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We Don't Want a Choreographed First Dance—Can We Still Take Dance Lessons?

You can learn so much besides an actual dance.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Liz Banfield

Your first dance is an intimate moment you share with your new husband or wife in front of all your family, friends, and loved ones, and, for most couples, it's the most nerve-wracking part of the big day. No matter which camp you fall into, it's worth taking at least one dance lesson before the big day. But don't confuse lessons with creating a choreographed routine—sure, you certainly can learn a special first dance during your practice sessions, but you definitely don't have to. We spoke with Sue Palmer of Palmer Dance Studio to understand what's so beneficial about lessons and what you can expect to learn other than a rehearsed number.

 

Related: Should We or Shouldn't We: First Dance Lessons

 

Body Awareness

Those incredible dancers you see spinning around the floor don't just know their steps, they own them. Take cues from their perfect form and fake it 'till you make it by learning about body awareness. Palmer cites the importance of details like where you're looking, how you hold your frame, how you enter the floor, and where you're facing as key details that will make you look great during your first dance. But there's more to it than just that: Gaining a better awareness of your own body will help make your wedding pictures even better.

 

Confidence

Taking a few lessons also ensures that nothing will trip you up when the moment arrives—literally and figuratively. "We practice the moves wearing a 'faux wedding dress' so that, on the day of the wedding, the groom isn't freaked out by a big skirt," says Palmer. "It happens!" You can also pre-determine the best moment for your dance to end based on the chosen selection so there will be no wondering if you've danced long enough.

 

Polish

You don't need to get all Dancing with the Stars to look good on the floor. "Even if I only teach the couple two moves and they do them randomly during their first dance, they will look polished instead of just swaying back and forth," says Palmer.