When it comes to the first dance that couples share with one another on their wedding night, the Waltz immediately comes to mind for bridal purists. But two popular TV shows have stoked interest in far more challenging dance floor moves.
ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance?, have led to far more lofty aspirations among couples planning to demonstrate their fancy footwork. The result: a booming business for professional dance instructors who specialize in weddings.
Deborah Joy Block, an industry pioneer whose team trains close to 1000 engaged couples annually, credits the dancing reality shows for convincing couples that an investment of time and energy can make a wedding reception more memorable. Although The Wedding Dance Specialists’ claim to fame is working a miracle in ONE lesson by providing a basic but complete routine, she cautions against procrastinating.
“Realistically, a lot of couples tend to delay taking lesson until a month or two before the wedding day. And they don’t leave themselves enough time or budget to allow for an elaborate routine and a lot of lessons,” said Block, who operates multiple The Wedding Dance Specialists studios in the Washington, D.C., area.
The musical preferences among couples learning dance from The Wedding Dance Specialists match up closely with Scratch Weddings clients. A recent review of first dance song selections reveals 70% opt for slow songs – mainly Top 40 slow love ballads. Examples range from At Last by Etta James to Sade’s By Your Side, to You Are The Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne.
For the 30% of couples who want their music – and their feet – to move a bit faster, we’ve seen plenty of merengue, salsa and swing, along with memorable rock tracks like Modern English’s Melt With You, and The Zombies’ This Will Be Our Year.
For those who just want to survive their moment in the spotlight regardless of the song’s tempo, the experts offer these words of reassurance.
“If you have a really good instructor who understands the unique needs of engaged couples, you should be able to look natural, elegant and relaxed in a very short period of time and still impress everybody even without an elaborate routine,” Block said, adding, “If a studio tells you need 10 lessons when your goal is just to avoid the ‘high school prom sway’– that’s excessive.”
One real-life example of how a working with a professional can make a novice into a respectable dancer involves Los Angeles Times business reporter Dawn Chmielewski, who prepared in just two weeks for a one-time guest appearance on Dancing With The Stars in 2009. She wrote a page one column about the experience.
Granted Chmielewski’s partner was professional dancer Jonathan Roberts, not a groom with two left feet. To compensate for that, we’d recommend an extra week of lessons.
Celebrity DJ company and training academy Scratch Weddings was founded by Grammy Winner Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, trains thousands of DJs nationally and internationally, won numerous wedding industry awards, executed events for top national corporate brands, Their DJ training software Scratch DJ Academy MIX software is sold at Best Buy and the video game DJ Hero 2 features their curriculum. The original post of this article can be found on the Scratch Weddings Blog at http://www.scratchweddings.com/yeah-we-think-we-can-dance/
— Dave Armon of Scratch Weddings
Would you like to learn some new dance steps for your wedding? The Wedding Dance Specialists can help you learn the most popular ballroom dance styles. We offer wedding dance lessons that are fast-paced and a lot of fun.