ANSWERING your FAQ:
I’m interested! What’s the process end-to-end?
So glad to hear that! This answer is a bit of a novel, but hopefully the detail eases your mind about what’s up ahead.
First we’ll all jump on a consultation video-call to make sure we’re a great fit to work together. We’ll discuss your preferences in music and dance styles, the structure of the event and performance, as well as details like timeline, audience layout, outfits, past experiences dancing, and more.
The next step is for me to cut the music. If you don’t have a song in mind, I’ll give you several options and help you make the decision. You’ll tell me your selected song (or multiple depending on your package), and I’ll then edit together a final music cut. Music is so important to the performance– I like to maximize dynamic range, danceability, emotionality, and smoothness of transitions between songs.
Once you approve the final music cut, we move on to private dance lessons. The first lesson is super casual for you, but important for me! It’s where I form a sense of what choreography will be the most “you”. I do this by giving you some short combinations I’ve created to your music, having you freestyle some slow-dancing and partner-dancing, and maybe even trying out some spins, dips, and other tricks to see what feels right! It’s a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks– and that’s an important part of making sure that everything you look good doing is incorporated into your first dance.
I’ll then construct the choreography outside of our lesson time. Usually I will have the bulk of the piece choreographed before our second lesson together. I like to put in these hours of creating, researching, and experimenting with choreography separately from the lessons so we can make the best use of your time.
The following private lessons are to learn the choreography, refine your movements, make tweaks if needed, and practice so you know the dance like the back of your hand. Trust me, it won’t take long to get memorized– the dance will be in your muscle memory before you know it! We’ll space out your lessons according to your wedding planning timeline and schedule a mix of one-hour and two-hour lessons to achieve the best experience for learning and perfecting the dance.
Can we customize a package?
Yes! Though our packages are thoughtfully curated with a plan in mind, we do offer limited options for customized packages. Please schedule a consultation to discuss details, and we’ll be in communication from there.
What genres of dance do you choreograph?
I have to admit my soft spot for the classic first dance– joyful, sweet, comfortable, with enchanting spins to capture all eyes. Usually this will incorporate footwork and dips from waltz, swing, salsa, or ballroom, depending on the rhythm and pace of the music.
I also love to choreograph a range of other styles to make your moment spectacular! This list includes disco, hip-hop, Bollywood, swing, waltz, bachata, salsa, merengue, tango, rumba, jazz, house, groovy fast numbers, mashups, and more.
Can I offer feedback on the choreo, have moves removed, or incorporate moves I love?
Yes, of course! I’ll happily work with you to do this. In terms of logistics, the earlier you tell me about moves you aren’t feeling at home in, the more time I can take to brainstorm equally beautiful options to take its place.
If you have favorite moves, tricks, turns, or dips you’ve seen in videos, let me know in the first session. I work on constructing most of the choreography outside of our private lessons so that we can make the best use of your time.
What is your teaching style?
You can expect organization and clarity (honed from tons of experiences transforming beginners into dancers you can’t take your eyes off of), and above all, kindness!
But no lazy teaching here. I strive for excellence and get the most satisfaction from conscientiously coaching you to look your best. Refinement and practice during our lessons will make you feel incredibly confident and graceful on the wedding day.
We have no clue what kind of first dance we want, can you still help us create something we’ll love?
I know how much decision-making goes into wedding planning and how overwhelming that can feel! My goal is to make this one part of your planning process that’s delightful and doesn’t stress you out with more decisions to make.
Check out the FAQ answer about end-to-end process for details, but the short answer is yes. I can play a more hands-on role in decisions about music, dance style, and choreography to take some stress off your plate and still make the end product feel completely “you”!
How many months before the wedding should we start working with you?
It’s best to book early so that you secure your space in our calendar. Plus, the earlier you begin, the sooner you can have the dance down and keep practicing. Especially if you’re a beginner or don’t love performing for a crowd, feeling completely memorized does wonders for calming your nerves.
We recommend starting at least 3 months before the wedding (especially because that last month gets really hectic), but there’s a lot of flexibility. It’s never too late to reach out and see if we can make your timeline work.
Where are you located?
Private dance lessons will mostly be in San Francisco, but I am open to South Bay and Peninsula depending on how busy the time of year is. We’ll discuss location details in our consultation call.
Why do we need a wedding choreographer? Can’t we wing it, come up with something ourselves, or ask a friend?
On winging it– Performing a slow dance in front of a crowd for minutes with no planned choreography can end up feeling like hours, both for you and the audience! You don’t want to feel self-conscious or panicked about what move to pull out next– instead you can take in the joy and romance of that once-in-a-lifetime moment if you know exactly what you’re doing when taking the stage. Not to mention impressing your audience! The first dance is one of the most captured and shared moments of any wedding.
On coming up with something yourselves– It’s a large stockpile of tasks to add to your already brimming plate– perfecting the music, creating choreography from scratch, and leading rehearsals and refinements for yourself and your partner is a lot to take on. With a wedding choreographer, there’s a trusted professional to seamlessly weave all the little decisions into an incredible-looking final product. Plus, the private dance lessons end up feeling like fun date nights!
On asking a friend– Having a dancer friend is great! But for this occasion, a seasoned choreographer with a background in a multitude of partner styles will pull together a routine with a more graceful flow and natural footwork. Since your friend is themselves a capable dancer, they may accidentally project personal preferences onto your moment– instead we like to form choreography specific to you i.e. based on what movements you look best doing, the vibe of the event, what feels most “you” as a couple, and details like your outfits and shoes. We also dedicate the time required to deliver a stunning final product, that’s our job!
The outfit I’m wearing offers me limited movement. Can we still choreograph a great first dance?
This is super common, from body-hugging wedding dresses to heavy lehengas to tight sherwani and suit jackets. No stress! We can still create something beautiful. We’ll need to account for this from the start so that we create choreography only with moves you can realistically do with ease in your outfits.
What types of tricks? Do we need to be skilled or strong?
This word is a catch-all for spins, turns, lifts, dips, formations, and more. There are all sorts of tricks that look hard but are actually staggeringly easy. We’ll go by your comfort level!