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6 Often-Forgotten Details Planning Your First Dance

first dance

You pick your song, learn some moves, and perform an awesome first dance. Simple, right?

Not so fast – the devil is in the details, so they say, and covering these details will make your first dance a LOT less stressful.

1. Test the dance floor.

Sure, the studio dance floor is easy to move on, but can you count on the same conditions at the wedding venue? Make sure you test it with a move or two to check for stickiness or slipperiness, even if you have to do it the day of the wedding.

If it’s sticky: Brushing the floor with a bit of baby powder can add that bit of slickness you need.

If it’s slippery: Wet the bottoms of your shoes with water or Castro oil just before going the first dance to add some traction to your soles.

2. Make sure you know where the cameras are.

That fabulous dip looks considerably less fabulous if the videographers are facing your behind. When practicing your first dance, get a sense of where you want to face when doing your best moves. In particular, make sure you are in the right place for your finish, so everyone can capture your grand finale in their hearts and cameras.

3. Watch the hem line, ladies!

I’ve seen more than one wedding dance where the bride neglected to check how long her skirt was. And got caught on it. On. Every. Single. Back. Step. Don’t be a casualty ladies; make sure your skirt stops several inches off the floor. At a bare minimum, bustle it up at the back!

4. Double lace your shoes.

Easily forgotten, but easy to cause an abrupt end to the first dance – do you really want to be undone (see what I did there?) by loose shoelaces?

5. Entrances and exits.

As my first coach told me more than once: You start dancing the moment you step onto the floor, and keep dancing until the moment you leave it. Entrances are where I like to throw in something cute and kitschy, but it looks better if couples do something that reflects their personalities.

As for the exit, don’t forget your bows, and leaders, it’s a nice touch to guide your partner off stage with you.

6. Fill the space.

You’ve got a regulation-sized ballroom for your first dance? Great! Or maybe not so great, if you are just turning in a circle in the centre of it. Design your first dance to fit the size of the room you are in. If you really want to keep it tight, bring the audience onto the floor itself and create a circle around you.

Incidentally, don’t forget the opposite of this: planning an expansive first dance before figuring in how much space the guests will be taking up. A quickstep doesn’t look nearly as impressive when you have to take mouse-sized steps the whole time.

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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