WEDDING DANCE:

A Step by Step Course for Brides and Grooms


You are getting married soon? Congratulations!

It's time to learn how to Dance and get ready to impress your family and friends with your wedding dance.​

Dancing doesn't have to be difficult or complicated​. Nor is it magic, it's a skill that you can learn. 

Because you are novice dancers your level of dance competence will improve dramatically by learning just a few fundamental techniques.

These techniques are what we are going to teach you in this tutorial.

Online Lessons

Let's get you ready for your Wedding Dance!

What to expect from this Dance Course

What should you expect from this step by step dance course? 

Well, have a look at the video below and you will get a good idea of what you are about to learn.​

It's important to realise that this video was NOT choreographed, it is "free dancing" using techniques that you will learn during this course and nothing else. All of it is right here on this page!

This method of learning allows you to be very flexible so that you can adapt to YOUR song with YOUR OWN choreography. 

Time Frame and Requirements

  • Space: You will obviously need a little bit of space to dance but remember on your wedding day the dance floor could be quite large so in the meantime if have access to a large space to practice use it! 
  • Time: You will need 2 to 3 hours to go through the material in this course. Obviously the more you practice the more confident and elegant you will look on the day. The good news is that dance practice is FUN. We highly recommend that you break this course into several sessions. So be sure to bookmark this page or enter your email address here if you would like us to email you one lesson a day.  
  • A song: If you haven't chosen your song yet it's time to think about it! Some of you guys have your song, maybe the song you first danced on together, the music that was playing in the background when you first kissed... So for you the decision is easy. Lucky you! Some of you are probably still struggling to find a meaningful song. I feel your pain! Don't worry too much about it though, just pick one that you both like. It doesn't have to be the song...

Course Content

LESSON 1

Leading & Following

Wedding dance tutorial

LESSON 2

Posture, Frame & Hold

Wedding dance tutorial

LESSON 3

LESSON 4

LESSON 5

The Hammerlock

Wedding dance tutorial

LESSON 6

LESSON 7

LESSON 8

LESSON 9

LESSON 10


LESSON 1

Leading & Follo​wing


In this first lesson you will learn the secrets of Leading & Following.

No partner dance exists without this concept so it is crucial to you. I understand this is your wedding dance but don't worry Leading & Following is just for the dance floor!

​KEY NOTES

Followers:

This exercise is mostly for your benefit.

Keep the tension between your fingers and your partner's fingers constant and try not to move your arms; but rather travel back as your leader increases the tension and forward as he decreases it.

Try to always keep the tension constant.

Avoid anticipating the lead.

Leaders:

Be unpredictable in your lead but keep it light and controlled.


TIP

Repeat each lessons as necessary until you are satisfied you have mastered it. Some lessons may look easy but they all require practice!

If you are, like most of us, nervous about performing in front of a crowd read this article about dealing with stage fright read this, it will help!


LESSON 2

Posture, Frame & Hold


 In this lesson you will learn how to hold your posture and connect to your partner.

This lesson may come across as very simple but as a teacher let me tell you that 80% of the corrections I make with beginners and improvers are related to their posture or their connection to their partner.

The posture is the first thing to suffer when we get a little nervous and the chances are that you will get a little nervous on your wedding day. I was!

The head goes down, we slouch and look at the floor...

Of course all of this is very noticeable to anyone looking.

Similarly when we get nervous we tend to squeeze our partner's hand a little too hard. This can result in a less fluid, more robotic and awkward looking dance.

Keep the chin up and the shoulders down. Look up, relax and smile!

​KEY NOTES

While posture, frame and holds (holding your partner's hands) are simple concepts to understand there are deceivingly difficult to practice. When we teach "live" this is what we correct most often.

When we stand still and take our time to check posture, frame and hold in turn we can quickly spot the mistakes and correct them. But as soon as we start dancing we focus our attention elsewhere ​and this is when the mistakes will creep up again and again.

