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Duet Dance Studio

2412 W North Ave., #201, Chicago, IL 60647

312.823.8199 | info@duetdancestudio.com

Send us a message to schedule a lesson or ask any questions. We look forward to getting to know you and dancing with you soon! 

 

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2412 West North Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL, 60647
United States

312.823.8199

Duet Dance Studio Chicago offers ballroom dance lessons and wedding dance classes. We teach salsa, swing, tango and waltz dance lessons. Privately and in groups, for adults and kids.

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Get useful tips on ballroom dancing and wedding dance preparation and watch tutorial videos created by Szewai Lee, founder of Duet Dance Studio.

How Long Should the First Dance Be?

Szewai Lee

Ever wonder how long your first dance or father-daughter dance should be at your wedding? In this blog post, you will find out all of the useful information regarding the length and etiquette for your first dance, father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. Let our wedding dance experts at Duet Dance Studio answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding wedding dances!

How Long Should the First Dance be?

The wedding first dance should be between 2.5 to 3 minutes long. From our experience, this amount of time gives you ample time to make your first dance magical and romantic without feeling too overwhelmed (all eyes will be on you) or boring your guests. Try rocking side to side to a full song that is more than 4 minutes long. Awkward, right? Even if you have a fully choreographed dance, dancing a minute in front of hundreds of guests can feel like forever. For professional dancers, it is rare that they dance more than 2 minutes. Notice most "Dancing with the Stars" routines are about 1.5 to 2 minutes long. So, what if your first dance song is more than 3 minutes long? It's simple. You can either have your DJ fade out the song or have your band play a shorter version of the song. 

How Long Should the Father-Daughter Dance or Mother-Son Dance Be?

The father-daughter dance or mother-son dance should be around 2 minutes long. Again, the key is to keep it short and sweet. Especially since the focal point of the reception should be the newlyweds, it is recommended that the parent dances to be shorter than the first dance of the bride and groom. That way, you can enjoy the sweet moments dancing with your parents without overshadowing the first dance. For those of you who feel awkward dancing with your parents, you can combine the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance (dancing to one song). That way, you will feel less stressed about being the center of attention.

What is the Order of Wedding Dances?

Nowadays, we usually see the bride and groom performing their first dance first followed by the father-daughter dance and then mother-son dance. However, back in the day, the father would first dance with his daughter and then "give her away" to her groom for the first dance. There's really no "right" way to do this. It's all up to you! Now, you might wonder when the dances should take place? Before dinner or after? That's also up to you. For those of you who are nervous about dancing in front of your guests may find it nice to "get it over with" sooner (before dinner). On the other hand, doing your first dance after dinner, specifically at the beginning of your reception, will set the tone of your reception and really get the party started!  

To Button or Not to Button?

This question might seem minute but we often get asked by groom-to-be. "Should I have my jacket buttoned or unbuttoned during the first dance?" The answer is again - "It's up to you!" We suggest practicing your dance moves with your jacket on. That way, you know what feels comfortable (buttoned or unbuttoned.) Since there is no strict rule on this, simply go with whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident dancing.

What are Some Simple Dance Steps that You Can Do at a Wedding?

Below are a couple of simple dance step that you can do to a majority of wedding dance songs. These steps work great for both first dance and parent dances. You can also speed up the steps or slow down your footwork to match the tempo of your song. 

Any other questions regarding wedding dances? Please comment below. Want to learn more useful dance steps? Click the button below.

Have fun dancing at your wedding!


Duet Dance Studio is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. Our physical studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance partiesOnline Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!

Simple Wedding Dance Choreography | Step by Step Instructions

Szewai Lee

The wedding first dance is a special moment and all eyes will be on you! We understand that not everyone wants to have a "Dancing with the Stars" wedding dance routine. So, in this blog post, we will show you how to create a simple wedding dance choreography that is easy to perform and makes you look good and confident on your wedding day. Simply follow our step by step instructions below. We have also included a few demos of our simple wedding dance choreography to get you inspired! Feel free to check out our Online Wedding Dance Program for more personalized instruction.

Step 1 - Simple Intro

A simple yet elegant wedding dance intro will set the tone of your first dance. It will also help you look collected and confident before you begin dancing. It is also a great way to "fill time" if you have a longer first dance song. Use the intro shown in the video below or use it as an inspiration. 

*We suggest dancing no more than 3 minutes for your first dance. It's a good idea to keep your first dance short and sweet especially if you don't know a lot of dance moves. That way, you don't have to repeat the same move over and over ....

 

Step 2 - Basic Step

This basic wedding dance step is perfect for beginners. It is easy to learn and perform. Plus, it doesn't take up a lot of space so you can use it on dance floor in any size.  

 

Step 3 - Simple Right Turn

Once you feel comfortable with the basic, it's time to add some flare to your first dance! This simple right turn shown in the video below can be mastered easily. For the leaders, the key is to is keep doing the same basic while signaling the turn at the correct time. For the followers, make sure to turn on a straight line and take small steps. Spotting your partner (look at your partner while you turn) will also help you maintain a good posture and balance. Have fun!

 

Step 4 - The Dip

Now, what do you do when your first dance song is about to end? One of our favorite ways to finish the first dance is to do the dip. You probably have seen it many times on TV or at social dance events. You might even have tried to do it yourself. However, not many people know how to do it correctly. In this video, you will learn the correct posture and body positions required to execute the dip safely and gracefully. 

