First dance lessons are becoming a must with nearlywed couples. Just this year, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright chose to entertain their wedding guests with an incredible Dirty Dancing routine. The hot couple followed in the footsteps of Harry Judd and his wife Izzy who also surprised attendees at their 2013 wedding with a perfectly choreographed dance to Michael Bublé's Can't Help Falling in Love.
But how do you find a good teacher and what do you need to consider before stepping out on the dance floor? HELLO! Online has spoken to top choreographer Michael Litke, from www.ballroomcourses.co.uk, who has waltzed, jived and danced on TV shows This Morning and Dancing on Ice as well as the catwalks of London Fashion Week. The popular dance teacher, who also recently taught Spencer Matthews and girlfriend Lauren Hutton a Tango routine for Made in Chelsea, insists anyone can dance and reveals his top tips on how to overcome the nerves and perfect the all-important first dance.
Michael Litke teaches at Pineapple Studios
How do you choose the perfect wedding song?
"I would suggest to choose a song which means something to you, something that reminds you of moments together, maybe something you listened to a lot when you met. This way your dance will always be romantic."
What do you do if you really can’t dance?
"If you can walk then you can dance. You can always sway your body from one side to another and turn the bride a few times. First wedding dance doesn't need to be a routine taken from Strictly Come Dancing, it can be simply standing in a dance hold moving to the music."
How do you overcome the nerves?
"Practice, practice, practice… the more you do the less nervous you will be on the day."
What are your top tips to new dancers?
"Try to relax and go with the flow of the music. Steps are never perfect to start with, don't give up and you will get there."
What is the most popular song with couples?
"Very popular wedding songs are classics like: At Last by Etta James, Let's Stay Together by Al Green or Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra."
What should you bring to rehearsals?
"Try rehearsing your wedding dance in the shoes you plan to wear for your wedding – If you don't want to reveal them before your big day, pick something similar, so you know you can do the moves."
What's the best place in London to go to learn?
"The first dance is a very special moment so I would always suggest to take a private class to make sure your dance is well choreographed by a professional. If you would like to feel even more comfortable I would suggest to do a ballroom course prior to your wedding to spend more time dancing together. Both can be arranged on www.ballroomcourses.co.uk
When should you start learning?
It all depends how elaborate you imagine your wedding dance to be. If you are after a natural looking piece then a moth before the big day is enough but if you are after something more spectacular then evan a year in advance is an option.
How many lessons are needed?
"Again it all depend on the dance, it could be an hour long class to go through basic movements or ten lessons if you wish to wow your guests with a full on choreography."
What type of dance is the most popular?
"Very popular dances are Rumba, Waltz and Foxtrot with American Smooth elements. All of them very romantic and slow."
Have you seen an increase in couples doing very choreographed dances like Mark and Michelle Wright's Dirty Dancing routine?
"I think couples now prefer to create new and unique routines rather than copy routines from big movies."
Are people choosing funkier songs, instead of more traditional?
"In fact I do way more traditional songs right now than a few years ago."
What do you do if the groom is very reluctant?
"I try to find out why he is reluctant and make sure we work on the issue which worries him."
Is it a good idea for the bride to change into a second dress, so it doesn’t get in the way?
"I would not suggest to change the dress but I would suggest to make adjustments before the dance which will allow the bride to move easily. Many tailors add buttons under the skirt to pin up the trail or put it up around the wrist, there are many options."
What's the strangest tune that a couple decided to have their first dance to?
"I don't find any tunes strange, what surprises me is when couples choose a song which doesn't have a rhythm like an operatic piece."