Make a Move

For the bride and groom it can be the most nerve-rack­ing mo­ment of the day—but it needn’t be. The pros share how you can take the missteps out of that mem­o­rable first dance

Singapore Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS -

The pros share how you can take out the missteps for a mem­o­rable first dance

It should be the most ro­man­tic ex­pe­ri­ence of your life. The mo­ment you fan­ta­sise about when you’re 15, pic­tur­ing an ab­surdly hand­some man gaz­ing into your eyes as you waltz around the room to the per­fect song, your guests burst­ing into spon­ta­neous ap­plause at the drama and beauty of it all. But the re­al­ity, well, that can turn out a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. From grooms shuf­fling awk­wardly across the dance floor with a stricken ex­pres­sion on their face to brides with wardrobe mal­func­tions, it is all too easy to turn from blush­ing bride to blush­ing with em­bar­rass­ment. In fact, a quick browse on the Mail On­line re­veals the seem­ingly in­fi­nite ways a first dance can go dis­as­trously wrong: a groom ac­ci­den­tally kick­ing his new wife in the head as they at­tempt a back­flip, for ex­am­ple, or a bride break­ing her an­kles as they try to recre­ate the pop­u­lar Dirty Danc­ing lift. Luck­ily we’re here to en­sure that, firstly, the paramedics will not num­ber among your guests, and sec­ondly, you won’t howl with em­bar­rass­ment when your maid of hon­our sends you a clip cap­tioned “The First Dance”. “Learn­ing to move to­gether in­volves trust—know­ing when to lead, when to fol­low; it builds pa­tience, and en­cour­ages team­work and chem­istry be­tween two peo­ple set on work­ing through life to­gether,” says Stephanie Loh, artis­tic di­rec­tor at STEP Stu­dio. Read on for the rules to a smooth first dance, ac­cord­ing to Sin­ga­pore Tatler Wed­dings.

DO be re­al­is­tic about your danc­ing abil­ity

If you have al­ways been the life and soul of the dance floor, skip this point and plan an elab­o­rate dance rou­tine. It will be fab­u­lous. But if your style is more along the lines of awk­ward shuf­fle, then keep it sim­ple. “Don’t think of your dance as an en­ter­tain­ment seg­ment. The guests are your friends and loved ones who are there not to judge you but to share your sweet­est mo­ments to­gether,” says Gla­dys Tay, prin­ci­pal and dance di­rec­tor of Shawn and Gla­dys Dance Academy. If you get the jit­ters, con­sider a vodka shot and ask­ing your maid of hon­our, best man and par­ents to join in mid­way.

DO think about tim­ing

Tra­di­tion­ally, the first dance kicks off the danc­ing por­tion of the re­cep­tion and most cou­ples save it un­til af­ter the meal, sig­nalling to guests that it is time to get off their seats and ramp up their flirt­ing on the dance floor. How­ever, cou­ples are grow­ing in­creas­ingly fond of a grand entrance, which means ar­riv­ing at the re­cep­tion af­ter all guests are in place and launch­ing into the first dance. This can cre­ate fan­tas­tic en­ergy from the start, but makes it harder to drag your guests away from din­ner.

DON’T pick a song that ac­tu­ally means “it’s over”

The most pop­u­lar first-dance song of the past 20 years is I Will Al­ways Love You by Whit­ney Hous­ton, but while the ti­tle is per­fect, not all the lyrics are. “Bit­ter­sweet mem­o­ries, That is all I’m tak­ing with me. So good­bye. Please don’t cry: We both know I’m not what you, you need.” Hmm. So, pick a song that’s mean­ing­ful to you. “You can dance to any song. We never choose the song; it’s the cou­ple’s de­ci­sion to make but it should be 1.5 to 2 min­utes long, and we chore­o­graph the moves based on their affin­ity for danc­ing and the wed­ding theme,” says Stephanie Loh, artis­tic di­rec­tor at STEP Stu­dio. “We once did a first dance with a cou­ple that went from typ­i­cal slow waltz to funky up­beat mu­sic—it was fun and showed their per­son­al­ity.”

DO con­sider the venue

The size of the dance floor can af­fect the range of move­ments, so have this in­for­ma­tion handy at your first les­son. Tay says, “Some venues have a dance floor or stage spe­cially set up for the dance, but even if there isn’t one, you can dance down the aisle!”

DON’T have a wardrobe mal­func­tion

When buy­ing your dress, try danc­ing around the bou­tique with your best friend and if you find you can­not move prop­erly, get it al­tered. “We al­ways ask clients about their out­fit in the first meet­ing. The moves are highly de­pen­dent on the bride’s gown and heels. We’ve had clients who wore sim­ple dresses and gone bare­foot so they didn’t have to worry about trip­ping, but they are usu­ally in their wed­ding or evening gown,” says Loh. Dur­ing lessons, wear out­fits and shoes sim­i­lar to your ac­tual-day out­fit.

DON’T brush off lessons

Your best man wouldn’t want to give his speech off the cuff, and nei­ther would you want to hit the dance floor with­out prac­tice and risk fall­ing flat on your face (lit­er­ally). “A pro­fes­sional dancer can chore­o­graph a proper rou­tine to suit the cho­sen mu­sic and your per­son­al­i­ties, and teach you all the moves that are right for you, so that you look good and feel con­fi­dent,” says Josephine Liew of John and Josephine Dance Cre­ative. “Two to three prac­tices in the month be­fore the wed­ding is ideal. We vide­o­record prac­tices so cou­ples can self-prac­tice,” says Loh.

“Don’t think of your dance as an en­ter­tain­ment seg­ment. Your guests are not there to judge you”

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