing a first dance to Metallica last year! It was perfect for the couple, who were heavy metal enthusiasts.
I've included a playlist below of some of the songs my students have chosen over the years. Take inspiration if you like, but the most important thing is to choose a song that feels right for you.
Choosing a song for your first dance is an opportunity to tell the story of your parternship. By reflecting on your journey together, considering your music tastes, analyzing the lyrics, assessing danceability, and seeking expert advice, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect song. Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts, and your first dance will be an unforgettable and magical moment that you treasure for years to come.
Your first dance as a married couple is a magical moment. To make your first dance truly unforgettable, you might choose to incorporate effortless lifts and dips into your routine. However, it's essential to do so safely in order to avoid any mishaps or potential injury. In this blog post, we'll explore how to safely add lifts and dips to your first dance.
1. Choose the Right Instructor
Before diving into lifts and tricks, you must find a qualified dance teacher who specializes in wedding dances. Youtube isn't going to cut it! A professional dance teacher will not only teach you the right technique but also ensure that you and your partner can safely execute these moves. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this step. A dance teacher's expertise is critical.
2. Start Simple
Start with simpler moves and work your way up to more complex lifts and dips as you become more comfortable. Whenever I teach students who are preparing for their first dance, we focus on twirls and other feet-firmly-on-the-ground moves for the first few classes. Only after my students have a strong foundation of dance technique and communication do I introduce weight-sharing moves like dips or lifts.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Repetition and practice are key to mastering any dance move, but especially lifts and dips. If you're looking for a show-stopping routine, book more classes than you initially think you need. My students typically do between 8 and 12 classes for a routine incorporating multiple dips and lifts. The more time you can spend rehearsing with and without your instructor, the more you'll be able to build strength, coordination, and trust with your partner. Make sure you both understand the mechanics of each move and can execute them smoothly.
4. Focus on Communication
Effective communication between you and your partner will make these moves feel easy. Non-verbal cues (what we call preps) are essential for a smooth transition into lifts and dips. How you place your hand on your partner's back or spin your partner in will indicate when you're ready to do a particular move.
5. Practice on the Actual Dance Floor
If possible, it's ideal to do a practice run of your first dance on same dance floor where you'll be performing. Becoming familiar with the space and its dimensions can help you avoid any surprises on the day of your wedding. At the very least, you should visualize your dance floor and the layout of tables/audience as you practice for any moves that would look better facing a particular direction. You don't want to dip with your back to all your guests!
6. Trust in Yourself
Once you have the foundation, confidence is the key to pulling these off. Trust in yourself and your partner, and the hours of practice you've put in. You've got this.
I've choreographed hundreds of first dances that incorporate dips, lifts, and other tricks. It's always incredible to watch people's confidence grow over the course of our lessons together. Some people come in thinking they wouldn't be able to achieve something like this, but after building a strong foundation together, they find the confidence to try a simple lift.
My advice is always to find a dance teacher you trust, work your way up as you build confidence, practice regularly, nail those preps, and at least visualize your dance floor. Follow those steps, and your first dance is sure to be something special.
Whether you're an experienced dancer or a beginner taking your first steps on the dance floor, having the right dance shoes can make all the difference.
The perfect pair of dance shoes should not only complement your style but also provide comfort, support, and enhance your movements. In this guide, I'll take you through the key factors to consider when choosing dance shoes, ensuring you find the perfect fit.
1. Know Your Dance Style
Different dance styles may require specific shoes. Ballroom dancing demands different footwear than west-coast swing. Identify your primary dance style, and do some initial research into what is recommended for footwear. Better yet, ask your instructor! They should be able to guide you towards a suitable shoe. Understanding your dance style will help narrow down your options and make the selection process easier.
2. Focus on Fit and Comfort
Comfort is king when it comes to dance shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, soreness, and even injuries. Dance shoes should fit snugly without being too tight. They should provide ample support to your arch and heel, allowing you to move freely while still maintaining stability.
Avoid shoes with rough edges or seams that may cause discomfort during extended periods of dancing. Be aware that if the straps of your sandals are tight, you may need to wear bandaids to prevent blisters while the leather stretches.
3. Consider the Sole
The sole of your shoe plays a crucial role in how you move and feel on the dance floor. For partnered dancing, you'll be looking for either suede or smooth leather soles. These smoother soles allow you to glide and pivot effortlessly across the floor.
Personally, 90% of my dance shoes have a suede bottom, as I like the balance they strike between glide and grip. However, it's often more practical for my wedding clients to choose hard leather soles, as they can be worn outdoors and on any surface.
4. Heel Height and Stability
Heel height can influence your posture, balance, and overall dance experience. While high heels are common in some styles, I recommend choosing a low, blocky heel or sneaker. You can always work your way up to high heels once you feel more confident dancing. If you do choose a heel, make sure that they can easily stay on your feet with a secure ankle strap. You don't want your shoes slipping off in the middle of a dance!
5. Give Them a Spin!
Before finalizing your purchase, you should definitely try on your new shoes and test them on a hardwood floor or similar surface. Walk around, try out a few moves, and see how they feel. Pay attention to comfort, flexibility, and how well they support your movements. They should feel comfortable from the start.
If ordering online, make sure you know what the return policy is, and gently test them at home before making a final decision.
Choosing the perfect dance shoes is an important part of your dancing journey. Having the right pair can not only boost your confidence, but help you move and spin more smoothly. Remember to consider your dance style, prioritize comfort and fit, pay attention to sole type, choose an appropriate heel height, and test them out. With the right dance shoes, you'll be ready to hit the floor with style and grace. Happy dancing!