You want to learn a first dance if you’ve seen someone else’s and either thought “Lord, I don’t want my dance to look like that!” or “Wow! I’d love to have a first dance like that!” You also want a first dance if the idea of just rocking back and forth in front of your guests makes you cringe, or you love the romance of it. It’s not a requirement and not everyone even chooses to do a first dance. You can skip it if it’s just not for you. But if one of you loves the idea and the other is afraid of it, it would be a romantic gift to someone you love enough to marry, to give it a try before deciding it’s something you just can’t do.
I’ve been teaching for more than 30 years I have never met a student who could not learn to dance. I suggest you not make that the reason you decide against it. Give yourself plenty of lead time, find the right teacher whose style resonates with you, keep it simple, and practice. You can always decide later that you tried and still don’t want to do it. But you may find that not only can you learn, but that you even like it.
Giving yourself enough lead time to learn without pressure and picking a very basic dance is the best way to find out if a first dance is for you. You may decide to keep it very simple. Even rotating a box step for a minute or so and ending with a dramatic dip is a huge improvement on a high school clutch and sway. If you give yourself permission to stop there, you might realize you want more. If you start early enough, you can realize either option.
One of the best reasons to learn that first dance is that once you’ve learned to dance, you have a joyful connection that you can use for the rest of your life. If you learn to lead and follow, you have a skill that you can use over and over that brings pure joy. Even if you just learn a routine and don’t learn leading and following skills, you can still do that routine any time you hear a song in the right tempo. And the joy of your wedding will come back to you every time you hear “your” song!
By LaurieAnn Lepoff
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