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Thread: First Dance Tips.

  1. #21
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef View Post
    4) Always (I really mean always) do at least 3 dress rehearsals before showing your first dance. I don't care if it is unlucky to see the dress before the big day. It is much better than hearing the dress rip during a lift and then having both yourself and your new bride spending the next 8 beats wondering if you are just about to slide your bride out of her skirt onto the dance floor to be in front of her guests in just her knickers and bodice.
    This thread is useless without photographs .....


  2. #22
    Registered User NickC's Avatar
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Don't worry at all, although the stuff the chef said about the dress ripping sounds well worth noting, your both trained dancers your guests are not, its a friendly crowd, I gave a couple a 1 hour hour lesson taught them a basic drop, a simple aerial, and we chose Andey Williams cant take my eyes off you, they had to do it again as all the guests wanted to video them,( the thing was, they were to us dancers shockingly bad, but to non dancers trully brilliant) as Andy said "signal for the guests to join you after a minute", you will still be completely the centre of attraction as you can actually dance.
    enjoy it and good luck and the only thing you have not to worry about is the dance, and dont have purple flowers they look black in the photos
    Nick

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post
    Anyone got any advice on first dances, and getting out there and "doing your thing" with people watching?

    Did some (Am-dram) acting many years back.. I'm hoping that, come my "cue" the butterflies will flutter-by but I'm still worried. Fluffing your lines is one thing, don't want to fluff the first dance.. especially with dancing friends and non dancing family watching.

    any advice?

    Pete (on the nervous side!)
    OK. Performance anxiety. It is just like doing a presentation at work. You know more than them and a bit of practice mitigates against **** ups.

    Firstly you know much more about what you are going to do than anyone else in the room. It is new and interesting to them but at least you will have a vague idea about what will happen.

    Your non dancing friends will think that anything is fabulous and your dancing friends may spot mistakes but won't care a hoot because they will also be caught up in the misty eyed romance of the occasion.

    Simple things that fit the music will have much more impact than complex things that ignore it. Keep it simple so that it easy to remember, lock key events to words in the music, don't try to learn anything new and unfamilair this close to the event.

    Practice together. Practice in front of a small number of your friends. Practice in the outfits (or as close as you can). Then practice in costume in front of selected dance friends. Draw up a practice timetable and stick to it and at the end you will feel so on top of your game that the event will feel relaxing.

    If you screw up anywhere in your dance do not let it show on your face. Most people will notice a mistake in the dancing but if you let it show on your face then even your non dancing friends will know something went wrong even if they didn't notice it themselves.

    Choose a short song that means something to you.

    Our wedding songs were

    At Last - Etta james
    Nobody but me - Blue Harlem
    Let there be love - Sije Nergaard

    A good WCS song for a first dance might be
    Baby I love you - Aretha Franklin

    As long as you get a great song that has oodles of meaning for you both it can make practice a great pleasure.


    Remember you are dancing for each other first and foremost just like all those other dances you have had that have led to your wedding.

  4. #24
    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef View Post
    Use the CDs in rehearsal to ensure you have versions that will play without skipping.
    The CD stopped completely midway through the first dance at the wedding I was at yesterday! With the weather being so bad there were brief power outages all evening - one happened about a minute or so into their dance causing the CD to stop. The DJ restarted it but of course it went back to the beginning - so the DJ ff through the track to get to near where it stopped so they could continue as planned with the rest of the bridal party joining them for the last part of the track.

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Sorry to be an old comudgen(?) but why does it have to be a choreographed MJ/WCS routine.
    Unless you want it to be a spectacle,traditionally the first dance is a waltz/slow foxtrot,that way when it comes to your guests joining you on the floor it's not just your MJ'ing guests who join you.

  6. #26
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by djtrev View Post
    traditionally the first dance is a waltz/slow foxtrot,
    That may have been the pre-war tradition. How many guests are going to join in with a waltz or a Foxtrot? Not many, is my guess.

    At all the weddings I've attended it's been mostly a slow smooch. Apart from the ones which have been MJ. The slow smooch works fine as everyone can join in.

  7. #27
    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    At all the weddings I've attended it's been mostly a slow smooch. Apart from the ones which have been MJ. The slow smooch works fine as everyone can join in.
    The one yesterday was a slow smooch as the bride doesn't MJ (though the groom does).

    The DJ then played 'wedding disco' type stuff for the first while so all the muggles could get up and have a bop - then from about 10:30pm he went to freestyle type stuff as there were over 50 MJers invited for the evening (and the day guests were starting to head home).

    The next wedding I am at (in just over two weeks) will have an MJ first dance cos its CRM's.

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    That may have been the pre-war tradition. How many guests are going to join in with a waltz or a Foxtrot? Not many, is my guess.

    At all the weddings I've attended it's been mostly a slow smooch. Apart from the ones which have been MJ. The slow smooch works fine as everyone can join in.
    Pre-war tradition my foot.
    For waltz/slow Foxtrot read SMOOCH.

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    The next wedding I am at (in just over two weeks) will have an MJ first dance cos its CRM's.
    No no... our first dance is going to be blues don't worry, nothing too shocking or rude! The second track and subsequent ones will be firmly in the MJ category though.

