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The Perfect First Dance: Tips for a first dance you’ll love

Updated: Jan 23

We understand that your first dance can sometimes be a combination of both exciting and intimidating. Especially if you’re not used to dancing when all eyes are on you. But you don’t need to worry, with guidance, practice, and trust, your first dance can be a beautiful moment you’ll remember forever. 

We put together some tips that we recommend to our students that are getting ready for their big day! 

Before your lesson


  • Create a timeline. Feeling comfortable with your dance before your wedding begins before you start taking lessons. Prior to starting your lessons, we recommend creating a rough timeline of when you would like to begin. Typically, we notice the best results when couples take between 7-10 lessons in preparation so it's best to leave at least 2-3 months before the wedding. (But not to worry if you are before or after this timeline, it's never too late or too early) 

  • Schedule practice time. Once you have a rough timeline in place, we recommend setting dedicated practicing time leading up to the day of the wedding. We know that wedding planning is busy and often hectic, so it's smart to get ahead of this and set aside an agreed upon time for practicing at home. Even if it's 10 or 15 minutes, it will make a difference in how comfortable you feel as you progress. 

  • Pick a first dance song. If you don’t already have a first dance song picked out, we recommend looking for music that not only is meaningful to you as a couple, but has a rhythm that is easy for you to hear and recognize. If you’re having trouble deciding, bring a few options to your lesson and you can start to feel which song you like dancing to best.

At your lesson 

  • Enjoy the process, don’t expect it to come right away. You’ll learn basic steps first and get comfortable dancing them with the music. In your first lesson, you’ll start to learn the basic concepts like leading and following, holding a basic frame, and musicality. 

  • Ask questions! If you’re not sure of something, don’t be afraid to ask. Your instructors are there for you to help you understand the movements and feel confident in what you’re doing. 

  • Take videos. We encourage you to take some videos during the lesson. Not only will this help you remember the right steps while practicing, but you'll be glad to have these moments to look back on after your wedding day!

While Practicing 

  • Throw on your wedding shoes. Make sure to practice a few times in the shoes you will be wearing on your wedding day. Some movements can feel different with different shoes and heel heights, so you’ll want to feel comfortable in the ones you’ll wear on that day. 

  • Practice with a small audience. It is smart to practice at least once in front of a few people. This will help you get used to the feeling of dancing through nerves and mistakes. 

  • Practice both with and without the music. Practicing without the music will help you to break down the steps with their counts and practicing with the music will help you to practice the timing and fluidity of the dance. 

  • Practice making mistakes. Very often when we make a mistake while practicing our dances, we usually stop, redo that part of the dance, and try to understand what went wrong. It is great practice to do this, however during your wedding day you will not have the option to do so. Which is why we recommend dedicating some practice time where you continue dancing despite any mistakes. 

  • Switch up your practice location. Sometimes a change of scenery or direction can be distracting for couples on the day of the wedding. To help avoid this, we recommend practicing in different locations and directions. This could be as simple as switching from the living room to the kitchen, the purpose is just to get used to dancing in different directions to prevent the likelihood that you’ll get disoriented on the dance floor. 

On the day of the wedding 

  • Don’t worry about mistakes. The goal is not to be perfect, so allow yourself to make mistakes and dance through them. If you’ve applied our tips, you’ll be less thrown off by little mistakes since you’ve practiced despite them and you’ll feel comfortable regaining timing and connection with your partner. 

  • Talk to your photographer, let them know if you have any special lifts or moments you want them to be aware of. 

  • Have fun! Remember that your guests are there to celebrate you and try your best to relax knowing that you have prepared for this moment. 

By following these tips, you’ll feel more prepared and ready for your very special day. The Ballroom Dance House is here to help all along the way. We love helping couples share a very special, intimate moment, and have fun while doing it! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask any questions you may have at 862.200.8680! 

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