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  • Writer's pictureWedding Dance Vows Team

To Memorize or Improvise? The Two Types of First Dances

Every couple has a different vision of how they want their first dance to go. Some want to create a memorable performance for themselves and their guests while others will want to experience their first dance as an intimate moment with their spouse. There is no right or wrong way to go about your first dance. No matter what you decide, a dance instructor can help make sure you have all the tools you need to have an amazing first dance on your wedding day!


Having a choreographed first dance is becoming the new norm for many couples. Rehearsed choreography can help calm some nerves because you’ll know your first dance inside out and backwards by the time the big moment rolls around. Typically, choreographed first dances start with a traditional slow dance song and then go into a mix of songs and styles of dance. This approach keeps the audience engaged and you may even get them up out of their seats with some lifts and tricks! If you do decide to choreograph your first dance, your instructor definitely has an arsenal of dance moves you’d never be able to come up with yourself. Your instructor may even teach you to do something you never thought possible! Partner dancing isn’t as complicated or scary as it looks, as long as you have a great instructor by your side. The process of preparing for your first dance as a couple can be very special. You will be working together as a team to make an imagined moment a reality. Many couples are brand new dancers when they start their first dance journey, but after training with their instructor they often surprise their guests and even themselves. After all the hard work, a wonderful first dance is one of the most priceless gifts you can give your spouse on your wedding day.

Social Dancing

This option is for couples who want a more traditional first dance experience. No memorized choreography, no “show,” just you and your spouse sharing an intimate moment together on your wedding dance floor. Many couples fall into the trap of thinking they can just have a normal slow dance as their first dance but then once they’re out on the dance floor feeling the eyes of their guests on them, they start wishing maybe they had planned something a little more special for this first performative moment together as a married couple. Learning how to dance with an instructor will give you confidence and flair to add to your first dance, even if you don’t want a piece of set choreography. Learning the lead/follow dynamic of partner dancing is like learning a new language. Once you learn some words and phrases (the basics and some figures), you can have an improvised “conversation” with ease on your wedding day. The “lead” in the couple is the one who will be directing the dance and the “follow” will be responding to the lead’s cues. The cues from the lead need to be very clear and easy to understand so they aren’t misinterpreted by the follow. Working with an instructor will help you break down these concepts and give you simple tools to use while you’re dancing. The more you learn and the more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel with your newfound skills. If dancing or performing in front of an audience makes you feel nervous at all, the time you spend with your instructor will be invaluable. They will help you feel confident in your abilities so you can shine when it comes time for your big moment!

Whether you want to memorize or improvise, an instructor can really help give you the tools and confidence you need to make your first dance dreams a reality. Any concerns you may have can and will be addressed in your time with your instructor. You’ll be surprised to find that your instructor will have answers to questions and concerns you didn’t even know you had! Ready to take the plunge? We’re ready and waiting to set up a free consultation with you to take the first step towards making your first dance dreams a reality.

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