The Wedding Dance Specialists The Wedding Dance Specialists
March Newsletter

" We turned our dance lessons into a dinner and dancing date! It became a welcomed weekly escape from our hectic wedding planning." Cindy Rich, Newlywed and Assistant Editor of Washingtonian Magazine "

March 2005 Newsletter


Dance Tip: Our Roles in the Partnership

The Groom, The Leader

Gentlemen, you are in control on the dance floor! You are like the President, the pilot, the one with the power and responsibility to guide your partner through the dance. Your job is to initiate and anticipate everything and warn your partner of your intentions. When leading, it is better to be decisive than to be right. In other words, you are always technically right as long as you clearly tell your partner what you want her to do. You can dance offbeat, go the wrong direction or make up a new step and as long as your partner is adequately prepared, she can accommodate you and make you look good in front of the crowd. After all, your guests don’t know your intentions or your repertoire! If you are hesitant the woman will stumble. Leading and following evolved from the Victorian era. During this era, women were thought of as precious, yet fragile and likely to fall down at any time (corsets had many women fainting from lack of oxygen)

The Bride, The Follower

Ladies, your job is to smile and avoid getting stepped on. The more thinking and analyzing the follower does, the more difficulty she causes her Leader. Empower your Groom with the permission to lead. Often women will try to be helpful by “back-leading.” Back-leading is giving the leader hints or suggestions, moving him around the floor or setting his tempo. Any Leader will lead poorly when they are insecure or distracted by outside pressure or too much input and stimulation. Leaders are inclined to allow back leading because of their deep love and respect for their partner. It is the Follower’s job to be the “wind beneath the wings” of your leader and let him do his job. A Follower does herself and her Leader a disservice by back-leading as she compromise the unified look of the couple and her partner will not have fun. The end result of back-leading risks frustration and dampens enthusiasm for dancing together at future social events. If you are tempted to back-lead, try closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths as you dance. This will relax you and force you to rely more on the energy transmitted from your partner rather than visual crutches. Whenever discussing dance, it’s best to focus on the positive and couch criticism with constructive feedback. Or better yet, relax, let the dance teacher handle the mistakes and simply enjoy the ride!

Dance Into Your New Home: Advice From A Realtor

Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding!  With the excitement of the wedding plans, you might also be considering where the two of you will make a home before or after the wedding.  The D.C. metropolitan area has a bustling housing market and it is important to be well-informed about real estate before jumping in.  This month, our favorite residential Realtor®, Brian Block of Re/Max Allegiance, offers tips for young couples getting ready to purchase their first home together, or move up to a larger home. 

Brian Block’s Real Estate Tips: Having worked with many first-time buyers, I’d offer the following advice:

Tip #1 – Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan so that you know how much you can afford.  This is a crucial step, and a good mortgage lender will explain to you the many options and how they will fit in with your overall financial picture.  Remember that just because you can afford a pricier home doesn’t always mean that you want it – you need to factor in the other expenses in your lifestyle such as romantic dinners, vacations, and savings.  Contact me for recommendations of reputable mortgage lenders.

Tip #2 – Choose one Realtor to represent you as a buyer’s agent.  A Realtor has access to all available homes on the market, can help narrow your search, and will be able to show you more homes in a couple of hours than you could see on your own in an entire weekend driving around looking for signs and circling ads in the newspaper.  I can even set you up to receive by e-mail newly available homes that match your criteria as soon as they come onto the market.  Click here to take advantage of this great service.

Tip #3 – Make a list of your wants, needs, must-haves, and don’t-wants.  This will be very helpful to you and your Realtor in narrowing down the market to find homes that match your criteria.  Be realistic.  Everyone wants a lovely home, but don’t necessarily expect that your first home will be your dream home.  Remember that the average American moves about every 5-6 years.

Tip #4 – Your home is a financial investment.  Yes it is your place to make a nest with your loved one, to build a family, but it is also a foundation on which to build your future.  For most people, their home is their greatest source of wealth.  And the sooner that you start with homeownership, the quicker your path to wealth will be.  When purchasing a home, always keep in mind the potential resale value.

If you have any questions about the homebuying process, the real estate market, or how to get started, please feel free to contact me at 703-626-0715, or by e-mail at  Also, visit my website at for more tips and to search all area homes

Vendor Special Offers

Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance
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. Present this coupon to recieve a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350) plus 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. Click on the banner to go to

Roxanna Gutierrez - Professional House Cleaning Service and Party Staffing.
Brides and Grooms -- Are you too busy planning your wedding to keep up with the housework? Parents-- Are you planning a bridal shower or engagement party and need a server or house cleaning before or after the party? If your time is limited and valuable to you, why not outsource the housework? Treat yourself to an organized and clean home so you can focus on spending your time doing the things you enjoy, spending quality time with friends and your fiance and planning your dream wedding! Our rates are more affordable than anything you will find in the Yellow Pages! References available upon request. Mention The Wedding Dance Specialists referred you and recieve a 20% discount on the first house cleaning for all engaged couples and their parents! Call 703-256-1021.

