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Your First Dance: Tips from My Wife

When you imagine your wedding day, and your first dance as life partners, how do you feel?

Nauseous? Anxious? TERRIFIED?

Well, fair enough. It is a big moment. A moment you may have dreamt of your whole life. A pivotal moment even (dance pun intended). It is important however, not to let uninformed expectations, overwhelm and Walt Disney ruin what can be an otherwise enjoyable and beautiful moment. 

The energy of those nerves is completely natural. It is actually the energy of ‘excitement’! It is only our thoughts and our perception about an event, that turns it to panic or discomfort. 

The great news about that is it works both ways, our excitement energy, can be transformed to serve us, to deliver to us to a memorable and even enjoyable first dance if we only keep a few things in mind. 

I struggled to think of wedding advice I hadn’t already written about. So I asked my wife. She deserves the credit for the following gems:

  1. Define the feeling you want to experience in your dance, and pick a song, with a speed, lyrics and tone that support that. I know it is your wedding – sorry, I meant YOUR WEDDING! And you want everything you have ever seen in movies, and Dancing with the Stars… but take some time to really focus on what you want to feel: Slow songs for romance, faster songs for fun! No 12 minute songs, and no acrobatics unless you are with Cirque de Soleil already.  
  2. Prepare for wardrobe worries in advance. Wear a different outfit for your dance if you want to practice with your partner without spoiling ‘the big reveal’. 
  3. Bring a little emergency kit with some emergency items such as; safety pins, sewing kit, Tide-to-Go pen, bobby pins, elastics etc…You know what they say: ‘Carry an umbrella, and it won’t bother raining’.
  4. Learn a few steps well rather than many steps poorly. Holding back your excitement for a moment, think about all of the things you have to remember on your wedding day. Is it worth spoiling your entire wedding experience, worrying about the 75 step routine you devised with your maniacal dance teacher? (Her words, not mine.) Selecting four or five moves that you are comfortable and confident with, with a bit of creativity can make all the difference. 
  5. Leave plenty of time to feel comfortable and confident in your routine. Learning the routine from Dirty Dancing in a week, is just as likely as feeling stress-free in movements you have never done before in the same amount of time. Set your expectations realistically, and with the guidance of a trusted instructor, select the appropriate amount of time for learning and polishing something that fits with your unique vision. 

AND FINALLY, 

  1. Remember the person you will be dancing with is the same person you watch Netflix with, who laughs at your jokes, and who would dance with you even if you were a horse with four left feet.

So dance to celebrate your love – and spend your wedding day prepared to enjoy every moment, not by adding extra items to your to do list, but by removing the stress you didn’t need to begin with. 

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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