The First Dance

Back to homepage

A Choreographed Masterpiece
The First Dance
By: C.Carrollfirstdanceimage1

When it comes to weddings, there is one thing we know for certain. There will be dancing, among other things of course, but there will be dancing. Some people are lucky enough to get their groove naturally, but some of us aren’t that lucky. And since the wedding planning itself is usually a months, if not years long process, there is hope for those less fortunate.

This issue, I’m going to tell you a little bit about preparing yourself for those wedding dances and in the process, help you bond with your spouse or family at the same time. One benefit of your time spent in this endeavor is that it will really improve the quality of your wedding videos when you watch them in the near and distant future.

To start with, you want to find someone to help you with this task. It should be someone you are comfortable with. There are several good places in the greater Lehigh Valley to choose from. I spoke with Matt Zagacki, owner at The Lehigh Valley Dance Academy in Emmaus and Julie Rusche from Miss Julie’s Dance and Fitness Studio in Roseto, about what goes in to successful making a successful first dance.

First off, there is a wide range of options when talking about dances and lessons. Here are the basic categories. We have the obvious bride and groom first dance, and the mother/son, father/daughter dances. We also have all variations of the wedding parties with just guys, just girls, both together, line dances, fun dances, couples first and then add the bridal parties, and any other variation you can think up.

LV Dance Academy starts with two basic packages. You can have 5 lessons over 5 weeks with the goal of perfecting a single song and dance. Week one will focus on dance technique, weeks two and three will deal with dancing to your music, and weeks four and five will focus on adding special moves and fine tuning your dance. All this will cost $399, a nominal fee when you think about having all eyes on you while you are embraced for the first time on the dance floor. You can also opt for additional dances with three more lessons, for $599. Dance classes are held on Wednesday or Friday nights. “This is a lot of fun”, says Zagacki. He recommends you begin at least 6 months in advance and you can videotape your lessons to see your progress. Gift certificates are available.

firstdanceimage2At the LV Dance Academy, Ellis Roderick will be your instructor. He has been teaching dance for 30 years and has choreographed dances for the America’s Junior Miss, Miss America, and NES pageants as well as choreographed music videos for Country Music Television. He will help the couple pick their song and suggest a particular type of dance which is often influenced by the style of the brides’ dress. Zagacki says that Harry Conick and Michael Buble are currently popular music choices.

At Miss Julie’s, Julie herself does the choreography and draws from over 20 years of experience. She offers custom bridal packages that feature variable appointment dates and flexible scheduling.  “The music and dances should reflect the couple” says Rusche. “The lessons also help the couple connect before their wedding.” Her prices start at $45 per lesson for the bride and groom and increase depending upon the number of people involved.

Julie will not only do traditional dances, but Zumba, hip hop, and old school 80’s dances as well. In addition, Miss Julie’s offers a way for the participants to tone up for their big day with yoga and stretching classes. And if that interests you, there is also bridal party boot camp to include everyone.

You can call Miss Julie’s Dance and Fitness Studio at 610.599.3056 or see them online at Lehigh Valley Dance Academy can be reached by calling 610.533.9077 or online at