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what should I start with?
Posted by capecodcoyote
1/24/2011  6:12:00 PM
My fiancee and I are getting married in September, and would like to take some online dance lessons. We do not want a choreographed first dance, but want to not step on each others toes during our first dance, as we do now! Our song is "Catch the Wind" by Donovan.
What is our best plan of action? Where should we start?
Any tips are greatly appreciated!
You have already started.
Posted by jofjonesboro
1/25/2011  3:08:00 PM
You've chosen the music, a sort of groovy Viennese Waltz.

Fortunately, the VW is conceptually very simple. In execution, it can be fairly difficult.

Forget about learning this or any other dance online. In the time that you have you can save up the money for at least a couple of private lessons. Find a good independent studio, tell them exactly what you want, and take your music with you.

You should be able to get a couple of lessons for about 100 to 130 dollars (US). Please believe me, you'll have a lot more fun if you do this correctly.

Best wishes and good luck to both of you.

jj

Edited to add:

Look at my post at 3:03 PM on 01/25 below. There's a slower version of "Catch the Wond" (1968) which will make your dance much less stressful. You could still do a (very relaxed) VW if you wish but this version would accommodate a Waltz, a more traditional wedding dance.
Re: You have already started.
Posted by Telemark
1/25/2011  12:52:00 AM
Just a cautionary tale: I had a wedding couple come to me last year. They had set their hearts on Viennese Waltz, but had only two weeks to go before their big day, and could only make time for two lessons.

Neither had danced before, and the groom, finding the rotation of the dance baffling, lost his temper half way through the second lesson, and he stormed off! She was acutely embarrassed, of course, but these things happen.

Give yourself plenty of time (several months, ideally) and work with an experienced instructor. You can space out a handful of lessons (and therefore contain the cost) as long as you have a specific practise goal, after each lesson, and you then make time to practise, practise, practise....

A simple combination of Reverse (Left) and Natural (Right) Turns, separated by Change Steps, is all that you will need, but an instructor will also show you simple ways to start and end your dance that are a little more elegant than, well, just starting and stopping.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
Good lord!
Posted by jofjonesboro
1/25/2011  6:06:00 AM
Give yourself plenty of time (several months, ideally) and work with an experienced instructor. You can space out a handful of lessons (and therefore contain the cost) as long as you have a specific practise goal, after each lesson, and you then make time to practise, practise, practise....

It's a wedding dance, not a showcase on DWTS.

It's pretty clear that the OP is trying to keep this as simple as possible. A couple of private lessons and a little practice will be enough. They do have other things to spend their time and money on, you know.

jj
Re: Good lord!
Posted by Telemark
1/25/2011  7:47:00 AM
It's pretty clear that the OP is trying to keep this as simple as possible.


Simpler that Natural & Reverse Turns?

A handful of lessons should be fine, but it does take some people a while to find their dance feet, and allowing plenty of time for preparation means that they can look forward to this important family event with confidence.
The important event is the wedding
Posted by jofjonesboro
1/25/2011  6:33:00 AM
and their confidence is in their love for each other.

The wedding dance is just a couple minutes of fun. The OP simply doesn't want to fall down on the dance floor.

jj
Re: Good lord!
Posted by silver
1/25/2011  6:40:00 AM
Good retort. :) When I watch beginners struggling with waltz, it seems that the waltz's timing along with the coordination of the closing of the feet on 3 that frequently become the source of frustration. This requires a fair amount of concentration at first before it becomes even remotely natural for most people. You're right Telemark, they need to allow for plenty of time if new to all of this. And since it isn't DWTS, it might even look sincere and heart-felt.
Re: Good lord!
Posted by Telemark
1/25/2011  7:53:00 AM
I must try that approach at my next 'first meeting' with a wedding couple:

"Do you want to learn to dance, or will you just be happy not to fall over, confident in your love for one another".

I can see that being a real winner ...
Re: Good lord!
Posted by dheun
1/25/2011  8:38:00 AM
Now, now, kids. Be nice. You're both actually correct.
The original poster can't possibly know what he/she is getting into, so their desire for something simple could be viewed in different ways.
I agree with you both in saying that the Viennese Waltz is quite difficult, other than the simple turns that Telemark suggests. But I also know that those new to dance could find those steps fairly tough, not to mention the possibility of getting dizzy.
No way a man who has never danced before is going to get the timing down and feel of the cross step in two lessons, so it's likely to be natural turns around and around, etc.
There is no doubt we all agree on one thing: Go to a studio and see about a couple of private lessons. Trying to do it online may keep you from falling on the floor or stepping on toes, but it likely won't teach you the dance, or how it should feel.
Either way, as jofj suggests, it is a wedding -- and those are fun, no matter what the wedding couple does for a dance!
Re: Good lord!
Posted by Telemark
1/25/2011  9:14:00 AM
If not falling over is the overriding aim, then I would avoid dancing just Natural Turns. Dizziness is going to be a real problem.

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