What easy steps for a wedding dance?
April 3, 2005 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Getting married next week and we need help with our first dance steps.

Our song is probably Nina Simone's 'My Baby Just Cares...' but it could change. Does anyone know a simple dance step which may not set the floor on fire but will at least make us look ok?
posted by Frasermoo to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
 
My advice...take a class. My fiance and I are getting married next month and started classes. It's amazing how on our own we're fine, but put us together and we can't dance.
posted by suchatreat at 12:36 PM on April 3, 2005


A lot of dance studios have wedding packages, which I think typically take your chosen song, teach you a dance to go with it, and a few more choreographed moves you can drop into it to make it flashier. I don't know if you're interested in that route, but here's some info on it in case you are:
A week is leaving things to the last minute, so get on to it immediately - there probably won't be time for a full package, but if you can fit four or more 1-hour lessons in, and do a bit of practice together at other times, you'll benefit.

The kind of dance studio I'd suggest is ballroom. "Ballroom" includes stuff like latin and swing and tango, not just the waltz/foxtrot type dances people normally use the word to refer to. Pretty much every ballroom studio offers some kind of social dance instruction, so don't fear ending up at some competitive dance training studio full of intimidating skill, if anything it would just mean that the instructors are higher calibre (not that it makes a difference in the first week :-) A lot of studios specialise in wedding, and it will be on their ads anyway, so you shouldn't have difficulty finding a few places nearby.

I've also seen instructors go out of their way to pass on dance tips they learned from their own wedding day (stuff about dancing in a wedding dress without tripping on it, etc.)

In the US, prices for dance instruction seem to be about $8-20 per hour for classes and $60-80 per hour for private instruction. But like cocaine, the first hit is always free, so typically there are discounts (often quite large) for wedding packages or especially people just beginning (to get hooked on their studio instead of someone elses).

Since you have limited time, you'd want private lessons - they work a lot faster, but are costlier. A package deal probably includes some privates and some classes, so take the privates first (assuming you don't have time for the whole package) and come back for the classes after the honeymoon. Scheduling classes for after the event may also give the impression you might become a long-term student (ie more valuable), which might give you a little more success in wrangling a deal if nothing "off the shelf" suits (which may well be the case since the wedding is so close). You also might end up getting better value for money from a couple beginner's package than from a wedding package, providing the instructors know your goal. (Some packages are inflexible, based on a syllabus, eg acheiving some certificate of X level of proficiency. You need the instructors to be working for your deadline, not for a structured program, but I'd be surprised if this was a problem.)

For the record, classes are important to learning to really dance (ie they're not just a poor mans private lesson) because you can't learn very much dancing only with the same partner. In your case, you're not interested in the bigger picture at this point, so it doesn't matter. Just mentioning it in case anyone else is reading :)

Also, many studios try to push large packages on people. Like buying a used car, don't be pressured into signing up for anything too big, and be prepared to walk out the door to a competitor. Ring around a couple of places beforehand if you have the time - just so you know what's in the area, and if they diss other studios (or non-franchise studios), take it with a grain of salt. It's like shopping for a cell-phone at cingular and asking sales staff how the plan compares with one from T-mobile - the answer will differ from what T-mobile sales staff will tell you :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 3:02 PM on April 3, 2005


That last paragraph - don't take it to mean arranging a package of instruction is a hassle or not worth bothering with - it's very quick and easy, no problem at all, (and can be done over the phone). I just feel obligated to remind people, since some people can forget how they normally deal with sales staff when they find themselves talking to a beautiful and charming dancer :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 3:14 PM on April 3, 2005


Check out these wedding dance instructional videos. I haven't seen them myself, but I've taken many dance classes from the instructors (Paul Overton and Sharon Ashe). They're exceptional teachers, so I'd expect a lot of bang for the buck.

Also, MBJCFM is an excellent first-dance pick especially if you're going to be swing dancing.

Finally, if you're comfortable enough with the basic steps, try hitting the breaks in the song with a cute accent step. MBJCFM has a ton.
posted by turbodog at 3:49 PM on April 3, 2005


You'll want to do swing, by the way, to that song. I second the comments above to getting professional instruction, but knowing that it's swing might help you. (And if you're in Boston, I know a fantastic instructor. Email's in profile.)
posted by occhiblu at 9:28 PM on April 3, 2005


Somewhat related - I am not worried about your dance- I think you'll be fine. I am worried that you said you were getting married the day after Charles and Camilla at the same venue, and now they've moved their wedding to the next day. I hope you can avoid the media scrum
posted by cushie at 7:09 AM on April 4, 2005


We are part of the media scrum now!
posted by Frasermoo at 1:27 AM on April 5, 2005


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