Preparing for your first dance can be one of the most fun parts of the wedding planning process. During lessons, you get to spend uninterrupted time focusing on your partner and, during practice, you get to work through the challenges of learning something new together. It's not always easy to fit it in to your busy schedule, but practicing, when done intentionally and with a positive attitude, can result in major progress. 

Here are a few tips for practicing at home in between wedding dance lessons.

  1. Don't wait to start practicing. Practice the day after your lesson so everything you learned is still fresh in your minds and bodies. Waiting a few days before practicing again means you'll be rusty and more likely to get frustrated.
  2. Short, frequent practice sessions are better than one long marathon session. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to review what you've learned. Even if it’s not perfect, set it aside and move on to something else when the timer goes off. There's always tomorrow to get it right. 
  3. Don't stop dancing, even if you mess up! This is critical advice for making through the first dance on your wedding day. More likely than not, you'll feel a little wobbly on a turn, or make a tiny mistake that only you will realize. The more you practice dancing through the mistake, the smoother you'll look if something does go wrong. Remember: no one will know if you mess up unless you show it on your face!
  4. Listen and visualize. There is no better way to learn a dance than to practice, practice, practice. However, if your partner travels a lot for work or if you are going to be apart in between lessons, you can still practice by listening to the music and visualizing your steps.
  5. Watch your practice video. It might feel weird to videotape your practice session but having the record of whose foot goes where and when will help make practice easier and more enjoyable. Plus, it's fun to have a record of your progress from the first lesson all the way through to the wedding day.

Besides making you feel much more confident on your wedding day, practicing helps you get more bang for your buck during wedding dance lessons. Being prepared for each subsequent lesson means you'll be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. So if you have dreams of doing amazing turns and dramatic dips, be sure to make time to practice.

*Article courtesy of Alexandra Zsoldos of First Dance Charlotte

**Photo courtesy of Lauren Friday Photography & East Coast Entertainment