The First Dance (the-first-dance)

The First Dance. Fun, affordable private dance tuition and choreography tailored to your ability and requirements by a patient, experienced wedding dance specialist.


Got a question about lessons, what to wear, or song choices? Hopefully you will find all the answers here, if not, please contact me if you have any further questions.

When should we start our dance lessons?
This depends on the amount of lessons you require. For a few basic moves requiring 2-3 lessons allow 4-5 weeks, and for more of a routine/moves with more impact requiring approx 5 lessons allow 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding. It’s a good idea to book the first and second lesson close together and the last as near to your wedding date as possible. Don’t forget to take into account times where you won’t be available due to hen and stag nights/weekends etc.

Last minute lessons can sometimes be accommodated although early booking is recommended, particularly for April, May, June, July and August as this is when my diary is busiest.

What should I wear?
For ladies:
If you’re wearing heels for your wedding learn to dance in them too by wearing a shoe similar in heel and style, and try to make sure the shoes stay well on your feet. Round toed shoes, as opposed to pointed, are also more suitable for dance.

Wear whatever you’re comfortable in and can move freely in, but it is also a good idea during one or two lessons to wear a full skirt so you start getting used to the feel of a wedding dress. If you think you will have any issues with your wedding dress please let me know as we may need to accommodate some moves around a design that could restrict your movements.

For men:
Jeans and t-shirt are fine for the lessons, whatever you’re comfortable and can move freely in. However, please wear shoes rather than trainers. The soles of trainers offer too much resistance on the floor and can twist your knees and tear at tendons.

Should we have lessons longer than one hour?
It’s a good idea to have a longer first lesson (1 ½ or 2 hours) to cover more groundwork. It is tiring though, but worth it to get a head-start on your dance. Also if you’re travelling some distance to the studio you may prefer longer and less frequent sessions.

You might also want a longer final lesson as you near your big day so that we can make sure you’re entirely happy and confident with your dance.

Can you accommodate gay couples?
Absolutely! For smooth and successful partnered dancing ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ roles need to be assigned for the Ballroom and Latin dances. However, if you prefer a less traditional approach, with a mixed lead and follow, this can be achieved with Modern Jive moves. Modern Jive is a stylish fusion of dance forms where a repertoire of connecting moves is taught, and can be danced to almost any music.

What if one of us has a bad back, neck or knees?
Dance can be physically demanding but as your wedding dance will be largely Ballroom or Latin based the movements will be slow, gentle and smooth. If you have any injuries or conditions that need consideration please let me know at the start of your lessons.

Do we need to choose a song and what sort of music should we go for?
You’ll need to choose your song a week or so before you start your lessons so that I can be fully prepared for you. You can choose whatever tempo you like, although slower tracks will be easier for you to dance to. The tempo will dictate the base style of your dance; for instance 3/4 time would be a Waltz and 4/4 time a Foxtrot or a Rumba. And do have a good listen to the lyrics in the song as some aren’t as romantic as they might seem!

If you're having difficulty choosing a song for your first dance I am happy to give a 'dance opinion' or here are some popular recent choices - Songs.

We’ve never danced a step before, how hard will it be to learn?
Dance can be a workout for the mind as well as the body, however, I always endeavour to keep your dance as easy to learn and remember as possible. 99% of my clientele are complete beginners and you will find me to be a very patient instructor.

My man is worried about what his mates will think!
Without exception, the feedback I’ve had from the guys is that they were really pleased they did the lessons rather than just keep going round and round in a circle getting dizzy and wearing a hole in the floor. His mates will only be jealous that they can’t whisk their lady round the dance floor – women love a man that can dance!

Why private tuition? We could just go to some open classes or buy a DVD and learn at home ...
Yes, you could go to open classes, but to get anywhere near a standard good enough to show off to your guests would take months and months, if not years. Many group classes teach a different dance style every week, and some cover both a Ballroom and a Latin dance within the same lesson, which can be very confusing for the beginner with a wedding timetable. DVDs for home-learning can be a useful aid to learning but lack the detail and explanation an instructor can give for the beginner to fully comprehend the moves and to dance them well.

The beauty of personal tuition is that the tutoring is completely focused on you and your dance, you’re not competing with anyone else for my attention and I can spot immediately if something isn’t right with a move and iron out any problems straight away.

How come your prices are so competitive compared to other wedding dance companies?
Because I don’t believe in out-pricing myself! Plus, with all your other wedding expenses I want to remain affordable to you.

Why do you use a dance studio? Other companies offer a ‘in the comfort of your own home’ service.
From experience there is never enough room to dance around the coffee table ... unless of course you’ve got a ballroom attached to the back of your home. The studio at the Parochial Rooms is the ideal size (similar to many dance floors) for unrestricted dance practice.

Where is the studio?
42 The Broadway, Cheam, Surrey, SM3 8BD. It’s a brick building next to The American Way restaurant. There’s plenty of parking behind Cheam Library in Park Road which is a two minute walk. You can access the studio via the side-gate to the right of the main entrance. Please view the map (courtesy of