As you go through this tutorial​ make a habit of checking your posture, frame and hold every few minutes. Correct any mistake straight away, either yours or your partners.

What to look out for:

  • Looking at the floor
  • Slouching
  • Tensing up of the shoulders
  • Frame too low
  • Frame too soft or too tense
  • Wrong hand hold (entwined fingers, palm to palm, to tight...)

TIP

From experience we know that the hand hold is what creates most problems when it comes to executing moves and patterns. Having a finger touch hold is crucial but very easy to overlook.

If you find a move awkward your hand hold is the first thing to check.


LESSON 3

The Steps


We are going to use a very simple step. 

The reason we use this step is that it will not be a distraction a stumbling block or something to be afraid of.

By focusing on what his most noticeable and most impressive (i.e. the moves and patterns) while simplifying what is more difficult and less noticeable (the steps) we can make novice dancers look very good in a short period of time.

​KEY NOTES

Never stop stepping!

We use a very simple steps for a few reasons:

  • When we look at someone dancing 90% of the time we look at their face and upper body just like when we look at some not dancing....
  • We get dancing right away.
  • It allows us to focus on the moves and patterns, ie what is going to impress most.

What to look out for:

  • Meet the floor with the ball of your feet first and keep your weight on the ball of your feet. Let the heel touch the ground.
  • Push the floor away from you and engage the hip (ie. as well as the foot and leg use the hip to push the floor away).
  • With practice your step will become less stiff and more fluid .

TIP

Focusing on your step is not an excuse to look at your feet! Keep your chin up and your blocks aligned.


LESSON 4

The Basket


You have learned "Leading & Following", "Posture, frame & hold" and "The Steps".

You are now dancing and you have acquired all the skills required to move on to the next stage. You are now ready to start learning Moves.

This is where the fun start!

As always, take your time, check that your shoulders and your neck are relaxed and use finger touch rather actually holding your partner's hand.

If you find that the move is somehow difficult, awkward or painful for either of you the chances are your hold is to tight.

Before you start you might consider doing a few stretches!

​KEY NOTES

Remember your basics:

  • Good posture with your 4 blocks aligned: head, shoulders, rib cage and hips. Chin level with the ground, ears above the shoulders and curve in your lower back.
  • 1 leader and 1 follower: at this point we often see the follower trying to help the leader. Don't do it! The leader must lead without help, the follower must follow even when she can spot mistakes.
  • Use light finger touch hold all of the time, there should be no awkward hand hold. Don't use the thumb to hold your partner's hand.

TIP

Filming yourselves dancing is the best way to see your mistakes and correct them. The camera never lies!


This is your wedding dance and as bride and groom you should look happy and relaxed together.​


LESSON 5

The Hammerlock


I hope you enjoyed "The Basket". I love it!

Again, take your time, be careful with the hand hold, keep your shoulders relaxed, you chin up and smile! It's all about looking good, relaxed and enjoying the dance.

Lesson 5 is another move. It's called the Hammerlock.

Once you have learned the technique try to put it together with the basket and dance it on your song.

Let's try it!​

​KEY NOTES

  • Again be mindful of the way you hold your partner's hand.
  • Leader remember to lower the lady's left hand as low as it can go.
  • A very common mistake in the hammerlock is to not go all the way. The lady should do a full turn and you should be facing each other fully (shoulders facing shoulders).

TIP

Always travel on the dance floor and keep circular motion going as much as possible. You need to own that dance floor!


LESSON 6

Turns


Okay then, we have a couple of moves in the bag, we are starting to feel a little more comfortable with our connection to our partner, we understand what leading and following means, we are getting used to the music and the steps are looking more fluid - or less robotic at least - All in good time.

Lesson 6 is about learning how to turn and lead the turn. Be gentle!

A lot of time I see leaders getting a little exited at this point and they start using to much force to lead.

Followers if that is the case you must let your leader now immediately.

​When leading a turns leaders you should ideally use as much force as you would to draw a circle with your fingers in the sand. You are not "making" your follower turn, you are inviting her to turn.

