Welcome 2017! I felt I should write a straight forward New Year blog simply entitled FAQs. So, questions all about your dance lessons, especially wedding first dance lessons. Ideally, FAQs should have been on the Beaus & Belles site some time ago. So apologies… however to make up for this, here are plenty of golden top tips on how to prepare for that very special wedding first dance!
Q: How long in advance should our wedding first dance lessons be?
A: Ideally six to eight weeks before. This keeps the dance movements relatively fresh in your mind. With the advent of cameras and notes as learning resources, you could start well before and practice it to perfection. I think to make your dance look fresh 6 to 8 weeks before your big day is a good time frame.
Q: When should I book up my lessons?
A: You should start making enquiries 6 to 12 months prior to your wedding date, considering a first dance track and planning dates. However, it´s not to say that some people prefer to leave dance lessons to the end. However, if you are a little uncomfortable on the dance floor I would prepare in good time.
Q: What should I wear to the dance lessons?
A: I suggest wearing something fairly formal if you can for at least the last rehearsal, to mirror what you will be wearing on the big day. In rehearsal I would advise against wearing trainers, or 8 inch spiked heels! I suggest well fitting shoes with a slight heel (not flatties) and men formal tie up shoes for dance lessons. If you are going to wear extremely high heels for your wedding day, you might consider wearing an alternative pair of shoes just for your wedding first dance, as you wouldn’t want to cause you or your partner a major injury!
Q: How long should the music be? What style of music should I go for, slow or fast?
A: Music was covered in a previous blog, so you can go check that out. Basically a Strictly dance on TV is 1.5 minutes long which proves that even the professionals cut down a dance to this length. This is a very normal practice, short sweet and well rehearsed is what you are aiming for. The audience should feel they want to see more,and if they do, arrange an encore! A mid tempo is a good speed for beginners, a 4/4 tempo or 2/4. Very slow is hard to pull off unless you have great natural style and very fast could be tricky. Ultimately, go for the style and speed that suits your personalities and/or wedding theme.
Q: What happens if my partner is good at dance and I am not?
A:Traditionally someone has to take the lead and in the dance world this is the male. This of course can cause problems in practice if the lady is a naturally stronger dancer! Differences apart, I usually cater to the lead´s level so that the one leading feels most confident and in control.
Q: How many dance lessons should I have?
A: In an ideal world, as many as you can. Excuse the cliche but practice makes perfect. However, it will depend on your budget, your ability and your timescale. So these factors will affect your choice. Best to be sensible however and remember if you haven’t ever had formal dance lessons at all, you may need to quota in that extra time and effort.
Q: I am wearing a fishtail wedding dress with a long train and 6 inch heels. Will this be difficult to dance in?
A: What you are wearing on your wedding day should be considered with due respect to the first dance. A fish tail design would be difficult to dance in, as you can’t separate your legs easily. Long trains however can be gathered up by the use of finger hoops or wrist bands which helps. Very high heels could be a hazard on the dance floor, consider alternative footwear should that be the case.
Q: When are dance lessons held?
A: Usually in the evenings or weekends, as most people work.
Q: I am a total beginner and I am not a confident dancer, can Beaus & Belles help me?
A: Many people are naturally cautious if they haven’t danced before. Our choreographers are adept at putting clients at ease and will have taught a variety of abilities. Learning is carried out by observation and repetition. If the hurdles aren’t too high in the first place, and your music choice and theme is realistic it shouldn’t pose a problem. Dances don’t need to be long in order to impress. Short sweet and well rehearsed is my motto for my dancers.
Q: What is a good length of time for a wedding first dance?
A: Anywhere from a minute to two minutes long. I would avoid dancing much longer than two minutes as your first dance will start to lose its impact, you may forget your routine if you are not experienced and not to mention tire as it will become physically demanding. Have you ever noticed how out of breath even the professionals are after a minute and a half jive tempo?
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