  10. #30
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by djtrev View Post
    Pre-war tradition my foot.
    For waltz/slow Foxtrot read SMOOCH.
    I'm afraid I'm a pedant when it comes to naming dances. When you name a dance on a dance forum you should mean that dance. Not something like that dance. What DJ Trev was asking us to do was guess that he meant "smooch" when he said "waltz" and "Foxtrot". That vagueness might be OK for a DJ forum, but not an actual dance forum where we mostly know the difference.

    I can remember DJing a wedding where the mother of the bride asked me to "play a waltz". I asked her if she could dance a waltz and she said "no". So I asked her what dance she wanted to do and she said "a slow dance". If I'd played a waltz she'd not have known what to do.

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    Registered User Twirly's Avatar
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Thanks for all the advice for Pete - I'm sure he'll be fine as he's a better dancer than he thinks he is. Am dragging him to class for the next few weeks, as that'll be his only chance to practice. Don't want a choreographed routine as that would make me too nervous as I'd have to remember what happens next... funny to think that freestyle is easier to cope with.

    Andy - think I might have that problem with my Dad as when I asked him if he wanted to do a father daughter dance he said something about a nice slow waltz... well he's 81, walks with difficulty and hasn't danced in over 40 years, even if he was a champion ballroom jive dancer in his youth (was how my parents met). Think we need some sort of slow shuffle type number and he can lead a couple of returns if he wants to!

  12. #32
    Registered User frodo's Avatar
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I can remember DJing a wedding where the mother of the bride asked me to "play a waltz". I asked her if she could dance a waltz and she said "no". So I asked her what dance she wanted to do and she said "a slow dance". If I'd played a waltz she'd not have known what to do.
    Why wouldn't she simply have slow danced to the (slow) waltz music ?


    IIRC waltz is essentially stepping from one foot to the other on each (slow) beat.

    Most people can step or shift their weight once per beat to a very obvious beat.

    Where does the idea that doing so is difficult and needs to be more strenous than shifting weight or shuffling come from

  13. #33
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Why wouldn't she simply have slow danced to the (slow) waltz music ?
    Andy is quite right to pick her up on it. "Waltz" is a style that you can't dance to just any music, but the music that is in 3:4 time includes some modern stuff, do you think she meant she wanted to dance to Metallicas "Nothing Else Matters" ? that's valid waltz music

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Why wouldn't she simply have slow danced to the (slow) waltz music ?


    IIRC waltz is essentially stepping from one foot to the other on each (slow) beat.

    Most people can step or shift their weight once per beat to a very obvious beat.

    Where does the idea that doing so is difficult and needs to be more strenous than shifting weight or shuffling come from
    It's just Andy being pedantic.
    That's exactly what she would have done and what most people do when they 'talk' about a waltz.

  15. #35
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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Why wouldn't she simply have slow danced to the (slow) waltz music ?


    IIRC waltz is essentially stepping from one foot to the other on each (slow) beat.

    Most people can step or shift their weight once per beat to a very obvious beat.

    Where does the idea that doing so is difficult and needs to be more strenous than shifting weight or shuffling come from
    You are right that the dance is simple in theory - but (speaking as one who's done many ballroom lessons) I still find it surprisingly easy to go wrong and end up on the wrong foot.

    I suspect this is because Waltz (as taught by ballroom teachers, at any rate) is progressive, and in close hold, so you both need to be moving on the correct leg at the same time, otherwise you trip over each other. Contrast that to something like WCS where if you end up on the wrong foot you can bodge it until you reset at the start of the next pattern without it being too obvious.

    Also, even fairly basic waltz routines includes steps (moves) where you start splitting beats and end up on a different foot to the one you'd expect. If you don't lead it right, you and your partner end up on opposite feet and it goes wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Metallicas "Nothing Else Matters" ? that's valid waltz music
    I don't think that video proves a lot, because there's very little recognisable ballroom waltz in that routine. That track is actually quite a fast bpm for a traditional Waltz so you'd probably want to do Viennese Waltz to it instead.
    Love dance, will travel

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    Re: First Dance Tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Why wouldn't she simply have slow danced to the (slow) waltz music ?


    IIRC waltz is essentially stepping from one foot to the other on each (slow) beat.
    Waltz is what it says on the tin. It's nothing else. You do step on every beat in the basic, but it's not a regular beat in a waltz and you'd have real trouble doing a smooch to something with an irregular beat. Don't forget, I'm suggesting that the couple do something simple like a smooch.The only dance to 4/4 time music I can think of offhand where you step on every beat and do nothing with your weight between the beats or miss beats is, erm, err, Modern Jive!

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Most people can step or shift their weight once per beat to a very obvious beat
    Go to any modern jive class and you will find a group of beginners making this look very difficult or even impossible. It's almost as if they're avoiding the beat on purpose just to confuse the teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Where does the idea that doing so is difficult and needs to be more strenous than shifting weight or shuffling come from
    Not from me. DJ Trev is the one who suggested a waltz or a Foxtrot. Those dances are much more difficult than a shuffle round and round in the arms of your new husband/wife.

    As I said, this is a dance forum. Saying one dance or even two named dances when you mean smooching is bound to raise an eyebrow or two

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    frodo (5th-April-2010)

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