Featured Dance Style: Swing

Swing is one of the most versatile and useful fast dances to know because you can dance it during much of the wedding reception. Swing is an all American dance which originated in the 1920's but is now danceable to music spanning every decade between the 20’s through the 80’s. The Lindy Hop, Shag, Charleston, Jitterbug and Hand Dancing are all in the Swing family. The character of the Swing is upbeat and fun. It is a happy and playful dance. East Coast Triple Swing and Single Step Swing tend to be very circular in their movements and are danced to a 6-count beat . The Single Swing, has simpler footwork and is great for dancing to extremely up tempo music like the old Big Band Tunes as performed by the likes of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The East Coast Swing can be danced to slower Motown, Rock or Country music. The West Coast Swing and the Lindy Hop are danced to an 8-count beat and are danced in a slotted fashion - - both partners turning 180 degrees during every pattern, to exchange places. West Coast Swing is very smooth and sexy and is quite popular with people who like country, blues and funk music. Lindy hop on the other hand can be very bouncy and has incorporated the charleston kicks and various acrobatic lifts known as aerials and looks a lot like what we see of Swing in the old B&W Big Band WW2 movies. (Photo provided courtesy of Stan Weinstein, Dreams and Memories Photography.)

Lindy Hop and Single Swing Song Examples:

"It Don't Mean a Thing if You Ain't Got that Swing" by Duke Ellington
"Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets
"Americano" by Brian Setzer Orchestra
"Sing Sing Sing" Swing Kids soundtrack

Galas, Performances and Competitions

There are so many opportunities and venues to enjoy your dancing skills! The D.C. metro area dance world is your oyster! Whether you're in the mood to just soak in the atmosphere, meet up with friends, practice your new moves or escape wedding planning stess and enjoy a romantic date night, it's time to hit the town!

Swizzle – 1930’s Big Band Supper Club, Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra
Event Details: Enjoy a magical evening at DC's glamorous supper club. Enjoy cocktails dining, a vintage show and dancing and romancing.
Reservations: 202. 397. SEAT,
More details:
Location: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 2000
Reviews: "Perhaps the best show in town"— The Washington Post

The National Acrobats of Taiwan
Event Details: Centuries ago, performers in China combined dramatic folk arts and variety shows with the roots of their civilization, and using the common objects of daily life as stage props, created an acrobatic art unique to their culture. The National Acrobats of Taiwan continues this ancient tradition, and it is every bit as thrilling and entertaining as it was 3,000 years ago. Executing daring feats with tables, chairs, flags, and plates, the performers demonstrate their extraordinary flexibility, agility, and extensive training, as audiences gasp, laugh, and hold their breath! Immensely popular with families, this event always sells out, so act early!
Reservations: 703. 218. 6500 or visit

More details:
Date & Time: Sat, March 26, at 2&8pm

Location: George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax Campus
Reviews: " The Theatricality and skill were amazing." - Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
Other Showings: Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Mar. 19. For tickets call 202-785-9727.

Movie Review - The Red Shoes (1948) by Roger Ebert / January 1, 2005

There is tension between two kinds of stories in "The Red Shoes," and that tension helps make it the most popular movie ever made about the ballet and one of the most enigmatic movies about anything. One story could be a Hollywood musical: A young ballerina falls in love with the composer of the ballet that makes her an overnight star. The other story is darker and more guarded. It involves the impresario who runs the ballet company, who demands loyalty and obedience, who is enraged when the young people get married. The motives of the ballerina and her lover are transparent. But the impresario defies analysis. In his dark eyes we read a fierce resentment. No, it is not jealousy, at least not romantic jealousy. Nothing as simple as that

Romantic Quote

"In this world love has no color- yet how deeply my
body is stianed by yours." -- Izumi Shikubu, Japanese
poet (974-1034)

Dance Bloopers!
These are NOT our students!
We promise you will never look like this! We GUARANTEE that you will look and feel more elegant after ONE lesson with us than if you just try to "wing it". There are no "accidents" in dancing. Every mistake can be corrected or prevented using a specific technique. Dancing is a science made to look like an art!

Awkward Dip with the Bride hanging on for dear life! EEK!

Wedding Etiquette: The Rehearsal (Reprinted in part from Emily Post)

The afternoon before the big day, the entire bridal party participates in "The Rehearsal." The rehearsal ensures decorum during the Processional, Ceremony Recessional. Various cultures and diverse family dynamics often require creative or diplomatic solutions. Here we provide general guidelines for traditional Christian and Jewish weddings.

Christian Processional
Clergyman, Groom & Best Man wait at the Altar.
Senior Ushers walk in pairs, shortest men first.
Junior Ushers walk in pairs.
Junior Bridesmaids walk in pairs or singly.
Bridesmaids walk in pairs or singly.
Maid of Honor
Ring Bearer
Flower GirlFather of the Bride escorts The Bride.

Jewish Processional:
Rabbi begins processional.
Ushers walk singly or in pairs.
Best Man
Groom is escorted by both Parents. He walks between them.
Bridesmaids walk singly or in pairs.
Maid of Honor
Bride is escorted by both Parents. She walks between them.

Christian Recessional
Bride & Groom exit first
Ring Bearer escorts Flower Girl
Best Man escorts Maid of Honor
Ushers escort Bridesmaids

Jewish Recessional
Groom escorts Bride
Father and Mother of Groom
Father and Mother of Bride
Best Man escorts Maid of Honor
Ushers escort Bridsmaids