April 2008 Newsletter
Dance Tip: Audience Orientation
Wouldn’t it look a bit awkward if you attended a show where the performers bowed to the set backdrop instead of the audience? To ensure that you are facing the audience at the end of your dance, give yourself some prep time. Figure out the total amount of time it takes do your grand finale and head to the center of the room 20 seconds before that. Listen for the distinctive audio cue that indicates that the song is ending. From that point allow yourself 15 seconds to dance toward the center of the room, another 10 seconds to position yourself to face the majority of the audience and 5 seconds to actually hold the dip. You would need more time if you are doing a more lengthy grand finale like multiple twirls, unwraps, lassos, double handed spins, etc… During your final pose, you can choose to look directly at each other, look slightly above your guests heads or the groom can look admiringly at the bride will she gazes off in the distance.
Wedding Planning Tip: Destination Weddings
Families of the engaged couples are often spread across the nation or the world which may be one reason destination weddings are increasing in popularity. The primary reasons couples choose a destination wedding are to save money, minimize family politics and planning details, and of course to have a memorable and unique wedding. In addition to a beautiful location, you can incorporate local cultural traditions with your own ceremony to add a unique flavor to your special day. Although you can plan an intimate or elaborate destination wedding, for those on a limited budget choosing your destination gives you more control over the value you receive for your investment. Here are some important factors to determine when planning a destination wedding:
1) Is the ceremony recognized as valid in the U.S.?
2) What is the minimum amount of time required in the destination before being allowed to marry?
3) For religious ceremonies what documents are necessary from your house of worship at home?
4) If either of the parties are divorced or widowed what proof is required?
5) Is U.S. blood test documentation sufficient or are additional blood tests required.
6) Is there a coordinator at the site to work with you who speaks fluent English and has previous experience? Can she provide references? Will she put everything in writing?
7) What costs or fees are involved?
8) What will the weather be like at your destination?
9) Can a quantity rate discount be arranged if your guests are staying at the same hotel?
10) Does the hotel have previous experience hosting on-site foreign weddings??
Featured Dance Style: Polka
The Polka was originally a Czech peasant dance, developed in Eastern Bohemia (now part of Czechoslovakia). Bohemian historians believe that the polka was invented by a peasant girl named Anna Slezak in 1834 one Sunday for her amusement. It was composed to a folk song "Uncle Nimra brought a white horse." Anna called the step "Madera" because of its quickness and liveliness. The dance was first introduced into the ballrooms of Prague in 1835. The music is played in 2/4 time (1 & 2) and sounds happy and playful. The name of the dance (pulka) is Czech for “half-step”, referring to the rapid shift from one foot to the other.
Polka is danced around the room in a series of small and fast chasses (side steps) with a distinctive hop, turning about 360 degrees every 4 beats. In 1840, Raab, a dancing teacher of Prague, danced the polka at the Odéon Theatre in Paris where it was a tremendous success. French dance instructors seized upon it and Polkamania ensued. Dance academies were swamped and in desperation recruited ballet girls from the Paris Opéra as dancing partners to help teach the polka. This naturally attracted many young men who were interested in things other than dancing. Consequently, manners and morals in the dance pavilions were suspect so many parents forbade their daughters from dancing with anyone but close friends of the family.
The polka was introduced in England in the mid 1800's. When it came to the USA it was taken up by the country western set and is still danced in Country Competitions today. The western style Polka is danced with less turning, with very little hopping and somewhat resembles the two-step in its execution with a lot of turns for the woman. After WW2, American/Polish immigrants adopted the more European variant as their “cultural” dance and it is not uncommon to see it danced by young and old at Polish weddings today. The Polka was standard fare on the Lawrence Welk Show. Most people will remember it as the dance Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner did swirling around the ballroom in "The King and I".
"The Beer Barrel Polka" by Lawerence Welk
"Shall We Dance?" from "The King and I" soundtrack
"Back In The Saddle Again" by Gene Autry
On the Town
Dancing is symbolic of love and unity and a celebration of life. That is why watching world renound dancers is so inspiring and romantic. We encourage you to take advantage of the limitless opportunities and venues to appreciate the art of dance at it's finest! The D.C. metro area dance world is your oyster! Escape from wedding planning stress and enjoy a romantic date night while learning about the exciting world of dance! It's time to hit the town!
Movie Review: The Wedding Singer
New Jersey wedding singer Robbie Hart is heartbroken after being ditched at the altar by his fiancee Linda until he is enchanted by Julia. Julia enlists Robbie's help in planning her own wedding--to a sleazy womanizer. Can our hero win Julia over before it’s too late?
Rolling Stone - "...A sweetheart of a comic romance..." (03/05/1998, p.73-4; Peter Travers)
USA Today - "...A snappy opening....Funny guest appearances..." (04/24/1998, p.6E; Mike Clark)
Nesting Newlyweds: Real Estate is a Process of Elimination
People often ask me "How many homes will we have to look at to find the right one?" There's no standard answer to this question since it varies from client to client. I've had several clients look at just 2 or 3 homes and find the one that they ultimately purchased. One of my clients went to see a single home, placed an offer and moved in within a month. (Granted she had looked at dozens and dozens of homes online, but only physically visited one.) That's a rarity, but a REALTOR's dream, especially with today's gas prices. Then there are clients who want to see every single home on the market in their price range.
I'd say that the average homebuyer steps foot into between 8 to 12 homes before making a final decision on which one to purchase. Much more than that and you may get weary of the home search. Viewing much fewer homes means that you may be missing out on the best deal and the right fit.
No matter how many homes you view, real estate is a process of elimination, not selection. It's all about narrowing down the field, finding out which ones won't work, until you're inevitably left with the best option. Very logical, to be honest. What's the chance of picking out one perfect house out of the thousands and thousands that are available? Isn't it more likely to eliminate the ones that won't work and taking a closer look at the few good candidates?
Vendor Special Offers
We pre-screen and negotiate with wedding vendors on your behalf to make your wedding planning easier!
Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance - 703-626-0715
Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner below to leisurely view Northern Virginia Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Attorney plus a newlywed, Co-Founder of The Wedding Dance Specialists and Assistant Instructor for Wedding Dance Practice Sessions. Click on the banner to go to www.BrianBlock.com Present this coupon to receive:
1. A FREE Home buyer's Seminar with expert advice from a real estate professional and a mortgage lender. (value priceless)
2. a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350)
3. 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (value $170)
The Wedding Dance Specialists - SALE!
Save 10% on private dance lessons when you take your lessons in Rockville. Sale rate valid only at Rockville location. Lessons must be used by June 16,2008.
I'm over here!
Wedding Etiquette: Save the Date Notices
Congratulations on your engagement! You are about to embark on a creative and important process that will require organization skills and attention to detail.You may have decided you would like to hold the wedding over a holiday weekend or at an exotic destination. How can you increase the odds that your special guests will be available to attend? The best way is to distribute a save the date notice. Whether you are having a formal affair or a small celebration, Save the date cards, will give guests advance notice that their presence will be requested and the official invitation is forthcoming. There are just a few things to remember:
1. They can be mailed up to a year in advance. Mention that the invitation will follow.
2. Every guest receiving a Save the Date Card should also receive an invitation and visa versa.
3. The information should be clear and factual including your names, the location of the event, and wedding date.
4. You can create these cards as formal or as fun as you like!