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Wedding preparations: First Dance lessons and song choice
First dance is a very important moment during wedding celebration. Of course it’s up to you whether to prepare something special or just slow dance to one of your favourite songs, but trust me putting a bit of an effort into preparing a first dance will make a huge difference to the impression you will make on your guests. It doesn’t have to be a complicated dance, it would be enough if you danced a slow or as it else called English waltz (about 29-30 bpm). This way you won’t bore your guests and make it memorable for both them and yourselves.
What if you have no idea how to dance Waltz? What if even the name of the dance makes you feel nervous and yet you would like to impress your guests? It’s not a problem, nowadays there are lessons being arranged especially for couples who are about to get married. You can choose to have lessons in a group or privately where there will be only your teacher, your partner and you.
To have enough time to learn a dance even the simplest one (I’m talking here about ballroom dances where every step counts), you will need to start taking lessons at least 3 months prior to your wedding day. However it’s better to allow yourself a bit more time to make sure you feel comfortable with the dance and won’t forget the steps under pressure and stress, so 4-6 months would be that needed time.
Wedding celebration venue
Now let’s talk about the venue of your wedding celebration. It’s important to not to forget where you are going to be dancing your first dance. Think about the size of the dancing space, note if it’s a square area, or maybe it has a rectangle shape. If there are pillars, be aware of them as they might complicate the set-up of your dance routine. Also if there is such a possibility, measure the width and length of your dance floor with steps and write it down. Your teacher requires all this information to be able to set up a dance routine correctly for you.
Practice makes perfect
When going to the dancing lessons, which will most likely happen 2-3 times a week, keep going over the dance routine at home as it will help you to polish out your dance much faster. If you don’t have enough space in your room, split the dance into parts and practice them separately, because it’s still will be more helpful than doing no practicing at all.
Foot wear choice
The foot wear you choose to have while going to the classes should be similar to your wedding shoes, especially the size of heels for the bride. If you plan to wear very high heels at wedding, you should practice your dance in the same height of heels. Otherwise you might feel uncomfortable during your first wedding dance and it might distract you and cause you to make mistakes.
So what songs are suitable for the first wedding dance if you decide to dance an English Waltz? For those couples who don’t have a dancing background and might struggle with learning the dancing routine, it’s best to choose a song with an even rhythm. It will help you to stay in tune with the song while dancing. Also the length of the song should also be taken into consideration as too lengthy songs sometimes appear to be never-ending and your guests might lose interest halfway through. Somewhere between 2:30 - 3:30 minutes should be just right.
When I was looking for a song for our wedding, at first I wanted a classical instrumental song performed by an orchestra. While I was searching the Internet for suggestions, I came across a song which gave me goose bumps after the second listen and I knew it had to be that song. My choice fell on If I Were a Painting - Ballroom Orchestra & Singers.
Here is a list of other English waltz songs:
- Anywhere the Heart goes: Maggie’s Theme – George Davidson
- Dark Waltz – Viktoria Tocca
- Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet – Royall Philharmonic Orchestra
- Antichi Ricordi - Rondo Veneziano
- When I Need You – Anne Nolan or Rod Stewart
- Lasso The Moon – Steve Amerson
- Make You Feel My Love – Tony Evans (21 Cool Waltzes)
- Open Arms – Journey
- Queen of My Heart – Westlife
- You Light Up My Life – LeAnn Rimes
- A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
If you don’t fancy dancing English waltz, you can choose one of these popular songs:
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John
- At last – Etta James
- Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
- I Can’t Wait – Runner Runner
- Close to You – Carpenters
- Could I Have This Dance – Anne Murray
- Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
- Tonight I Celebrate My Love - Peabo Bryson & Roberta flack
- I Promise (Wedding song) – CeCe Winans
- A Moment Like This - Leona Lewis
- When a Man Loves a Woman – Michael Bolton
- Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers
- Bless the Broken Road – Selah
- Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Andrea Bocelli
My husband and I had been going to the dancing lessons for three months, did a lot of practice at home and really hoped that our first wedding dance would be entertaining and bring a smile to our guests' faces. It turned out our effort wasn’t wasted as we managed not only make our guests smile, or cause happy tears in their eyes, but also get grateful loud applause from them. This dance made our Wedding Day so much more special and we are glad for the choices we made.