The Area's Most Recommended Wedding Dance Company!
" 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 Senior Writer for Washingtonian Magazine "
The Short History of Our Company
The Wedding Dance Specialists is the premiere national expert of the wedding dance industry. Deborah Joy and Brian Block founded the company in 2000, while engaged and preparing their own “First Dance.” Year after year, The Wedding Dance Specialists was the original and remains the most recommended wedding dance company according to engaged couples, wedding vendors and the media. Appearing repeatedly on Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Network, The Wedding Dance Specialists and their students starred on an episode of “Real Weddings by the Knot”, the nation’s first wedding reality show. In addition to attracting celebrity clientele, The Wedding Dance Specialists inspired an entire niche industry and trailblazed the trends that have expanded worldwide! TWDS has You can trust the premier national experts on wedding dance to help you sparkle in the spotlight!
"The Wedding Dance Specialists took us from having no dance skills to being able to dance at our wedding. We highly recommend them. Our First Dance was a huge hit! Robert did the lift wonderfully and the dip was great too! We also did a lot of fun, fast dancing during the reception. Everyone was so surprised because we are usually pretty reserved and rarely dance; thus it was that much sweeter! Thanks for your help we appreciate it!"
— Olympic Gold Medalist, Kerri Strug and Robert Fischer
The Full Story
Deborah Joy Block and her husband Brian Block co-founded TWDS in 2000 when they were still engaged after being very dissappointed with the quality of service the various (seven) traditional ballroom studios provided as they prepared for their Sept 30, 2001 wedding. Deborah had worked for 4 years as a professional coach for two dance studios prior to starting her own and learned first hand from their mistakes and oversights. In 2000, engaged couple Deborah Joy and Brian Block founded the first wedding dance company in the nation (likely the planet but we're trying to be humble!) 99% of our clientele are wedding couples and our packages are specifically designed for engaged couples. Since the wedding industry has many avenues to evaluate, critique and judge it's vendors and the ballroom dance studio industry historically did not, TWDS has from its inception, therefore, always been held to a higher standard and has been voluntarily transparent and publicly accessible for review and scrutiny in a way most dance studios have not. Consequently, TWDS has won every wedding industry award and accolade and continues to set the standard for the wedding dance industry and influence the trajectory of traditional studios. The Wedding Dance Specialists has empowered more than 10,000 engaged couples and more than any single dance studio in the country because engaged couples prefer to work with specialists over generalists for the most important ritual of their wedding reception. That experience means our staff have an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the vital components of a wedding dance and the unique goals and needs of wedding couples.
Our instructors are not just great dancers, they are well versed in the art of instruction, understand the unique pressures and goals of engaged couples and genuinely enjoy working with beginners. Traditional studios use novice trainees, competition divas or teachers unfamiliar with weddings and American culture or studios that slap up a pink webpage and call themselves specialists when only 15% of their clientele are engaged. TWDS only hires top notch instructors with years of training, teaching, performing and often competing or sometimes even adjudication experience. Many of them have university degrees in Dance and Choreography, have recieved coaching from World Champions and dance celebrities, planned their own weddings and all of them are bilingual college or Masters graduates in dance or other areas. But MOST importantly, they have lovely personalities, genuinely enjoy helping beginners and receive additional wedding dance specialization training from our company.Over the years we have hired and trained 30 instructors and are now in the process of offering worldwide certification and licensing under the auspices of our TWDS brand.
For all of these reasons, we are relied upon as the premiere national consultant to the media and trusted and hired by wedding vendors, event planners, over ten thousand engaged couples, national wedding magazines , the Senior Writer and Publisher for Washingtonian Magazine, local socialites, nationally recognized experts, national and international politicos, celebrities, professional athletes, an Olympic gold medalist and reality show TV stars.
We are proud to be the most popular wedding dance company in the nation thanks to the support and referrals of our satisfied students! Our couples say that their First Dance was the higlight of their reception.That's why we believe that dance adds romance to a wedding and learning how to dance should be fun and easy!
