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A Professional Dancer's Best Tips for Prepping for the First Dance

It doesn't have to be perfect.

Janelle Ginestra and Will "Willdabeast" Adams Engagement
Photography by: Geovanny Santillan

Engaged couple Janelle Ginestra and Will Adams, seen above, are both professional dancers. Ahead of their September 2018 wedding, the bride- and groom-to-be are choreographing their first dance. Here, they share practical planning tips that any couple can learn from.

 

It's important to me to stay true to who I am—whether that's in my career as a professional dancer, as a business owner, or in my relationship with my fiancé, Will. As a kid, I spent a lot of time just trying to fit in, but as I got older I realized that I wanted to learn how to find my own voice. Over time, I began to chase the dreams I cared about and tried to always be who I wanted to be. So, once we got engaged, Will and I knew our first dance had to be unique to who we are as people and as a couple.

 

Because of our careers as dancers and our mutual desires to do things our way, we know everyone will be paying close attention to the first dance at our wedding. To make sure it's exactly what we want, we're putting the following steps into practice in order to perfect our big moment. Let our tips help you as you plan your first dance, too.

 

Related: Unique Ideas for Your Wedding Dance Floor

 

Remember that nothing is more stressful than perfection.

As a dancer and a choreographer, perfection is important to me. I want to hit my marks, and I want to know them cold. But, like everything, there's a time and a place for it. And that place is the rehearsal, not the performance. Try to think of your first dance as a freestyle rather than a choreographed number. The day is supposed to be all about you and your partner—nobody else. Your guests don't have the moves ahead of time, so they're not going to know if your plan changes at the last minute. 

 

Be sure to rehearse.

We all make mistakes, but the one thing I've found that helps me to avoid a fall or to get back up after one is plenty of practice. You have to put it in the work, whether that's in your relationship, wedding planning, or learning your first dance. If I show up to a performance without having really learned the routine, I'm setting myself up for failure. The same goes for the wedding day. If you want to have a memorable first dance, you need to put in the rehearsal time.

 

Do what you want.

Everyone is going to have an opinion about how your wedding is "supposed" to be. No matter what anyone says, your wedding is just about you and your partner celebrating your love with all the other people you love. Celebrate the way you want, and let your first dance be exactly what you want it to be.