How To Not Totally Mess Up Your Wedding Dance — Even If You Skipped Lessons

Save face out on the floor with these tips from Shana Heidorn, director of Society Hill Dance Academy.

Photography by Kanayo Adibe

So you’re throwing a wedding with a dance party, but oops, you skipped dance lessons. Given the high stakes (momentous occasion, lots of people staring at you), your first dance can be a special moment, or it can be kind of a nightmare if you’re nervous and not fond of being the center of attention. But never fear. Local dance pro Shana Heidorn, the talented director of Society Hill Dance Academy, helps guide you with seven steps for not looking foolish on the dance floor. (Even if, she says, you should definitely take lessons!) Read up on all of her tips below.

Don’t Youtube a routine.
“If you haven’t practiced, the worst thing you can do is try to dance choreography. You’ll look wooden, and could get out of synch. It’s too hard to learn to lead and follow from a web clip.”

Cut your tune to two minutes or less.
“Most songs are four-plus minutes. That doesn’t sound like a long time, but it can seem like it when you feel like Fred and Ethel instead of Fred and Ginger.”

 Practice good posture.
“It not only makes you look better; it will give you an air of confidence.”

 Keep steps on the small side.
“Large movements come with technique; without it, you’ll look the opposite of graceful.”

Do NOT dip.
“I’ve seen too many people dropped attempting this finish without training.”

 Grab your friends.
“Invite the wedding party to come out for the last half. It takes the pressure off the person who’s leading and gets the party started.”

“Try to look like you’re having fun — even if you’re terrified.”

For more great tips from local experts, you can check out advice on not messing up your makeup here, great under-the-radar places to rent killer wedding accessories and clothes here, and which pre-wedding treatments are actually worth the hype here. And, you can find out more about ballroom lessons at Society Hill Dance Academy here. Happy wedding planning!

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