To Choreograph or Not to Choreograph? The Wedding Dance Decision

Should you choreograph your wedding dance??

This is a question that will come up when planning to take wedding dance lessons. Every couple is different, and everyone’s vision of their first dance is different. You may want to “just get by” but your fiancé might need to know exactly when and where to move. In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to discuss the difference between Choreography and Social Dancing and the pros and cons to both.

To Choreograph or not to choreograph, that is the question!  St. Pete North is here to help.

What is Choreography? Choreography is simply planning out the movement to an entire song. You select a song that you would like to be your first dance, and your dance instructor will create a vision for the dance. There may be certain parts of the song that are highlighted for more interesting movement like a lift, a dip or turns. From beginning to end, you will be shown where to move and when, so that with repetition, you will remember your routine.

Choreography. There are two sides to every story, and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choreography. Some pros include, both partners knowing their part of the dance. Confidence with your movement is really important when you’re performing a dance. Choreography will give you and your fiancé a chance to memorize and get really comfortable with the flow of the movement. It is very helpful for the leader to have a plan and not have to overthink everything. It is also really helpful for the follower to know where to move and be able to assist if the leader isn’t very confident with leading yet. Additionally, having a dance choreographed will allow you to highlight certain parts of the song so that your dance fits the piece of music you have picked out. Choreography does not have to be fancy, you can make it as simple or impressive as you want. So don’t get intimidated by the word alone.

A con to choreography is that after you have danced your first dance, you may not use it again. Because the movement has been put to that one specific piece of music, the chances of trying those moves to another song are unlikely. Unless you continue with your dance lessons and learn to adlib a bit. You can always break the pieces of the dance down and dance them individually, but without additional dance lessons most novice dancers are not able to do that.

Conclusion: Choreography will give you a beautifully put together feeling for your first dance. You will be more confident in your movement and the moves will fit your music.

So, What is Social Dancing? Social dancing is learning footwork patterns and then layering on technique to be able to dance it together. One partner learns a pattern and learns how to lead it, the other partner learns their part of that pattern and learns how to follow it. The couple learns as many patterns as is satisfying to their needs and time available and then the leader decides when to initiate each pattern during the song.

Social Dancing. Let’s start with the pros! What you are learning to use in your wedding song can be used at your reception, on your anniversary or any other time you and your spouse to be would like to bust out some moves. What you will learn in lessons geared toward social dancing is actually how to dance. With a little creativity, you and your partner can turn the moves you’ve learned into a dance to many different songs, and look like you know what you’re doing. If you do decide to continue with dance lessons you will have a solid base for all other learning. Also, as you are performing your first dance, you will be more present with each other as you are communicating non-verbal, physical cues to one another. 

In some cases, social dancing is actually more challenging. The leader needs to be able to think on his feet enough, know how to lead and have a decent understanding of his options for steps to be able to pull it off. The follower needs to understand the cues and the foot patterns well enough to be able to go with the flow. This requires more practice time to get comfortable dancing together.

Conclusion: Social dancing can help provide a more intimate experience for the two of you. Perhaps you hadn’t considered a combo of learning choreography and social dancing! Whatever your decision, Fred Astaire St. Pete North is here to make you feel and look great on the dance floor!

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