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Wedding Dance Lessons

Dance at your wedding, or any wedding!

Check out all our wedding dance workshops and wedding dance private lessons on Wedding Dance options!

"We came in terrified, and we left relieved. Thanks for making learning to dance stress-free, and actually fun! Now we plan on doing lots more dancing after the honeymoon.Pat and Jackie, South Shore, MA

Your first wedding dance is not a performance, it's a ritual of connection, pleasure and celebration for you and for your guests. Couples planning their wedding most often want to focus on learning how to dance to the song they choose for their first wedding dance, and just about any song can be danced to! Choose a song that's meaningful, romantic, quirky, or just plain fun, to create a moment of joy and a lasting memory. Once you learn the basics of leading and following, it will be easy to translate your skills into dancing with parents, if a parents' dance is planned. But wedding dancing isn't just for engaged couples; it's for anyone who wants to enjoy dancing with a partner to a wide variety of music, no matter what genre or tempo.

Wedding Dancing includes partner-dancing of all kinds, but especially creative social dancing, (sometimes known as "schmooze foxtrot.") Wedding dancing can also include ballroom dancing such as waltz, swing, traditional foxtrot, Latin dances such as salsa and merengue, and Latin ballroom dances such as tango, rhumba, and cha cha. Also, couples may want to learn how to dance to faster tunes together as partners, (rather than freestyle), such as Motown tunes, Top 40, disco, hip hop, etc., especially for the wedding reception, after their first dance.

Need more info? Check out our page on Wedding Dance options!

Or read the article below, The Groove Master, where Boston Weddings Magazine interviewed our director Liz Nania on preparing for your first wedding dance.

"Our wedding was just right, and our dance was a big hit!"
Ben and Jennifer, Jamaica Plain, MA

"Dear Liz, we are so sorry about being so late in expressing our appreciation for the extraordinary support you gave us in prepping for my daughter's wedding.  You were such a great help, and the first dance with my daughter went so much better because of you.  You helped to make for a perfect wedding.  I'll send you some photos.  Unfortunately, I forgot to smile in several of them. We do want to continue lessons with you after the first of the year.  Happy holidays!" Tim and Mary Green

Check out our current reviews.

The Groove Master

Feature Article, Boston Weddings Magazine
Fall/ Winter 2008: The Experts

Two left feet? Worry not. A little prep can go a long way in making you and your partner smooth as silk on the dance floor.

By Terri Trespicio

In the 20 years that Liz Nania has been teaching dancing, she has helped many a knock-kneed, white-knuckled couple go from flustered to fearless on the dance floor. Here, the founder of West Roxbury's OUT to Dance studio shares her insights on how to make your first moments at the reception memorable and angst-free.

What are most couples' biggest hang-ups about the first dance? For most people, the idea of having everyone they know and love stare at them for three-and-a-half minutes is hell. So they set the bar low—they tell me they just don't want to look stupid. Often they assume, quite incorrectly, that they have no rhythm or ability. In fact, most people have never been taught the fundamentals in a mature, supportive environment. It's not about complex steps—it's about learning to lead or follow, shift your weight, and breathe.

What about songs? Is there a hands-down favorite, or one that just won't work, ever? The number-one wedding pick by a landslide is "At Last" by Etta James. I can't tell you how many times I've worked with that song. In general, many couples tend to lean toward the jazz standards, the great American songbooks, often updated by Harry Connick Jr. or Michael Bublé, or else a mellow singer-songwriter feel like Jason Mraz or Ray LaMontaigne. "It Had To Be You" was really popular, for instance. But I'll tell you this: I've never rejected someone's song. Bottom line: If you love it, you can do it. It's just a matter of finding the right footwork. One time a bride chose a classical piece, which was tricky. But we made it work.

What are the risks of not preparing, and just winging it? For one, you may be more stressed because you won't know what to do once the moment has arrived. The only other real risk is that the dance itself will be forgettable, and your guests will be bored. You have to decide who this dance is for. If you and your mate prefer to sway and talk, that's fine. But if you want to put on a little show for your guests, it's worth doing some preparation.

How does this work with same-sex couples? Actually, it's easier, because whoever is more comfortable can lead. Other than that, I don't see much of a difference between how the dance works between heterosexual or gay and lesbian couples.

Time and cash can be tight during wedding planning. Why spend both on a three-minute tune? Think of this as more than just practicing for that first dance or avoiding humiliation. This is about dancing through your whole reception—and let's face it, the rest of your life. Beyond that, couples tell me they find they love this part of their planning above all others. It allows them to reconnect in a romantic way—to hold each other, look into one another's eyes. And that intimacy and focus can often get lost in all the frenzy of wedding preparation. If you can get over the hump and walk into that first lesson, you'll walk out 100 percent relieved. In fact, the dance has the potential to be the most special moment of your wedding day.

STEP TO IT

Nania's four-part plan for first-dance success.

Start Early

Don't wait until right before the wedding to think about, or prepare for, your first dance—aim for 2 or 3 months before the big day. That said, a shorter time-frame can work, too. On average, couples only need 3 one-hour sessions to get it down.

Choose Wisely

Go with a song that you both love—not what your mother or sister thinks you should dance to, what your DJ recommends, or what you feel you should use. Because if you don't love it from the start, you'll definitely hate it by the end.

Take a Refresher Course

Save your last hour of dance instruction for a week or two before the wedding so that you feel confident and ready.

Get Past the Fear

This is about fun, romance, tradition—and stress reduction. Learning a dance should not be panic-inducing. The more prepared you are, the more enjoyable it will be for you and your guests. T.T.

A recent review from a same-sex couple:

Julie and Laura, Somerville, MA:

"What can we say Liz made all of our wedding dance dreams come true!  We took salsa lessons with Liz several years ago and had a blast, so when it came time to think about our wedding dance, we knew just where to turn.  We couldn't have been more right.  As always, Liz was helpful, supportive, and so fun to work with! 

We were nervous about our dance, and wanted to show off our skills to our friends. From the first lesson, Liz helped us dance with ease, and encouraged us to just enjoy the dancing not plan it or choreograph it, but to be sure the dance felt like us.  Those few weeks leading up to the wedding were stressful with other planning details, but going to dance lessons with Liz was truly the joy of those weeks, getting to spend time together, laughing, dancing and enjoying it all. 

When it came time for our wedding dance it was a piece of cake!  We were able to incorporate all of the steps she had taught us, had the confidence to keep our heads up and enjoy the moments, and really tune-in to one another.  It's now one of our favorite parts of both the planning and of our actual wedding day.

We continue to get comments about how great our dance was what a self-esteem booster! People even sent us videos of our dance, which we were so grateful to have (we didn't hire a videographer). We watch them over and over, it brings us right back there.  We looked pretty good! :) Thanks Liz for making our first dance truly the best, and for helping us have the most fun and loving preparation.  We can't thank you enough!" ~Julie & Laura, Somerville, MA

 

When booking your wedding dance lesson at our OUT to Dance studios in West Roxbury and Roslindale, note that our studio locations are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

 

OUT to Dance
at the Wedding
: our 1 1/2 hour workshop:

Your Best Dance Ever: a fun 3-session semi-private workshop on creative wedding dancing.

Held at Roslindale Dance Studio, (not West Roxbury School of Dance.)

Favorite Dance Music Lists

Other dances you can learn in our OUT to Dance Classes

Swing/Lindy, West Coast Swing

 
Swing DanceSalsa Ballroom Dance LatinWedding Dance Country          
 
   

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