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Arthur Murray Live Wedding Dance Tips


Just to be clear, we've got solutions.  

What is a Wedding Dance Fail? 

A wedding dance fail, despite what you may see on YouTube, is not the product of some bizarre accident.  The fail comes in the form of a decision early on in the process which compounds into anything from forgotten choreography to slipping and falling.  The real Fails are the ones we can avoid.  Accidents are the things that we can't.  

5 Ways To a Wedding Dance Fail

Your wedding dance is a little like getting a passport.  It's easy to overlook, downplay, and put off if you've never gone through the process before.  

Here are some common, yet avoidable, problems to consider. 

1. Time Crunch

As much as we would like it, the moment someone gets engaged, chances are, they aren't immediately scheduling their First Dance Lessons.  No, things like venues, gowns, and cakes usually take the lead spots on the wedding to-do list.  

Result:  There can be a time crunch.   

Due to this, the first dance becomes a flurry of last minute appointments.  The stress of learning makes learning to dance more difficult than it's designed to be, and the resulting dance isn't what you had hoped for. 

2. Champagne Wishes and a Diet Coke Budget

Take two people in love and motivated to do their first dance.  

They arrive with grandiose visions straight out of a Cirque Du Soleil show, that leads into an epic dance which includes live animals, 4 songs spliced together, and a contortionist.

The only hangup?  

This must be choreographed, memorized, and ready to perform.  Oh, and the best part?  This couple wants this done in less than 4 lessons.  That's four 45 minute appointments.  4 x 45 = 180 minutes, and that is totally insane.  

3. The Amateur Choreographer

Take two people in love, with one person who took some dance classes in college.  

Walking in for the first wedding consultation seems like a necessity for one, and a formality for the other.  They decline the suggested program by their professional instructor, only to have the "dancer in college" explain to the "non-dancer in college" how the winning strategy for dazzling their guests on the big day will come down to the "dancer" teaching the "non-dancer" in their living room.  

4. The Dude Disapproves

Author's Note:  Think of "dude" as a non-gender specific character.  There are plenty of guys who are excited to learn how to dance, but the "dude" is the guy or girl that isn't. 

Take two people in love, but one person not in love with the idea of dancing. 

In fact, calling it "not in love" is an upgrade.  The dude disapproves, and will sometimes go along for the dance lesson only to have their disapproval show up like a Mariachi band flash mob during a romantic candlelit dinner.  

So the strategy changes.  

The teacher and the non-dude now must focus on teaching the dude WHY he should dance, instead of HOW he should dance.  The additional time necessary to convince the dude fractures the momentum of learning to dance.  

wedding-dance-fail-solutions.jpgSolutions to Wedding Dance Fails

It would be a shame to point out the problems without workable solutions.  Each of these suggestions can help to reduce or eliminate any potential "fail" that's listed above.  

1.  Get an Early Start

No one ever says that they are happy they waited until the last minute with most things - and your wedding is certainly no exception.  Over the past few years, an early start has been a positive trend for many wedding students, and here's why you should make it yours.

Ask yourself this question:

"Out of all of my wedding plans, which one requires the most muscle memory?"  

You guessed it!  Dancing.  That's not to say that there aren't things to think about, but your brain was built with both short and long term memory functions.  Your muscle memory, however, needs time, training, and plenty of supervised repetition.  

So give your muscle memory the early start it needs and save the mental gymnastics of table arrangements and centerpiece design for your wedding planner. 

2.  Invest in Your Dance Lessons

Yeah, yeah this sounds like a pretty obvious move coming from a dance school right?  But let's consider why this these dance lessons are an investment, and not another wedding expense.  

"How many wedding purchases will you be able to use, eat, save, or enjoy after your wedding?" 

Let's see... there's the cake.  Uh, well that might be gross.  

How about all those flowers?  Yeah... hmm, wilting is a real bummer. 

Wedding dress! But it's not like anyone is wearing that to the mall or to your office party. 

The things most likely to last beyond your wedding are:  The rings, your dancing, and, fingers crossed, the marriage.  

3.  Let the Teacher Teach

Even if you've been a dancer, been a teacher, or are a current backup dancer on Dancing with the Stars- be a great student.  Here's a great question for all the amateur dancers out there: 

"Who is the hardest person to do choreography for... in the whole wide world?" 

Yourself.  It would be like a doctor electing to perform surgery on herself, or a Nascar Driver shooing his pit crew away so he can change his own tires mid-race.  

Be a student.  There's nothing wrong at all with sharing your vision, communicating your goals, or even voicing your concerns, but nothing can make the wedding lesson experience less enjoyable for everyone involved than having an amateur trying to do the work of the teacher. 

4.  Take One for the Team

For the Disapproving Dudes out there, it's time to get over it.  If there was one event where you can justify buying a tuxedo for the first time, or learning to dance for the first time, it should be when you're getting married - even if it's not your first time.  Here's your question: 

"What's the worst thing can could happen if I become a great dance partner?"

Unless you have a problem with accepting compliments from friends and family, it would be pretty tough to find any negatives.  Every dude, even if it takes some convincing, needs to go all in on dance lessons.  This is just like buying cologne:  You don't ask your buddies what they think of it, you ask your fiance - because you're wearing it for her.  

The Worst Fail of Them All

Take two people in love, but neither think dance lessons are necessary.  

So they don't dance.  

For all of the blunders, catastrophes, and fails you could potentially make when it comes to dancing - the worst one is not dancing.  

The solution is simple, a little scary, but has an exponential return on the risk you may feel you are taking - and that's to try a wedding consultation.  That's it.  You won't need dance experience, dance shoes, or even a song picked out.  

Not only will you be up and moving together within 5 minutes of your appointment time, but you'll be working with a dedicated wedding specialist that will listen to your vision, help you construct a time line, and clarify the path to getting you there.  

The sooner you start, the sooner you'll know... and if that involves live animals or Cirque Du Soleil - we need to talk even sooner than that.  


Happy Dancing.  

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Chris Lynam
Chris Lynam loves to train his staff, read to his kids, make his wife laugh, and write. This screenwriter turned dance teacher is the Editor in Chief of Arthur Murray Live and has been published in the HuffPost, Forbes, .INC, and The Sporting News.
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