Celebrity wedding dance expert, Deborah Joy Block (The Fairy Godmother) is the nation's (planet's) leading expert in wedding dance instruction and teaches more engaged couples than anyone in the DC metro area. She has been teaching and performing for 17 years and pioneered the first wedding dance industry blueprint which inspired this niche industry worldwide! Deborah Joy and TWDS and her students were featured on the first national television wedding reality show "Real Weddings by the Knot" on Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Network. Blocks expertise is regularly sought out by media and wedding industry leaders both locally and nationwide. Block successfully lobbied to put the entire "Dance Instruction" category on the map for every major magazine and wedding search engine who traditionally relegated dance lessons into the "Miscellaneous" or "Unique Services" category. This resulted in dance studios across the nation becoming a more relevant part of the wedding planning conversation and the First Dance is now recognized as the most sacred ritual of Western wedding receptions. Deborah Joy Block is the publisher of the online newsletter and blog "Wedding Planning 411" and has won countless wedding industry awards for having the most reviews from teaching thousands of engaged couples including celebrity clients. Additionally, In addition to hosting her own bridal tradeshow and planning her own wedding, Deborah Joy is a certified wedding planner through The Bridal Society in New York and recieved her wedding industry certificate from Wedding MBA in Las Vegas, NV. The Fair Godmother's dance training spans 19 years and includes several years as a full time apprentice and instructor working for two traditional studios, continuing education with world champions, competition judges, rising star talent and visiting coaches. She is hired to perform and teaches the following dance styles:
" My goal is to empower students with confidence and communication skills. My teaching philosophy is the non-verbal communication involved in partner dancing is a powerful tool for enhancing these skills because it encourages patience, teamwork, trust, respect and cooperation - - all the same assets that contribute toward a happy marriage! My teaching style is designed to get polished and smooth results quickly while incorparting fundamental concepts such as leading and following roles, styling, and technique. My husband and I experienced the wedding planning process personally and have over 12 years of established relationships with other wedding industry leaders so our lessons deliver a unique dance experience including valuable insights into the wedding planning process.
Deborah and Brian's First Dance:
Deborah and Brian's Last Dance:
Testimonial: "Deborah's personality lights up a room like sunshine! She is a real positive force that has made a difference in our lifes and we are eager to tell others about her." --Frank and Michelle Schults, McLean VA
Brian Block, is the co-founder of TWDS, assists with teaching The Wedding Dance Boot Camps, co-hosts the Dinner/Dancing Date Nights, is a contributing writer to Wedding Planning 411 newsletter and performs dance demonstrations at various public events. Like all other grooms, Brian was not a professional dancer during his engagement. However, unlike most Grooms, Brian had the additional pressure of marrying a professional dance instructor and knowing that all of the wedding guests were skilled in ballroom dancing. Brian received his certificate from Wedding MBA in Las Vegas, NV.
"After having some time to reflect on the whole wedding and review our video and photography, I realized that our "First Dance" in the spotlight symbolized more than just fulfilling a social obligation to formally open the dance floor for our guests and entertain everyone. I recognized that everything else can be outsourced to a third party except the vows and the "First Dance." In retrospect I realized I was performing and as the Leader - responsible for the most sacred ritual of the reception that symbolizes our unity and teamwork as a couple."
To learn more about Brian Block click here!
To see more of Brian in action click here!
To see Brian dancing click here
Brian Block's full time profession is as a real estate broker and loves helping nesting newlyweds dance into their new homes! www.BrianBlock.com
Migle has a Bachelors in Dance and has been performing and teaching for years. She has also competed, judged and
recieved coachingfrom world champions. "The wedding dance and the time spent learning it has a symbolic meaning to me. It can be challenging yet fun, exciting, and deeply rewarding. Learning a wedding dance is like a metaphor of a mini journey of two people through life. When the two have to face the challenges of learning new things, it is important to be understanding, helpful and patient with one another. When I teach wedding couples, I love helping them to learn together to overcome the little challenges in dance, even if those challenges are as simple as taking two steps in the same direction. Conquering those challenges always lights up the brightest smiles in couples’ faces and this is what I find undoubtedly exciting and fun, and so rewarding in the end." Migle planned her own wedding in 2011.
