Although very few people are actually born with two left feet, this seems to be our favorite excuse for not getting out on the dance floor. Whether we’re nervous, scared, or actually just a really bad dancer, we’ll do just about whatever it takes to stay in our seats or against a wall.
It can also be intimidating to watch professionals dance, whether it be in a competition or in a music video. Remind yourself that they have been training and dancing for years and years. You don’t have to be a professional to have fun on the dance floor.
There is no shame in taking dance lessons with your partner before you’re married. In fact, it’s a pretty great idea. You’ll become comfortable with dancing together and you’ll be able to rehearse your dance so you know exactly what to do. If you take private dance lessons, you’ll be able to dance to the song you chose for your first dance, which will make you even more comfortable on your wedding day.
For dancing in general, there are some things you can do to make you feel better about your dancing.
- Start simple: step out with your left foot and back in, then out with your right foot and back in. Keep your steps in time with the music.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and your arms loose and relaxed.
- Watch yourself in a mirror. That may sound terrifying, but you’ll be able to see which moves look good and which moves you should avoid. However, if you find yourself feeling too self-conscious or embarrassed, just forget the mirror.
- If you do feel self-conscious while dancing, remember:
- Don’t take people’s criticisms seriously. Many of them are only being critical because they are embarrassed of their own dancing.
- Focus on the movement and the music rather than the technicalities of what you are doing. This will allow you to stop worrying and develop “muscle memory.”
- You can watch videos to learn dances. Some songs (such as the Electric Slide or Cupid Shuffle) have specific dances that you can easily learn from the video. Other music videos will have moves that are generic to that type of music.
- Dress well! If you are confident about your appearance, you’ll be more confident about your moves.
- Take a friend. It’s always easier to do something you’re nervous about when you have a friend with you.
- If the crowd on the dance floor is sparse, stand somewhat close to someone who is drawing a lot of attention. Everyone else’s focus will be on that person.
- Look like you’re having fun. Smile, laugh, make eye contact with others, and act like you know what you are doing. Even if you’re nervous, no one will be able to tell and your confidence will make others more likely to copy your moves.
- If you don’t think you can act confident enough to do your own thing, just watch what the people around you are doing. Don’t copy one person the entire night, but pick up a few moves from others and use those.
Come back next week for traditional wedding dances you can try your new-found confidence on!
Elizabeth is an undergraduate at Ohio Northern University with a double major in professional writing and creative writing and a minor in psychology. Liz writes for My Wedding Reception Ideas as well as creates multi-modal writing projects for Re:Media, an Ohio Northern University online publication.