Planning Your First Dance

Sarah Street Photography,

The idea of a first dance can be intimidating for both the bride and the groom. It requires time and teamwork to come up with something that fits both of your styles and skill levels. That being said, the ultimate moment is about both of you, and planning this aspect of your wedding can be a great bonding experience.

Whether you want something funny that caters to you and your groom's adventurous side (we’ve all seen those wedding dance YouTube videos), or something more subdued and elegant, your first dance is a chance to show off your personality, and you don’t have to stick with a standard waltz.

Talk with your groom about what you both want for the dance (although you may have more of a vision than he does). Discuss your skill levels, what styles you like and how that fits into the theme and feeling of your wedding. Remember, although he might not have a huge opinion, your first dance is about the two of you, so pick a style you’re both comfortable with.

Next, select your music. It helps to choose your song before you go in for choreography, so that your instructor can think about what works best with your style of music. Remember to choose something that appeals to both you and your groom. It can be your mutual favorite song, or something sentimental from when you were dating.

Rants Ballroom Company in Virginia Beach suggests registering you and your groom for choreography a minimum of 90 days in advance of your wedding, in order to provide plenty of time to learn and practice. Once you learn your choreography, don’t let yourself or your groom forget the steps. Practice regularly before your big day; you can even make it part of a fun date night.

When looking for a studio to choreograph your dance, find a place that understands your vision and where both you and your groom will be comfortable. Don’t hesitate to call and get to know different studios to see if they will work for you. Check out some of these studios in Hampton Roads to find your perfect location:

Rants Ballroom Company, Virginia Beach

They vow to teach anyone to dance in just three lessons, no matter the skill level, and even offer group wedding dance choreography. (Maybe for a fun groomsmen vs. bridesmaids dance?) Contact: 757-650-4984

Premium Ballroom, Virginia Beach

The professionals here are dedicated to perfecting your choreography, with several options for packages that include instruction and music. Samples of their work are available for viewing online. Contact: 757-842-0552

Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Virginia Beach

This studio offers several different styles of dance to choose from, plus lesson options for the father and bride and mother and groom. Contact: 757-431-0177

7 Cities Ballroom Dance Studio, Williamsburg

This studio promises to cater to the couple’s vision and taste, whether they are looking for a simple dance or to put on a show. Contact: 757-903-4767

Mambo Room, Norfolk

Offers several different choreography packages, plus a Wedding Dance Crash Course for the busy bride and groom. Contact: 757-351-6092

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