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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.
Re: Good lord!
Posted by Ladydance
1/25/2011  12:49:00 PM
There is never enough room on a reception room dance floor for the VW. No beginner is going to be able to master it, especially with the pressure of doing it in front of an audience. And, chances are the bride will be wearing a long dress, further complicating things. I would suggest they find another song or two and take them to an instructor to pick the best. Usually a simple social rumba is best and doable. On line lessons are not an option. Find an instructor, most studios offer a wedding package.
Good point about the floor.
Posted by jofjonesboro
1/25/2011  3:03:00 PM
If they stick to just natural turns, they should be able to do smoething resembling a VW in a circle.

You're correct that no beginner would be able to master the VW in a short time. It's clear to me that they aren't really interested in mastery. They just want to dance something to their favorite song without looking too clumsy.

Of course, after reading these responses, they may just skip the dance and get drunk.


Edited to add:
I was poking around on YouTube and noticed that there is a slower version of this song, also performed by Donovan (Catch the wind - mellow version).

Even though it's still basically a VW, this slower version would make it much easier on them. They could even use a Waltz if they wished.

Problem solved.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by belleofyourball
1/25/2011  8:56:00 PM
I don't know. He sounds like he has very low expectations and doesn't really want to do more than just slow dance. The VW is a little bit fussy even in its simplicity. It also is a hard dance for someone who hasn't danced. Foot position, weight on the floor, rotation and movement are too hard for a brand spanking new beginner.

If this guy doesn't want to do more than not step on each other the VW is the wrong dance. He's more likely to step on her in this dance than any in the world. (and vice versa) I do say jof is right that it is the right dance for the song. I think its the wrong dance for someone who wants to take the path of least resistance.

Do a regular waltz to the music, you should look up the box step, the natural and reverse turns and maybe get fancy with a promenade and then dance together until you start feeling okay. Make sure you start enjoying dancing together.

Now, if you really wanted to look like this was something that mattered more than as a sentimental moment you would put some real time to this. You would take lessons, practice and forget about anything online.

However you do this...have fun. Your dancing should be about enjoying yourself.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by nloftofan1
1/25/2011  10:31:00 PM
You have gotten some good advice, but as far as I can see no one has addressed the reason you can't learn to dance strictly from online lessons. Online lessons (or instructional DVDs) can be very useful because you can watch something over and over, as many times as necessary, and see it done correctly. But even so you may not perform the motions correctly. An instructor will see any mistakes you make long before you would, and help you correct them. That may seem very negative. Look at it this way. The instructor will start off telling you what to do (and demonstrating), then will watch to see what YOU do. A miracle might happen, but if not the instructor will get you past whatever problems you may have much faster than you can do it yourself.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by quickstep7
1/26/2011  2:17:00 AM
Without meaning to sound silly, you cannot learn to dance from online lessons alone. Surely it makes more sense to attempt a Waltz and Viennese Waltz and decide which you prefer? In theory all dances can be difficult if you have never danced before!
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by terence2
1/26/2011  4:22:00 AM
Its all about the Degree of difficulty.

having taught hundreds of Wedding "dances", it depends on 3 factors; the dance chosen , the music selected, AND the couples abilities .

Also, make sure you keep the song to 2 mins or less ( thats interminable for a new couple ! ).

Also to consider,the Dress ( Ya not gonna make it in a wedding dress doing VW ).
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by quickstep7
1/26/2011  8:27:00 AM
terence2, I completely agree with you.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by anymouse
1/26/2011  10:20:00 AM
"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!"

The turning basics that most of us consider the foundation of viennese waltz are as others point out a bit difficult to learn and hard to do on a small floor.

But no rule says that you absolutely have to build your dance around them. You could use more stationary sidestep and sway type figures, as might be seen in a cotillion type setting vs. a ballroom competition. Instead of taking 3 steps per measure, a lot of these will have you taking only one step and holding, or in some cases two uneven ones. Without time to build the skill of smoothing out the body movement across the 3 steps of the turning figures, this is going to be a lot more elegant and less frantic looking.

There are some ballroom dances such as rumba, swing, rhythm foxtrot, and to a degree slow waltz where the key ideas can be distilled down in a few lessons and made accessible; but viennese waltz isn't one of them, so if you have your heart set on this music, then you probably want a more pragmatic approach than the traveling ballroom concept of it.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by quickstep7
1/27/2011  9:00:00 AM
I do agree with anymouse. In terms of learning a dance in a couple of lessons I would not pick the Viennese Waltz. In practice it is simple, but there are so many places where it can go wrong. Possibly think of a slower tune, or find a slower version of the tune you want and you can then learn a Waltz rather quickly. This will give you a smooth dance, which can be matched to ability and very little chance for problems!

Have a good wedding and make the right dance choice! :)

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