While some couples prefer to practice their first dance in the living room, some want a little more instruction. Yet most couples are hesitant about signing up for dance lessons, no matter which camp they fall into. They don't feel like a necessity until you're on the dance floor and have no idea what to do. Professional dance instructor Amy Lawrence says she's heard plenty of different excuses for why one or both partners don't want to take lessons, and says almost every single one can be easily dispelled. Furthermore, Lawrence says, there's an important reason why you should be making the most of your first spin as husband and wife: It's one of the few moments you really get to yourselves the entire night, so why not make the most of it?
To help you understand how non-threatening dance lessons really are, Lawrence is sharing the excuses she hears most often, and why they shouldn't stop you from learning a few new moves before the big day.
Excuse: "I don't want a routine."
This is something Lawrence hears often, but the truth is you actually don't have to come up with a formal routine during your practice sessions. "Choreography means dance steps that you plan out in order," Lawrence explains. "The opposite of that is what's called lead and follow. In a lead and follow dance, a man will take his partner out onto the dance floor and lead them in moves they are deciding on the spot." In other words—without choreography, you're performing a lead and follow dance without actually knowing how to lead or follow. In your dance lessons, you can learn the basic steps so when you hit the dance floor, you actually know what's going on. But you shouldn't discount a routine entirely. Lawrence explains that another—perhaps even better—word for choreography is "plan." And having a plan when 100 of your loved ones are looking on probably isn't a bad idea.
Excuse: "I don't have time."
In many cases, Lawrence only spends two weeks with couples before their first dance, which she swears is typically enough time to learn what you need to know. "I teach them the basic steps of a style of dance chosen," Lawrence says. "A number of people don't realize that many dances are a rumba. It's the dance of love, and it's a very popular one for a first dance. When it's stripped down, you have a very basic dance that works with almost any song."
Excuse: "I'm going to look silly."
Lawrence says people are more afraid of going to a dance class than jumping out of a plane. Frankly, we believe her. "The first dance is such a big part of our culture, yet no one knows how to dance," she says. "I try to put people at ease and let people know that learning to dance to your song isn't as scary as you think it is." Ultimately, it's two to five steps that you learn and use over and over again. See? That's not scary at all.