Give it a go!

​KEY NOTES

  • Remember to use a "finger touch" hold. If you hold your partner's hand too tightly you will hurt her without being aware of it.
  • Leader, when you are turning your follower bring your hand at the proper height (Just above the lady's eyebrow) with the palm towards the ground and the middle finger pointing to the ground. Lead by going around the follower's head.
  • Leader, if you are turning yourself, your hand should open flat with the palm facing the ceiling.
  • Follower, don't turn unless you are clearly led to turn.

TIP

Practice first on a count. The leader should count out loud 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4... and you should both mark the beat with your step.

Then practice with a metronome at your song's Beats Per Minute.

Finally practice with music.


LESSON 7

Brushes


Bushes are fun and easy techniques.

They the moves together and I can add a lot of fluidity do your dance. 

Think "smooth"...

A word of caution for the groom: On the weeding day, don't messed up the bride's hair!

Let's try these brushes!​

​KEY NOTES

This technique is optional but we use it in a few moves in module 2 so we wanted to teach it here. It a little confusing at first but you will quickly get the hang of it.

  • Leader - Be clear about which Brush you are leading (palm to the floor or palm to the ceiling), have no tension in your arm and get your hand to travel directly over the follower's head, not around it.
  • Follower - Try not to anticipate the lead! Keep your shoulders relaxed and your head high. One very common mistake is to dip the head unintentionally to help the leader.

TIP

Slow down! Slow down! Slow down!

We tend to dance too fast. Make a conscious effort to keep on the beat and slow your moves down. If you are too fast now, what will you be like on your wedding day with the adrenaline pumping? You don't want to look like Flash Gordon dancing!


LESSON 8

Styling


Styling is the "veneer" of your choreography.

It's about looking happy, confident and elegant. 95% of it is good posture and a big smile. As a newly married couple the smiles should come easily and there should be plenty of them!

​You can get away with anything on a dance floor if you keep your chest out, your chin up and you show as many teeth as you possibly can. Inversely you could be technically brilliant but if you cast your eyes down too often or if you slouch you will never look confident or elegant.

​KEY NOTES

Dance to the fingers tips, i.e be aware of your whole body.

If possible use mirrors and a camera to see your mistakes. I know looking at yourselves dancing can be a bit cringe at first but you will quickly get use to it and more importantly you will improve your style and posture quickly and dramatically. 

Fake it till you make it!​

TIP

Remind your partner to smile when he/she looks a little preoccupied. It's easy to forget to smile when we are under pressure trying to think about the next move!


LESSON 9

What Now?


This concludes our free basic Wedding How-to-Dance course for Brides and Grooms.

Well nearly, with have a Bonus Lesson for you at the bottom of the page. It's a full pattern!


We do hope you enjoyed our lessons and learned a lot from them. If you did please tell your friends!


Remember confidence is key and be confident on the dance floor you need to practice!​

But what next? I hear you asking can we learn more? How do we step it up to the next level?

Have a look at this demonstration. It will give an idea of what we teach in our Full Wedding Dance Tutorial


LESSON 10

(The Next Level)

HP Combo


At this point you know how to dance but you must practice, practice, practice....

Everything you do on the dance floor should look effortless, elegant and un-rushed and that requires practice.

Keep your blocks aligned, make eye contact with your partner and practice making eye contact with your guests (pretend there are in the room with you).

You should never look at the floor or never look like your are thinking so hard that your head hurts!

Free wedding first dance lesson

​KEY NOTES

  • Remember to use a "finger touch" hold. If you hold your partner's hand too tightly you will hurt her without being aware of it.
  • Lower the leading hand below the hip when leading into the hammerlock or it will look awkward at best!

TIP

Break down the moves and learn them SLOWLY, bit by bit. And whatever happen during that first dance, keep on smiling!

Please use the comment box below to let us know how you got on with this tutorial and be sure to

share with your friends!

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