Wedding First-Dance – How to Avoid the Jitters



The wedding first-dance is a long standing tradition.  The purpose behind the first dance is that the bride and groom, as the guests of honor at the wedding reception, open the dancing, not that they perform a choreographed duet for spectators.

In the past, the first wedding dance was commonly a waltz.  Today more popular dances include the foxtrot, merengue, and swing.  Or the newlyweds just do a  “slow dance”.  

Whatever the style of dance that the newlyweds choose, the whole experience can often cause much anxiety- especially if one or both of the parties are not skilled dancers, or, even worse, are totally lacking in “rhythm” and coordination.

Here is one bride’s experience with preparing for the wedding first dance, which you can read it brides.comwhich may help to relieve your anxiety.

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it’s not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Guest blogger Jamie Shupak, TV host, food blogger, and NY1’s traffic reporter, will share how she’s modernizing her mother’s wedding dressplanning an interfaith wedding, picking the perfect flower crown, and so much more.

I love Brian for so many reasons: He’s smart, warm, patient, understanding, generous, romantic—the list goes on. One thing he’s not? Coordinated. Athletic.

Okay, that was two. So it didn’t surprise me when he expressed a bit of nervousness about our first dance. He has one signature dance move—which is actually kind of cute—though it’s the same regardless of the tempo of the song. He’ll just speed it up for a faster song and slow it down for others. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but it’s pretty impressive.

Anyway when a friend suggested taking a dance class I sort of scoffed at the idea. What could they possibly teach us in one hour? Aren’t those classes for hyper-obsessed Bridezilla types who want to make sure their groom is in line? I, for one, thought it would be cute for us to get out there and just sort of wing it.

I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. This dance class was everything.

Not only did it fulfill a lifelong dream I didn’t know I even had—to feel like I was Baby, being taught by Patrick Swayze: “This is your dance space. This is my dance space”—but it turned Brian into a step-tapping machine—one with rhythm, coordination and dare I say athleticism. The teacher was so kind, so patient, and not the least bit judgmental. (Earmuffs, Brian: He also had an admirably strong upper body.) He started by showing us the basic step-tap move, which would be the basis for the four other moves we would learn. Yes, four! Without music and without touching, we faced each other and step-tapped back and forth until we were completely in sync. Then, (cue “Hungry Eyes,”) he put us together, showing us how to hold our arms and hands. “No interlocking fingers—too much commitment!” Noted.


Photo: Courtesy of Jamie Shupak

Over the course of the next 50 minutes we stepped on each other’s toes, we laughed, we rotated, we passed, we cuddled, we twirled and then, finally, we dipped. When we tried it all to music, we had transformed into a different couple than the one we were when we first walked in the room. Now, confident in our dance moves, we’re even more excited about our wedding day.

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