Want to make your first dance something to twist and shout about? We discover how choreography can help

Remember that Alesha Dixon song about her man “with two left feet”? Dancing is definitely not for everyone, as the Mis-Teeq member made clear, highlighting what many people feel about their partner’s jumpin’ and jivin’ abilities.

Chances are your first dance is going to be captured on video forever, so the last thing you’d want is to see yourself awkwardly shuffling about the floor, desperately wishing it could be over.

Fortunately, there are plenty of talented teachers out there ready to help you avoid such a fate. We sought out their expert advice (and moves) to make sure you look good on the dancefloor.

Bride and groom dancing surrounded by smoke

Worthy of the glitterball! This couple worked with MairiMe Dance to feel confident on the floor (Photo: Marta Gogoc)

How easy is it to learn a first dance routine?

It’s never too late to perfect your moves, and someone like Mairi Bajwoluk of MairiMe Dance who has been dancing since 2007 can ensure you start your celebrations on the right foot.

“Dancing in front of everyone can be a daunting prospect, so having something prepared can alleviate a lot of the stress,” the dance expert tells us. “It is also something special to do together in the lead-up to your wedding. It lets you connect with each other at what can be a stressful time and enjoy the process.”

Adam Gardner of First Dance UK agrees: “We can work with couples to create something that suits them and who they are. Whether it is a traditional ballroom dance or something funny and silly, practising it in the lead-up means you will feel prepared on the day.”

More of a wallflower than a limelight-hogger? Adam believes that with gentle guidance from the experts and some dedication on your part, anyone can look good dancing. “Lessons and practice really give you confidence,” he promises.

“And doing something special for your first dance can turn it into quite a spectacle for your guests and make it a great thing to look back on.” Most couples will do between five to eight hours of lessons, he adds. “But you can have as many or as few as you wish.”

groom lifting bride on dancefloor surrounded by white smoke and onlookers watching

A fabulous routine from another pair of Mairi’s newlyweds (Photo: Teledysk Slubny)

What should you consider for a choreographed first dance routine?

When planning your first dance, there is more to consider than whether you’ll be soundtracking it to Stevie Wonder or Jessie Ware. “There are a lot of logistical things to consider,” says Mairi. “For example, if you’re having a videographer, will they be positioned in one place or moving around? That could change the way the routine is performed.

"Likewise, where will guests be standing? How much space do you have to dance in? If you know it is a small dancefloor, we will need to consider that when creating your routine.”

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Does your wedding gown have a long train? You’ll need to maybe forego that Dirty Dancing lift… “What you wear will dictate your dance style,” explains Mairi. “If you’re in an off-the-shoulder dress, you’ll be limited with your arm movements. If you’ve got a train or bustle, make sure it’s secure so it doesn’t fall mid-dance and trip your partner up.”

Where possible, she likes to do the final rehearsal at the venue with the couple wearing their wedding shoes: “My top tip is to score the bottom of your shoes and dab a small amount of Coca-Cola on them. It sounds strange but it will help you keep a grip if the floor is slippery!”

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