When most couples go about planning their first dance as husband and wife, the conversation often revolves heavily around the song that’ll be playing (possibly one of these?) and not so much the dance itself. Yes, the tune that you choose is very significant and will forever be known as “your song,” but it would also be nice if neither you nor your groom took a tumble on the dance floor.
We've seen plenty of brides- and grooms-to-be take preventive measures to ensure that their first dance is an unforgettable one by enrolling in pre-wedding dance lessons. Whether you want to keep it simple by nailing the slow dance or you're itching to surprise your guests with a completely choreographed number (an exciting hip-hop routine or fancy ballroom dance, perhaps?), enlisting the help of a professional can do wonders for couples of all skill levels.
To get started—perfecting your dance can oftentimes take a few months—we suggest you look into the offerings at any one of the local dance studios listed below.
Academy of Social Dance
Where: 2009 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse and 430 Walkertown Road, Exton
What: Whether you’re a newbie or a dancing veteran, the experts at the Academy of Social Dance will prepare you for your first dance as husband and wife. Not only will they help to improve your dance skills—they suggest spicing up the traditional slow dance with a different dance style like the salsa or foxtrot—but the instructors here will guide you in choosing a song too.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Where: 913 Montgomery Avenue, Narberth and 20 West Lancaster Avenue, Paoli
What: With over 100 years of history and locations all over the world, Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a go-to for students of all levels and dance styles. You’ll want to sign up for their wedding program, which will have you lighting up the dance floor in just a few weeks (though they recommend starting your lessons six months to a year before your wedding).
Where: 1015 South Dorrance Street, Graduate Hospital
What: Founded in 2011, Ballroom Bliss is the wedding dance division of local fitness company Philly Dance Fitness. Owner Deborah Hirsch and her team of instructors are focused on catering their services to the needs of each couple, whether you want to learn the basics or prefer to go all out with a choreographed performance. Once you pick a song, they’ll put together the entire routine and teach it to you over the course of a few lessons.
Where: 1 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore
What: With over 30 years of wedding dance experience under their belts, the team at DanceSport will ensure that your first dance goes off without a hitch. Take advantage of their free wedding dance lesson and evaluation, which will determine how long it will take to get your dance just right for the Big Day.
Living Arts Dance Studio
Where: 81 Fairmount Avenue, Northern Liberties
What: Owner and director Jaquetta Colson is at the helm of this NoLibs studio, where their extensive class schedule includes everything from Zumba to kick boxing. No large packages or months of classes are required here—you’ll have a beautiful wedding dance down pat in just two to three lessons.
Rubi First Dance
Where: 29 East Gravers Lane, Chestnut Hill
What: If you’re looking for a super private, comforting environment to let loose and learn to dance, arrange a lesson at Rubi Wiswall’s quaint Chestnut Hill studio. With a little guidance from this pro, you’ll be as confident as ever when you make your dancing debut.
Society Hill Dance Academy
Where: 401 South 2nd Street, Society Hill
What: This tried-and-true dance academy will create a custom wedding package of private or group lessons based on the goals you have for your first dance. Plus, your first lesson is complimentary so the instructors can get an idea of the program that’ll work best for you and your guy. Read up on a few tips from owner Shana Vitoff here.
Valley Forge Dance School
Where: 216 West Beidler Road, King of Prussia
What: Owner and seasoned ballerina Maria Jacobs (she has performed in over 60 Nutcracker ballets) has put together a pre-wedding package for couples in search of a quick and effective solution to their dance dilemmas. You bring the music and Jacobs’s team will provide a free 20 minute demo and two private one-hour lessons.
RELATED: Tips For An Awesome First Dance
Check out our other Local Bridal Guides here.