The Wedding Dance Beginner's Guide

Wedding dances can present challenges to even the most well organized and thoughtful couple. After choosing the right flower arrangement, coordinating wedding party outfits, and booking the best venue, you might only have a little bit of energy left to devote to presenting a passable wedding dance. Fortunately, I'm here to help guide your efforts so you can worry less about dancing and get back to worrying about your vegetarian options for the special night.

Consider Your Tastes

There are a number of ways your first dance can take shape. And the first piece of advice I'll offer here is probably going to get you good mileage for the rest of your relationship - check in with your partner and find out what they're comfortable with.

Work together to consider the best dance style for your first dance. Are you interested in a spicy salsa number? How about a sultry-looking tango? At Crescent City Swing we're partial toward classic, versatile six and eight count swing dance. 

Once you've established the style, you should consider whether you want a complex, choreographed dance. Remember that choreography takes time and patience to look good and you'll need to put more effort into classes to get the look you're going for. If you're brand new to dancing, we recommend taking some one of one sessions with your partner and working on fundamentals so that you can dance comfortably and confidently.

Find An Expert

Now that you've answered some basic questions on how you'd like to dance, you need to find the right teacher. New Orleans is fortunate to have world class talent in many different dance styles. I'm a little biased (admittedly), but Kerry Genese has been teaching wedding lessons for years and will get you on the right track for a great swing dance. 

Take the ideas you've been considering to several instructors and see what the best fit would be for you. Remember that a great wedding dance instructor appreciates and respects your vision but likely has some ideas to make your dance more comfortable and more appealing to you as a dancer and to the audience as a viewer. Respect their professional opinion! It can save you a lot of trouble in your dance journey.

Keep It Simple

A simple dance can be an elegant dance. My recommendation is to focus on simple, practiced looking maneuvers to get the most mileage out of your first dance. When I observe dancers of all levels, I am typically most impressed by the subtlety of a good partnered relationship and not the flashy moves you might see on TV or in movies.

Keeping your dance simple also means to keep your expectations in check. Unless you're an experienced dancer, there's little reason to believe you'll be able to perform at an expert level during your wedding dance. Keep your dance simple and keep your expectations appropriate to the effort you've put in to working on your dance together.

Enjoy Yourself

Dancing is actually a lot of fun. Why do you think we spend so much time doing it? But I can't sugar coat the whole thing - learning to dance can be a lot of work and even be frustrating at times. 

Learning to dance together is a great way to get to get to know each other better, even if you've been together for years. Dancers can share a special connection and it's a great joy to share that with your partner. Just don't sweat the small mistakes that happen along the way and enjoy developing a skill with your partner. You may even find you love dancing enough to make it a permanent fixture of your relationship together!

Do It For Yourself

You might think there's a lot of pressure to but on a world class showcase of dance skill. But the truth is that wedding dances are charming because we get to see people in love share a moment together!

Try and silence the self-doubt, embarrassment, and pressure you feel from outside forces and instead focus on being with your partner in that wonderful moment. If you can do that I promise there won't be a dry eye in the room.

Find Out More

If you're ready to put together a compelling first dance, we have everything you need at Crescent City Swing. We offer private lessons, perfect for the wedding couple. And if you think the whole wedding party (or bachelor/bachelorette party!) would want to get in on the action, we have group class rates as well. For more information on all our wedding offerings, visit our weddings page.

As always, we're here to serve you. If you have any questions, drop us a line or comment below!

Mazel Tov!