Learning To Dance
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Learning to dance is an essential part of Wedding Day planning. Don't think of it as just another box on your bridal checklist. Unlike the flower arrangements, dancing will last forever. The ability to dance with your partner will outlast your Wedding Day and is something you'll share together for years to come. Use this as an opportunity for you and your fiancé to share the learning experience. Not only is it practical, it will provide an entertaining contrast to other hectic marriage preparations. And unlike some of the other preparations, the groom can be equally included in the process.
So what's the secret to the perfect First Dance? Partnership. It takes two to tango and you have to be able to move together as a unified body. Dancing is an intimate and enjoyable shared partnership.
It's unfortunate that couple dancing is no longer a standard part of our upbringing and culture. As contemporary brides and grooms, there is some basic lead and follow communication that you have to make an effort to learn. As hard as it may be for many brides to swallow, when dancing a woman is a follower and must learn to let her man lead. At the same time, as the leader, your groom will have a lot of added responsibility so be patient. The two roles are very different but when you learn to work together you'll create a beautiful partnership quite like any other. Learn what it is to Lead and Follow. Make sure that the man is actually allowed to lead and that the woman doesn't fight against his guidance. At first it can be challenging for the man to take charge and for the woman to submit to what he guides. Both partners have to work to make sure that there is never a power struggle. With practice the bride will enjoy the feeling of melting into one unified movement with her groom.
A follower should relax and adjust her movement to that of the man's. Feel what he's doing. Where is he placing his weight? Let him move you. Clear your mind and melt into his body motion. Don't try to guess what's coming; anticipation will only put you ahead of his lead when you should be responding to what he initiates.
Leaders should also be relaxed but at the same time alert and ready to guide the follower with the clearest possible movements. The groom must communicate efficiently if he wants to gain the trust of his bride. Avoid any superfluous movement which will only confuse the follower. Place your weight clearly. Be conscious of her response. Take care of her, she's your responsibility.
Both partners should keep their stance small. Check that your stance is smaller than your shoulder span. When your stance is too wide it's difficult to make a smooth weight transfer between steps and very difficult to lead and follow.
Practice transferring your weight clearly between each foot. An excellent trick is to gather your weight before each step by sliding the free foot closely behind the foot that is holding your weight. It's a little bit like ice skating. Fully absorb your weight into that single leg and make sure that your knees are bent. Your weight should be fully gathered before you transfer to the next step.
Think of the small slide as a preparation. You can say to yourself 'Prepare, Step, Prepare Step' as you move, where each preparation is the tuck of your free foot before the step is completed. When the leader gathers his weight clearly in this manner, it's easy for the follower to comfortably follow his steps.
Never surprise your partner with unrehearsed moves on your Wedding Day! In particular, always practice your dip. The look of a dip is quite misunderstood; it looks quite extreme but both partners should always be holding their own weight. Grooms; do not try to dip your partner without having first practiced. Brides also should never try to dip themselves! Throwing yourself into his arms might seem like a graceful idea until you land on the floor.
It's important to be relaxed when you dance, but don't forget to hold yourself tall and proud. Think of having a long neck, roll your shoulder blades back and be confident. Combined with your newly rehearsed lead and follow ability, good posture will add the finishing touch to a perfect dance.
Enjoy your First Dance together as Man and Wife. With the proper preparations you'll enjoy the experience and be able to follow your First Dance with many others for years to come.