Tips and Tricks about your First Dance

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  • Beth Carlisle

Tips and Tricks about your First Dance

Updated: Mar 28


Why you do what you do


I kind of fell into teaching and choreographing first wedding dances.  My first ever couple was Dan and Jo. Ten years ago they came to me out of the blue as I was teaching street and contemporary dance in a community hall and they emailed me to ask if I could teach them.  I'd already been teaching social latin and ballroom elsewhere, and choreographed in various other dance styles - street, contemporary and jazz for many years, and I knew I could do it, so I did!  Everything else fell into line, with more couples following suite, so thought why not make a go of it as a business! The name, The Love Of Dance, seemed to sum it up perfectly.

I'd got the buzz. All the magic of working with a couple towards making their wedding day extra memorable, seeing them bond over learning a new skill, having to practise and work as a team, which they may not have ordinarily tried, without the impetus of needing to dance in front of other people at their wedding, is just so rewarding.

I also started getting requests to teach dance at hen parties - the hens usually have so much fun, bond further with the bride’s friends and family they don’t yet know so well, and they often end up performing their dance at the wedding! I’ve since been teaching dance at all types of parties. 

The event entertainment went hand in hand with the dance service - I used to work in music, so have the contacts in the music, alongside the dance world, to put live music and dance acts together for different elements of weddings: from the ceremony and arrival drinks, through to the end of the night’s party!


What you love most about the industry 


The excitement of wedding planning, helping couples and their friends and families make their forever memories, is so lovely.


Favourite creation


I love a request for a ‘mash up’ of difference dance styles, when a couple can’t choose one first dance song, so I’ll edit their music and bring snippets of all the songs into one dance.  I had once couple wanting to start with a typical first dance song (Let’s Stay Together), moving in to Dirty Dancing’s 'Time Of My Life’, into some Arabic Pop and finishing with Usher’s ‘OMG’.  Its so fun when couple get adventurous and want to break the first dance norm - their guest’s love it too.  

Here’s their lift.  These two were so cute! https://www.instagram.com/p/BnCcblPhDJj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link


Choosing a theme 


I’m usually led by the chosen first dance song, to influence the dance style I’ll teach a couple - e.g.  foxtrot, waltz, salsa, rhumba are the popular styles. I like them to walk away with a skill they can carry to other dance floors into the future, beyond their wedding, so will teach basic dance steps in the style, teaching them how to lead or follow. I then choreograph a dance, which incorporates more generic partner dance moves. This is where we get creative with lifts(!), dips, dancing out of hold for example   I always say they’re not training for a competition where they’ll be marked down for breaking the rules - their guests will love it whatever they do. Their dance; their way!

Read my blog about First Wedding Dance Styles here: http://theloveofdance.co.uk/first-wedding-dance-styles/





Tips


Absolutely don’t leave learning the first dance not the last minute! First dance lessons are quite often a luxury add on to the wedding planning, after the dress, venues, cakes etc have been budgeted for.  I’d suggest if you’d really like to dance together confidently and calmly on the big day, find a group class to go to to learn some basics, then find a first wedding dance teacher to work as you would with a personal trainer.  Many people underestimate the practise needed to learn to dance together. A consultation with the wedding dance choreographer will help you to choose your preferred dance style and show any first dance inspiration on Youtube for example, so you all know you’re on the same page. Try to get a first dance rehearsal in your wedding venue and in practise wedding dress and shoes! Visualise yourselves on the dance floor, where your guests will be standing /sitting around you and start to imagine how it’s going to feel once in the beautiful wedding attire.  Try to do the rehearsal in your wedding shoes too, or something similar so you can get a feel for dancing in heels, or the surface of the floor, and a similar skirt to the wedding dress so you know how to cope with clearing the fabric away from feet as you move! Here’s my blog ‘Practice Makes Permanent for some other tips:- http://theloveofdance.co.uk/practice-makes-permanent/ Enjoy every First Wedding Dance Step, helping you to feel calm and release the pressure: http://theloveofdance.co.uk/enjoy-first-wedding-dance-step/ Read about Ben and Rachel’s first dance synchronicity here: http://theloveofdance.co.uk/first-wedding-dance-synchronicity/ For more information contact Alison: Number: 07769 695051

Email: Alison@theloveofdance.co.uk Website: www.theloveofdance.co.uk Facebook: The Love Of Dance https://www.facebook.com/FunkalertDance/ Instagram: @ftloveofdance https://www.instagram.com/ftloveofdance/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/FTLoveOfDance


- Beth x


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