How to perfect your first dance

23 Aug 2016

The culmination of your wedding day, the first dance is your shining moment; ensure it is the best it can be with these tips for first dance perfection

If there’s one thing that reality dance shows such as Strictly and Dancing with the Stars have made us all realise, it’s that dancing is no longer just for professionals. So it’s no surprise that couples have embraced the opportunity to make the most of their first dance on their wedding day. That said, for many this has meant an added pressure.

Having arranged and edited music for countless professional and amateur dancers on both shows, Graham Jarvis has created DancePicker, a new app which allows couples to find the right dance for their first dance or the right choice of music to accompany it. 

Couples often want to choose a song that perfectly reflects their relationship, to be cherished as part of their future together and even to become a part of family history that represents their love and union.

Drawing on his experience from his years in TV, Graham offers his advice on coordinating your first dance.

1. Don't be afraid to be unconventional

Derek Hough has won DWTS six times. He once choreographed a dance in a rotating room that appeared to give him and his partner the ability to defy gravity. Be creative and find a routine that is unique to you and your first dance song.

2. If you have a track that is ‘your song’, find out what you can dance to it

Jennifer Grey, who starred in Dirty Dancing, was immediately comfortable for her first dance on DWTS with 'These Arms of Mine’ by Otis Redding, which featured in the film, and she won top marks.

3. Don't have a song?

If you don’t have a ‘your song’ but have an idea of a dance you want to do, find a track that you like that is suitable for that dance.

4. Consider whether the dance style suits your dress

It would be tricky to jive in a ball gown; Ola Jordan was spun around by her celebrity on Strictly and later tweeted ‘he ripped my skirt and my boobs popped out'. Let that be a lesson to you.

5. Keep the routine you choose short and sweet

You might want to edit the track to a manageable length; before the launch of Strictly the duration of tracks was given a lot of thought. 1 to 1.5 minutes was felt best and is still used in the dance shows around the world.

6. Consider having dance lessons and practise your dance - including a dress rehearsal!

Before their first show, the contestants on Strictly will have been rehearsing for weeks, including doing the dance in their costumes.

Download the DancePicker app from the iTunes store or Google Play for android.

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