What most people outside of the performing arts professions may not realise is that every artist has their own version of any song and whilst it may be an almost exact replica of the original, it will not be exactly the same.
As dancing is structured to match the beats and cadences of a particular piece of music, any variation in tempo, structure and even accents can affect the dance to a lesser or greater degree.
Even a professional dancer will want a rehearsal to live music before performing with that band or orchestra.
For beginner dancers, especially those who have learnt just one dance for a special occasion such as a wedding dance, the lessons should be done using a recording of the exact music they will be dancing to at the wedding.
It does not matter whether the band insists their version is ‘exactly the same as the original’, a professional in the performing arts knows that it will not be exactly the same simply because it is not the original.
In your wedding dance lessons you will learn one dance to one song and you’ll dance the same way each time. You don’t learn to ad lib, to adapt to surprises, to change steps on the fly, all that takes experience and greater skill than what you will need or indeed want just to perform your wedding dance.
I’ve had numerous cases of couples disappointed on their wedding day because their live band (that they did not tell me about), played their song a little faster or slower or slightly differently to the recorded song they used for their lessons.
It’s vital that you have for your dance lessons the exact music you will use on your wedding day, be it live music or a recording.
If you are having dancing lessons for your wedding dance then I think it’s safe to assume you want to look your best for your dance so it therefore follows that each ingredient of looking your best is utilised and the predictability of the music is a key ingredient.
If you have your heart set on dancing to live music then you should ask the band for a recording of their version of the song. It does not matter if the recording is poor quality, a ‘home-made’ recording is perfectly adequate, as long as the beat is discernible. The dancing lessons can then be conducted using the exact music you will have on your wedding day.
If you cannot get a recoding from the band then it really is much wiser and safer to use recorded music for your wedding dance on your wedding day to ensure there are no surprises.
If you prefer to disregard this advice, then you must at least inform your teacher that you will be dancing to live music at your wedding so that they can teach you what to do if there are any unforeseen problems with the band performing the song differently.
Where you can’t get a recording of the song from the band you are using, you should also ask yourself which is more important, using the live music or the quality of your dance. If the quality of the dance is more important then you should structure all components to ensure the best quality can be achieved and of course, using the exact music for your dance lessons is a key component. But if dancing to the live band is more important to you than the assured quality of your dance, then of course the above tips become less important to you.