 

Ideas for Simple Wedding Dance Choreography 

Below are some ideas for a simple wedding dance choreography. You will see how we combine the basic steps we showed you in the videos above. Additionally, we have incorporated a few other fancier moves that you can find in our Online Wedding Dance Program. Enjoy and have fun dancing at your wedding!

Ready to take your dancing to the next level? Let's learn more fun first dance moves and tricks to spice up your wedding dance choreography. Click below to get started.

5 Basic Dance Steps for Wedding that Everyone Should Know

Szewai Lee

Knowing some simple basic dance steps is helpful to anyone, whether you are preparing for a wedding, prom or social event. The tutorial videos below show you some of the most versatile basic dance steps for wedding. Instead of rocking side to side with your partner, impress your special someone with these simple yet fun dance steps at your next event!

1. The Side Basic

This basic dance step is easy to master and works great with 80% of the songs they play at weddings and parties. You can dance it slowly to slower songs or speed it up for songs with faster tempo. Not only can you dance this step with a partner, you can also use it as a solo dance move! The key is to dance to the beat and move your feet rhythmically. Practice this a lot until you don't have to think about it.

 

2. The Right Turn

Once you have mastered the side basic, you can surprise your partner with a simple right turn. This turn is an extension from the side basic. Footwork is the same for the leader. The key is to signal your partner at the right time and lead with confidence. 

 

3. The Waltz Box Step

What do you do when a romantic waltz song comes on at a wedding? Learn this simple waltz box step and "sweep your partner off her feet!" Surprisingly, you might already know the wedding waltz basic. Remember the PE ballroom dance class you took way back when you were in grade school? Does the Box Step sound familiar to you? The waltz box step is one of the most versatile and most taught basic dance steps in partner dancing. Let's take a little refresher course on the box step here!

 

4. The Under Arm Turn

One of the most exciting things about partner dancing is that you get to turn your partner. And who doesn't like to turn? The Under Arm Turn we are showing you below is an extension from the Waltz Box. It's a graceful turn that will not only impress your partner but also the onlookers!

 

5. The Dip

Lastly, no dance is complete without a fancy dip! Many people are afraid of this move. In fact, it is a fairly safe move if you understand the correct posture and body positions for this pose. Watch this tutorial and learn to dip your partner safely and gracefully. 

What is your favorite dance step for weddings? Please comment below. And if you'd like to learn more dance moves for your wedding, click the button below.


The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance partiesOnline Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!

What are Popular Dances at Weddings?

Szewai Lee

Ever wonder what dances you should know at weddings? In this blog post, we are going to talk about a few popular dances at weddings, from popular first dance styles to fun wedding line dances. We've also included some useful tutorial videos to get your started. Enjoy! 

First Dance

When you think about wedding first dance, most people imagine a slow, graceful and classy dance, like the waltz. And that's why, many couples assume that they need to learn to waltz for their wedding first dance. But if you have some musical background, you would know that wedding waltz songs are actually quite difficult to come across. Waltz has a 3/4 time signature while most contemporary wedding songs have either a 2/4 or 4/4 time signature. Even though not all wedding songs are "waltzable," there are other styles that are equally elegant, romantic and appropriate for wedding first dances (see below). Plus, you don't have to do a traditional, slow, waltzy wedding dance. You can always spice up your first dance with swing, salsa and even hip hop!

Foxtrot 

Foxtrot is a great alternative to Waltz. It is elegant and classic yet you can do the Foxtrot to a lot of Big Band music. Popular foxtrot songs include "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole and "Everything" by Michael Bublé. Check out this simple yet classy Foxtrot first dance routine performed by Duet Dance's students.

Rumba

Rumba is another romantic dance style that is popular for weddings. You can pretty much dance the rumba to a majority of songs that they play at weddings. Some well known first dance songs include "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King, "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green and "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke. To get you started, take a look at the video tutorial for the Rumba basic below.

Waltz

If you are dreaming of a fairytale wedding, waltz would be a good dance style for you. It is one of the most graceful and dreamy ballroom dance styles. Learn how to do a simple wedding waltz routine with our step by step instruction here. Also, check out this "La La Land" inspired wedding waltz routine choreographed by us!

Swing

For those of you who want to do something a little non-traditional for your first dance, Swing would be a great style to get into. You can dance the swing to a variety of big band swing music, country and even pop songs. Here is an example of Swing first dance routine to "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young. 

 

Father Daughter Dance & Mother Son Dance

Similar to the wedding first dance, the father-daughter dance or mother-son dance can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. Dancing with the parents is a lovely moment at a wedding and also a fun activity to do before the big day. Below is a sample father-daughter dance choreography and a dance basic tutorial to get you dancing with your parents. Also, check out a blog post on How to DIY your Father-Daughter Dance.

 

Wedding Line Dances

Line dances are a fantastic way to get everyone on the dance floor at your wedding reception. And to incorporate line dances at your wedding reception, we suggest you let your DJ know how many line dances you’d like to do and which songs you want. DJs are pros when it comes to reading the energy of a crowd and will play a line dance at the best moment in your reception. Ask your DJ to announce the song as a line dance and invite everyone to the floor to give it a try. Also, we recommend telling your wedding party in advance which line dances will be at the reception and sending them a link to the videos below. This way, as soon as the song starts they can rush on to the floor and start dancing right away. They can also serve as models for other dancers to follow along. Have fun dancing at your wedding!

Any other popular wedding dances you can think of? Please share with us!

Need more help with your wedding dance? Sign up for our online wedding dance program now!

Cover photo featuring Duet Dance's students Melissa and Alex by Jill Tiongco Photography


Duet Dance Studio is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. Our physical studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance partiesOnline Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!