How long should it take to learn to dance for my wedding?


How long should it take to learn to dance for my wedding?

Each person is unique, with different skills and different goals. So there is no one size to fit all in learning to dance for weddings. But here are some tips that will allow you to find what will fit you.

What is your experience?

Some people have extensive experience in music and movement, so they will assimilate new movements with ease. Others  do not have such experiences and so are reluctant to dance or may have had bad experiences dancing in the past. Any of these situations can happen simultaneously to any couple, resulting in very different starting places for partners in dance.

What are your goals?

Have you discussed what is important to each one of you? Clients have told me they want to look just like someone they saw in a movie or on YouTube.  If this is your goal, be warned. What is easy to look at is not always easy to reproduce. Coming in early before your dance, wedding, or show and practicing whatever “routine” or “goal” you desire will be a more positive and less stressful experience than dropping in the day before.

How much time do you plan to spend learning?

Dancing isn’t something you can do in a crash course.  It’s not a long list to memorize either.  It is a new physical skill.  If you want your dance to look good, you need to dance good. That is why we recommend starting as far in advance of your wedding or dance event as possible. Otherwise it is harder to retrieve and induces more stress than necessary.

Who is responsible for what?

Both partners are responsible for their own parts. Since the leader’s role is more difficult,  he may want to take a few extra lessons without the bride to perfect his lead.  This is usually a good idea and can be done for the bride as well. Taking the time with an instructor one on one will usually improve you and in turn also help your partner.

Plan practice time.

You need to practice what you are taught in the lesson.  Too many couples take one lesson a week, return the following week, and already forgotten what they were taught.  When they do that they have to review past material, instead of progressing on to new things.  So, make sure you put some time aside to practice as much as possible. If you wait a few days, you will forget a lot of it.  Just 5 to 20 minutes of review daily, will make a big difference.  You also don’t need to practice as a couple, you can and should practice solo. So, if you have trouble finding time to practice together, it’s not an excuse not to practice. Keep in mind that the leader or man’s part is more difficult, and he usually needs more practice than the woman.

This is a partnership.

It’s only going to work if both of you are into it.  A reluctant groom who just shows up and gives 50% makes things difficult for the Bride. On the other hand, if one of you has some dance experience, but the other doesn’t, be patient.  Everyone learns at their own pace.  I recently had a bride who was dancing since she was a little girl.  The whole nine yards: tap, ballet, jazz, and did cheerleading. Her groom had no experience.  She wanted to do a show stopping routine, with lifts and everything.  Her groom had trouble  and as a result they had to lower their ambitions. Again,  it’s a partnership.  Like marriage, it only works if both are committed and willing to work with your partner’s strengths and weaknesses.


Remember to start 3-6 months in advance of your wedding!

Holly Collins
WEDDING DANCE instruction
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of the Knot best wedding dance,
Winner of top 50 Dance Blogs

Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance