Aerials in Dance: Exceptions to the Rule

couple doing first dance

A First Dance is the Exception to Many a Rule

After writing a blog about not using air steps before you are proficient in dance, I was reminded of an exception to that rule when I came across a video of a first dance by a couple who had the good fortune to learn their first dance from my ever delightful and talented colleague Meeshi Ravi in San Diego.  After a brief 8 weeks of lessons, they were doing air steps and other tricks in their joyful first dance.

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This is a great illustration of how the first dance breaks the rules in many ways.  For instance, in every other situation I warn my students not to film themselves unless they are practicing for a performance or contest.  People tend to notice only what doesn’t look good, ignore what does, and feel discouraged.  But there is something about the way they feel about each other on their wedding day that is so magical that the dance is magical too.

This couple had only studied Swing for two months and their routine is full of fancy tricks.  But it’s their day and the dance represents their personalities and their relationship.  It’s fun, charming, and impressive.  They wanted the aerials, worked hard to make them work, and enjoyed the hell out of them.  They are loving their dance and reveling in each other.  It’s the way a first dance should be.

I still stand by what I said about air steps in my 7/11/13 post, unless it’s a first dance for your wedding.  I sometimes teach an air step to my wedding students if it fits their personality and natural skill.  A first dance is a performance, but a very unique one, because it’s not really about the dance.  That’s not why the audience is there.  This world’s most supportive audience is there to celebrate love and to support a couple in their commitment to that love.  The dance is a bonus, and if it’s a great metaphor for that love, it’s a success!

By LaurieAnn Lepoff

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2 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    Aerials are fun, they are exciting, they do look cool. That said, they are not for casual dancers who don’t practice together and even then – they are not for the open dance floor. In a jam circle, or a “performance” setting like a first dance – sure. But it is easy to break bones on a simple dismount, let alone on a mangled air step. Please, please – find a good instructor and practice if you want to do aerials.


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