"Couples usually start uncertain and shy at the beginning; however by the time they are ready to step onto the dance floor, they certainly look confident, elegant and proud of themselves. It makes me happy knowing that I am able in some way to make one’s wedding day more spectacular and memorable forever."
Testimonial:"We would like to say Thanks to you and Migle. Our party went great, and our first dance was a big hit! We would like to purchase additional lessons (I understand that we may be able to do so under the same price structure we originally had). We had a great time with the lessons and want to learn more, additional dances, etc Thanks again!" --Derek Mason
Testimonial: The lessons were absolutely worthwhile! If it weren’t for our dance classes, we would be doing the “prom sway” at our wedding. My fiancé may have been fine with that, but I certainly wasn’t – and people that know Gordon are going to be blown away, because they know that he doesn’t dance.Migle was wonderful with my fiancé, who has had no dance experience at all and was very nervous. (He has frequently referred to dancing as “public humiliation”.) Migle’s demeanor helped Gordon to relax, and she expressed great understanding and sympathy towards his nervousness and helped him work through it – and by the end of his lessons, he was much more comfortable and confident. Her explanations of the movements and execution was good for novice dancers – she kept everything clear and simple. Between our 3rd and 4th lessons, we were having problems transitioning into the promenade (Gordon wasn’t leading clearly) – Migle identified the problem right away and within minutes she had helped Gordon to fix the problem, and now he does it perfectly.--
Erin Skelly & Gordon Cameron, Sept 22, 2007 Testimonial: If you live in the DC metro area, the grand champion of wedding dance teachers is definitely Migle from The Wedding Dance Specialists. At least that's what the trophy says that we gave her at the end of our series of 6 lessons. That's right, she was that good that we got her a TROPHY! She took my fiance from not knowing a single step of formal dance to looking like my own personal Fred Astaire. -- Matt and Vail Fucci, Sept 12, 2009
Valery (alumnae instructor) Valery has been teaching for The Wedding Dance Specialists for five years. In addition to a degree in Education and Animation Design, Valery also has a degree in Dance and a Masters in Choreography. She was recently married to Peter, her current professional dance partner and understands the pressures of planning a wedding. (The photo and video below is of their wedding dance!)
"What I enjoy most about working with engaged couples is their commitment - commitment to make their first dance an inspiration to all. Dancing is a sport that, just like any sport takes endurance, patience and commitment. Also, engaged couples come to class with a goal to feel and be romantic. As the result they bring lots of positive energy to class, making the lessons fun and exciting." Testimonial: Kasey and I had our wedding on April 26th, and our first dance was a huge hit. The guests absolutely loved it. I can't tell you how many complements we got. Thank you Valery and TWDS! -- Matt and Kasey Reber
Christina (alumnae instructor) Teaching dance is a wonderful experience. I am a teacher at heart, so anytime I am able to play a part in a person's learning I get excited about it. Dancing is something I am extremely passionate about, so it is all the more moving to be able to share it with other people. I love seeing my students start to move like dancers and really enjoy being on the dance floor. The best part is when something starts to click and I can't help but be excited right along with them. I love knowing that I am sharing something with my students that will provide them with enjoyment, exercise and wonderful friendships for years to come.
Working with engaged couples can be even more rewarding because I am playing a par in making their day so special. My lessons help them achieve their goals of feeling and looking confident while impressing their guests. More importantly, I hope that they discover a new activity and art form that they can share for the rest of their lives together. Wedding dance lessons are a fun bonding experience and I enjoy being a part of it. Finally I love the smiles I see when the couple realizes how much they have learned and how excited they are about their First Dance or Honors Dances with their parents.