How to Practice For Your Wedding Dance
It might sound like straight-forward advice to practice what you learn in your wedding dance lessons, however I have talked to many of our wedding couples and they were surprised how hard it was to actually practice their wedding dance. I cannot stress enough how much practicing helps. It helps you both remember what you are doing (which is half the struggle), it also aids in building confidence in what you are doing together. Practicing together will only strengthen your abilities of what you can do together.
Some helpful hints for how to practice your wedding dance before your wedding:
- Find the time– This sounds easier than it is. I recommend scheduling practice time and putting it on your calendar, just like you would for an actual dance lesson. And here’s the secret: you don’t have to practice for a very long time! Even 10 minutes of practicing will go a long way! Since most songs are only about 3 minutes, if you practice just 10 minutes, that means you’ll go through your first dance song routine about 3 times. Fitting in 3 rehearsals will help you see big improvements in your dancing partnership and is much better than no rehearsals!
- Make sure you have enough space– One of the biggest challenges I have heard from couples who do practice is that it is hard for them to find enough space to do their dance and this could often times lead them to not practicing at all due to the mishap. Well I suggest you can do it in your living your, although you may need to rearrange some furniture. Practicing outside (like on a driveway or some have told us tennis courts!) may also be a nice change in scenery.
- Mentally going through it– Even if you cant find the time or space to work on your first dance with your partner, going over the dance mentally helps tremendously and can go a long way.
- Take notes after class– Your instructor will do this for you at our Orange County dance studio! Please be sure to take a picture of the notes and go over them! They are your guide.
- Video your class– If you are a visual learner, it helps to see what you have to do. At Bella Ballroom we are more than happy to video what you’ve learned during your wedding dance lessons. This helps our couples to review and remember what they learned.
- Have goals– It can be helpful if you come into your wedding dance lesson knowing some of your goals and what you might like to accomplish in your dance class. After learning what needs to be worked on, generally your dance instructor will tell you after each dance class what you learned and what needs to be reviewed. And don’t be afraid to ask any questions or bring up any concerns because that is what they are there for, to help and make it easy for you to learn and look great on the dance floor. For me, when I’m learning a dance, if I go through my notes and have goals in mind at the start of my dance lesson, I feel more confident and invested because I always do better compared to when I don’t take the extra time to go over everything.
- Come in to the dance studio for a solo dance lesson with teacher– We suggest this to clients because it can help strengthen your lead or follow part with your partner. There are a lot of aspects to dancing, especially with a partner. So it helps when both partners know what they are doing. For the male, it is important for him to know how to lead his partner in the dance. The lead role is in charge of telling the follow where to go and what to do The followers role is to well, follow. Both roles are very important and for the partnership to look good, it’s crucial to both know your part. Some extra private solo dance lessons can go a long way to help build confidence and skills in your partnership.
- Practice in front of someone- By doing this, you add pressure and can get a sense to how it will be during your big wedding day. There are going to be a lot of eyes on the two of you for your special first dance moment together. So preparing yourself will help take the ease off of it and ultimately make you feel more comfortable and confident in what you are doing.
- Practice with noise in the background- Wedding couples typically don’t think of how loud it will be during your wedding. Your guests are excited and will be celebrating with you two. So they are going to be loud. Expect hooting and hollering because it will happen. I suggest when you practice to put football stadium cheers in the background on YouTube. Believe it or not, the cheering can throw you off if you’re not expecting it during your dance.
- Practice with wedding skirt and heels– Here at Bella Ballroom Dance Studio, we have practice skirts that we offer the brides to-be to help prepare her for what her wedding dress will feel like. This also helps the groom get used to the fabric that will be at his feet. We recommend that the brides also practice in either their heels that they will be wearing at the wedding or in heels similar in height so that she can get use to dancing in them.
- Go to venue if possible– By doing this, you can get a feel of the actual venue space and what the dance floor might look and feel like. This step is not necessary as we take many steps at our wedding dance studio to make sure you are prepared for your big first dance moment, but if you have the opportunity to try it on your actual dance floor and venue, try it!
I hope these notes have been helpful and encouraging for you to practice your wedding dance at home!
Article by Jacqui