In terms of learning a dance for a wedding the term Bridal Waltz tends to be used rather loosely, referring to the occasion of the first dance as a newlywed couple at their wedding reception rather than the name of the dance style itself. Traditionally the first dance was the actual Waltz but a contemporary Bridal Waltz can be any dance of an individual’s choice.
The Waltz is actually a formally structured ballroom dance composed of a set pattern of steps that can only be danced to music with a 3/4 time signature. If these steps are not done in the recognised prescribed manner and to the correct music then the dance is not a Waltz but something that may look like a Waltz to the uninitiated.
For the purpose of a wedding dance, we use the term Bridal Waltz to refer to the wedding first dance and not to the dance style itself. It is not necessary to learn an exact structured formal Waltz if you want a traditional style bridal dance, there are many different dances and creative interpretations of them that can look like a traditional Waltz but can be much easier to learn and certainly suit modern music better.
Having said that and assuming that your chosen wedding dance song is relatively suitable for beginners dancing, it is reasonable to expect that beginners should be able to learn a basic dance in anything from 3 to 7 lessons, depending on their capabilities and their interpretation of ‘basic’. Some couples can learn a whole simple dance in three lessons, some get halfway towards what they want and for some it’s just a start.
Where it is certainly possible to learn some elementary steps in three lessons it is more often the case for the vast majority that five lessons are needed to achieve a bridal dance that looks natural and relaxed so that you look like a couple and look like you know what you are doing.
There’s nothing worse than coming out of dance lessons with perfectly remembered steps and choreography but dancing mechanically and looking like tin soldiers.
Whether you feel you need 3 lessons or 10 Bridal Waltz lessons it is wisest to start them earlier rather than later. Plan your sessions leaving time to spare before your wedding date so that you avoid a last minute panic or attack of nerves and to give yourself the option of time for extra lessons if you find you need them or find you are better than you thought and want to jazz up the dance a bit more.
The dancing lessons are a lot of fun and you’ll find them one of the nicest things you do together as a couple in lead up to your wedding day.