Dance lessons fun way to improve skills before weddingWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Many Toledo-area couples are learning to dance — and having fun while doing it— before their big day, said two local dance professionals.
“It’s one part of your wedding that actually, it’s a life skill,” said Paulette, owner of Paulette’s Studio of Dance, 4853 Monroe St., in Toledo. “The flowers may die and the cake may be gone, but your dancing is something you can do together forever.”
Some couples say they just want to look good for the first dance while others have something sillier in mind, said Alfredo Horna, owner of Alfredo’s Studio of Dance, 5224 Renwyck Drive, Toledo.
“Some couples say, ‘I want to be good,’ and we have others who say, ‘I want to start with something serious and end with something funny,’” Horna said.
Like, “Start with a waltz and end with hip hop.”
Parents also take dance lessons, both Horna and Paulette said.
“A lot of parents want to be able to dance at their children’s wedding. And it’s just as important for parents as the people who are getting married,” Paulette said, adding that many bridal parties learn dances they perform together such as “Gangnam Style.”
Paulette said she has helped couples who have choreographed complex swing routines complete with flips and lifts. Others just want the basics.
“They’ll come in and say, ‘I just don’t want to sway back and forth. I want to look good on the dance floor.’ My saying to them is not to be intimidated,” she said.
“Everyone just says they have two left feet and they don’t. I think everybody can dance. They just need to learn the steps and the patterns.”
At Paulette’s, most couples take between seven and 10 lessons, but some couples have started a year out from the wedding while others have far fewer lessons.
Horna said many couples wait too long before taking lessons. He advised starting about three months before the big day.
“Normally, the problem is that people call a month [away from wedding] at most,” he said. “You’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Give yourself time so you can relax. Enjoy yourself.”
Paulette said couples can start out in group classes to save money and get private lessons closer to the wedding date. She also advised that couples “pick a song that has a special meaning to them, a song that inspires them, a song that they maybe first heard when they first started dating … it can be any kind of song.”
Horna recommended that during the first dance, brides, “look at [the groom] with the promise of forever and he’ll take care of you.”
He also advised couples to just have fun with the dances.
Paulette, whose studio also hosts bachelorette parties, said whether couples take lessons or not, they should practice their first dance before the wedding.
“If you practice, you’re going to be more relaxed and confident during the first dance,” she said.
Couples who have taken lessons report satisfaction after the wedding, Paulette added. And so do moms.
In one case, “The mom was so darn excited, she had emailed me before midnight the night of one of the weddings,” Paulette said with a laugh.
Olivia and Jordan Demchyna took about 14 lessons from Paulette for their 2012 wedding. The couple danced to Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis’ “Crusin.’”
The couple took lessons because, “I could not seeing us getting married and dancing like seventh-graders,” Olivia said.
The bride said that when her bustle accidentally came undone during the dance, the couple’s training helped them carry on — and no one noticed the malfunction.
“[Taking lessons] was a lot of fun, more fun then I expected. I expected it to be a big chore,” Olivia said, adding that even her husband was comfortable with the lessons.
“It was something really nice to do,” she said.