You may have taken ballet when you were 5 but you can’t recall when the last time you danced with your fiancé formally. To avoid the awkward Junior High sway at your wedding, you should really put some thoughts into the first dance. If you don’t have time to take dance lessons before your big day, check out these 6 simple steps that help you DIY your first dance!
1. Choose a Danceable Song
Whether you have a special song or not, it is important to make sure the song you choose for your first dance is “danceable” and the lyrics are appropriate for your wedding. A good danceable song should have a strong beat and isn’t too fast or too slow. And it shouldn’t be too long either. Keep it short (2-3 minutes long) and sweet so that your guests can enjoy the first dance and not get bored. Lastly, make sure that your band or DJ will play the version of your song that you have been practicing to. Any tempo or compositional changes can affect your dancing, especially if you have a choreographed dance. I have compiled a list of my favorite classic first dance songs and unique wedding dance songs. Check them out!
2. Learn the Proper Dance Position
A proper dance position will give you a more polished look and allow you to lead and follow better during your first dance. Below are details on how to hold your partner when dancing.
Leader — Place your right hand behind your partner’s left shoulder blade (cupping the shoulder blade). Make sure your right elbow is up and your elbow bone should be pointed out to your right side.
Follower — Wrap your left arm around your partner’s lifted arm and place your hand around his/her biceps.
Both of you can now bring the other arm up and clasp your hands together. Your elbows should be relaxed and pointed down slightly.
3. Learn the Basic Box Step
The box step is one of the most versatile dance steps since you can dance it to almost any song at a wedding! Watch this video as I demonstrate how to do a simple box step.
4. Create an Elegant Entrance
The beginning of your first dance is very important since everyone will be watching! A polished entrance will help you begin your first dance confidently and set the tone of the dance.
5. Spin the Bride
Once you know how to do the box, you can spice up your dancing with a simple spin! Check out this video that shows you how to do a simple underarm turn.
6. End with a Picture Perfect Dip
The dip is a great way to end your first dance. It is also a wonderful picture opportunity for your photographer and guests. This video will show you how to perform a simple dip safely.
What’s your first dance song? Are you doing a DIY first dance? How are you preparing for your first dance? Please share with us!
Szewai (CY) Lee is the founder of Duet Dance Studio, a Chicago dance studio that offers Latin and ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance lessons, and BYOB dance parties. Besides dancing, Szewai enjoys discovering hidden gems in the city, finding great music and making short videos about people and things that inspire her. You can find Szewai on Google+ and LinkedIn.