Your first dance on wedding day is a very special moment. So often we hear brides and grooms express anxiety toward this part of the day. The thought can be daunting, however with anything, you can overcome these jitters with just a little practice! We recommend trying out a dance lesson with our friends at Ballroom Dance Chicago!
Here is the scoop from our friends at Ballroom Dance Chicago:
Why Wedding Dance Lessons?
- If you’re going to have a traditional wedding reception (think dance party with a DJ or band and a dance floor) then you shouldn’t leave your first dance to chance. The first dance kicks off the party, sets the mood for your reception and offers you and your spouse an enjoyable moment alone together. We know your to-do list is a mile long and that you have to make all sorts of decisions about your budget, timeline, and schedules, but there is simply no way to look and feel good during your first dance without seeking help from a professional who specializes in first dance prep. As you’re planning your wedding and choosing the small details like the perfect color for your napkins and favors for your guests, make sure the first dance isn’t left out of the process.
- Dance lessons can also serve as a date night for the two of you and as an opportunity to reconnect in the stressful, busy weeks or months leading up to the big day. Through the hectic process of planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose the quality time you would normally spend enjoying your fiance’s company. But, imagine 1-3 hours every week dedicated to spending time together, embracing one another, and learning and connecting over a new activity. At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we recognize the value of this time spent together, so we’ve created a comfortable, beautiful, and welcoming learning environment that will help you kick up your feet and just enjoy it!
- While most dance studios would just teach you moves and “steps,” at Ballroom Dance Chicago our focus is the connection and communication between you and your partner. We realize that the ultimate goal is to have a fabulous first dance, and we understand that in order to have a fabulous first dance, you need to focus on more than fancy footwork. Regardless of whether you envision flashy spins and dips or something simple and romantic for your first dance, your guests will be looking for smiles, excitement and romance, not how perfectly you can perform steps and footwork. This is why our process is focused on enhancing the connection between you and your partner while also creating something special and unique for the two of you.
What to expect during the Dance Lesson?
- At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we only offer private lessons so that we can customize the learning process to best suit each couple’s goals, needs, and expectations. Each couple is unique, so it is no surprise that each of our lessons is unique, too. Most studios offer group classes or standard private lessons that cover the basics, but leave you hanging when it actually comes time to coordinate the steps to your song, incorporate movements that work best for you, or highlight who you are as a couple. Rather than offering the same standard moves to every student, we work with you one-on-one to make sure you are comfortable every step of the way so that you don’t waste time learning useless steps or unnecessary information. Though each lesson is just the two of you with one instructor, we all work as a team to craft each lesson, helping you to progress toward your goal and move together naturally.
- We also offer a large, beautiful space that’s so comfortable you’ll feel like you’re stopping by a friend’s house. The space was designed with a focus on creativity, learning and inspiration; no giant mirrors or gaudy rhinestones here – just a large dance floor so you’ll never feel crowded, a state of the art sound system so your teacher can play music from any location, and some local craft beer to sip while you dance.
- In each hour-long private lesson, you can expect to have a ton of fun together while gaining knowledge and understanding of how to better connect with one another through leading and following. You will also gain a better understanding of how to connect with the music you’ll be dancing to and what movements work best to compliment your song and style choice. If you’re interested in a fully choreographed dance, we encourage you to be involved in the creative process to ensure that the end result is unique, while also bringing our own ideas and expertise for a polished finished product.
What is the cost?
- The rate for one hour of instruction is $115, but we drop the rate significantly when multiple hours are purchased at a time (rates range from $80-$95 per hour). Once you purchase a package of hours, you can schedule them all at once or just one at a time, whatever is best for you.
How often in advance should this be scheduled?
- In preparation for your wedding, it’s important to start the learning process early. The body and brain process new habits and information over time, so just remember that learning something new takes time! If you want to feel confident and have a successful dance, give yourself as much time as you can to prepare and plan to practice between lessons to get the most out of each hour spent with your instructor. Typically, couples start at least three months, if not a whole year or more, in advance. However, that’s not to dissuade couples who have left this detail to the last minute. Though the more time you have, the better you will feel, even one hour of instruction is better than none. So, if you’re pressed for time, don’t write off the whole process. Everyone is capable of learning to dance and even an hour spent working together will give you greater insight into how to groove with your partner. At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we have also created a solution for couples who have less than a month to prepare, which expedites the learning process. Our “crash course” serves as a quick solution if you’ve forgotten to take dance lessons earlier or you’re strapped for time. Our crash course includes two instructors for each hour so that each individual can work one-on-one with a professional before dancing together. By first learning with a professional, each partner reaches a level of competency at an accelerated rate.
How many lessons do you recommend?
- Usually when people ask that question, they expect some kind of number as an answer: 5, 10, 50 lessons. The reality is that we don’t know. Unlike other items you purchase for your wedding, taking dance lessons isn’t a transaction; it’s a process that takes time and effort from you. When crafting a first dance, we are here to give you the tools you need to be successful and help you set the right expectations and goals, but you put in the time and effort to present a beautiful dance on your big day.
- Ideally, we see our students two to three hours per week; but we understand that isn’t necessarily possible for every student. Regardless of your time or budgetary restrictions, we recommend coming in on a regular basis and giving it the most time and attention that you can.
Locations: Lakeview (4039B N Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60613), West Loop (939 W Randolph #300 Chicago, IL 60607) and Streeterville (211 E Ohio Chicago, IL 60611).