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Ten Tips to Surviving Your First Dance

The first dance at your wedding reception may be the most stressful moment of your wedding day. Although it should be a time of reflection, romance and love, many couples dread the first dance. Perhaps it is because you are fearful of dancing, tripping or falling, or perhaps you fear performing in front of your family and friends. Whatever the reason, your first dance does not have to be a stressful event. Here are some helpful tips to ease your mind and calm you dancing fears.

1) You have been planning your wedding for months – why not plan your first dance as well? First decide what type of dancing you will be most comfortable with, and then practice it as much as possible.
2) Think about the clothing you will be wearing before deciding on a dance type. Tight dresses will make taking large steps difficult. An off the shoulder dress will not allow your arms to go higher than your head (making turning and dipping impossible).
3) Turn to professionals. Your flowers will be purchased from a professional, your photographs taken by a pro. Why not hire someone or join a group to learn professional dancing? Sure you may not become Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, but you will at least learn a few simple steps to keep you twirling.
4) Expand your song options. You may have your heart set on a certain song, but if you cannot dance to it, what good is it? Expand your selection to a few favorite songs and practice dancing to them. Decide which one of your options flows the best on the dance floor.
5) Decide on a song version. Now that you know the song, decide which version you want played. Sometimes songs have different versions. Make sure you present the one you want to your band or DJ. This is especially true for bands that sometimes alter the speed of songs. The last thing you will want is to be slow dancing to a fast beat.
6) Think about where you will be dancing, and practice on a similar surface. If you plan on dancing outdoors on the grass, practice outdoors. If you will be having an indoor reception, practice on a smooth floor indoors. Also practice in an area of about the same size as the dance floor of your reception location.
7) Practice in similar clothing. If you are planning on a long flow-y dress, practice your steps in a loose dress or skirt. If you plan on wearing a tight wedding dress, practice in a pencil skirt. Also make sure both you and your Groom practice your dance steps in the shoes you will be wearing on your wedding day. (This will also help to break them in)
8) Do not expect perfection, and do not get down on yourself or your Groom. No one is perfect, not even professional dancers. You will just add more stress to the situation if you place undue pressure on yourself or your Groom. Take it one step at a time – literally!
9) Less May Be More. If you are having a tough time remembering the entire routine, consider trimming down your first dance song. Songs can be trimmed, faded out, and blended into a different song. You only need a minute or two on the dance floor.
10) Be Yourself. You know your comfort level; you know your Groom’s comfort level. This is your day and your dance, be happy and do what is going to make you the least stressful. If ballroom dancing just isn’t for you, try something which is YOU. Even if that means doing the twist, slow dancing, or something over the top like brake dancing. Be true to yourself and you will be happy.

Article Copyright 2007, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors

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