a blog about aiming high in life, being kind to yourself, and open honesty with basic strangers.
Most couples who are planning a wedding have danced together at least once. Have you? If it was 100% awesome, you can stop reading here.
But for a lot of couples, that experience left something to be desired...Maybe it was fun, but you felt kind of silly; maybe it was awkward, so you vowed to one another you'd never dance again; or maybe one of you would refuse to get on the dance floor, even if your life depended on it.
It seems unfair that we live in a culture that expects dancing greatness come your wedding night, but we're never actually taught how to dance, or even encouraged to dance. What's more, our culture often shames dancing, particularly for men (because it's a "girl thing"), and if you're not a great dancer by nature, then you're a wallflower by default. So, if the thought of taking dance lessons scares you, makes you uncomfortable, or doesn't sound appealing, just know that you are not alone. It's not you, it's the United States in the 21st century.
So, how do we get around such barriers? Your wedding is coming up, and unfair or not, you and your guests are expecting a first dance that's passable at minimum. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of couples default, and also where a lot of couples go wrong. "Passable" will not describe any other aspect of your wedding. And though I've seen a good number of passable first dances, I've never heard a bride and groom say that her dress will be "somewhat unflattering," that the food will be "mediocre at best," or that the venue they chose is "kinda ugly." Your wedding day is a day of absolute excellence and self expression. It's about being the best version of yourself for yourself and for the love of your life. It's about joining two families together, celebration, joy, and shared moments. Every moment of your wedding day should be special, beautiful, and totally "you." This is why, I #1), ask you to aim high, to not settle for "passable", and to expect more from yourselves when it comes to your first dance together as husband and wife. Life is all about opportunities, and here is a great opportunity to practice aiming high in life, and more specifically, aiming high in your relationship. Now, I don't mean to say that if you don't have a stellar first dance that you don't care about your relationship, because that's of course not the case. But what I am saying, is that this is just one more opportunity for you to shine together, so join hands, walk through this open door, and enjoy the journey!
It's important that once you've decided to aim high for your first dance, that you #2), are very kind to yourself through the learning process. If you've never danced before, or especially if you've had a negative experience with dance in the past, remember to be patient with yourself. Everyone can learn how to dance (trust me, I have seen it all!), it just takes everyone different amounts of time, focus, and practice. When I want to imagine how my couples feel, I often think about what it would feel like if I tried to learn how to play baseball. A) I'm afraid of balls coming towards me at high speeds, B) With my lack of depth perception, trying to swing a bat to hit a ball flying towards my face sounds like a couple of black eyes, and C) I've never been good at sports to begin with. So if I were to go out today and try to learn baseball, it would take A LOT and I mean A LOT of patience and self-love. My best advice to you is that while you're learning to dance with your sweetheart, just remember to laugh off the tough stuff, enjoy his or her company, and just take your time.
And #3), I invite you to be open and honest with me as your dance instructor. When we first meet, I'll be a basic stranger to you, and you to me, but together we really can achieve your goals. It's my mission with every person I teach to make sure they're comfortable each step of the way. As your teacher, I'm here for you and with you, and there's nothing I want more than for you to succeed. If you're scared, tell me. If you're excited, tell me. If you hate my choreography, tell me. This process is about you and your journey as a couple, and if we keep that at the forefront of our learning process, it will shine through on your wedding day as well. The first dance is a symbol of your connection with the person you've chosen to spend your life with. Let it be shown as a beautiful connection, as a result of a concerted effort, founded in a loving practice.
Take a moment to imagine yourself and the love of your life dancing together for the first time on your wedding night. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What is the story you want to tell and remember?