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Best foot forward: Perfect your wedding dance

Couples in the UAE sign up to learn the waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha and Viennese waltz ahead of the big day

  • Let’s do the waltz: Souraya puts Nazanin and Jean through their pacesImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS
  • It takes two: Nazanin and Jean learn the waltz at Arthur Murray Dance School in DubaiZarina Fernandes/ XPRESImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS
  • Dance of a lifetime:Souraya and her husband Fouad at their weddingImage Credit: Supplied
  • Souraya and her husband Fouad at their weddingImage Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Remember the movie Shall We Dance? in which Richard Gere signs up for ballroom dancing in the hope of seeing Jennifer Lopez often?

Well, here it is a bit more serious.

Couples in Dubai are enrolling for wedding dance lessons to ensure their big day does not go awry.

As the wedding date draws nearer, the couples are all excited, but in the midst of all this excitement there is one thing they want to get right – the dance.

Natalia and Marco – both 30 - are one couple who want to leave no stone unturned for their big day in December. “Dance is important to both of us. Our families are all good dancers. It was only natural that we would have a good dance routine for our wedding. Plus there is a lot of significance attached to the main wedding dance. It is the first time that a husband and wife do something together as a couple and it has to look good,” said Natalia.

Natalia and Marco are doing a salsa for their main wedding dance – rather unusual – as most couples usually opt for a slower routine. They will be dancing for almost four minutes to Momentos by Noel Schajris featuring Victor Manuelle.

“We love the lyrics of this song which talks about life and its unique moments and how important the person you share your life with is.”

Marketing Executive Jean, 29, and Nazanin, 32, have been practising the waltz for their July wedding in France. Their more than three-minute dance number Belongings will be played in front of 60 to 70 guests and because they are new to dancing they want to get their steps right.

“The wedding dance is a symbol that we (as a couple) are moving in the same direction,” said Jean.

Souraya, a wedding dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance School in Dubai, said more and more couples like Natalia-Marco and Jean-Nazanin want to perfect their wedding dance.

The school has two ballroom dance centres in Dubai: one in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, the other in Souk Al Bahar.

“We see at least four to five new couples enrolling to take up wedding dance lessons in a month. In fact, February to June are the busier months when we get the maximum number of enrolments.”

She said while some couples come a week before their wedding, others come months ahead to perfect their dance routine.

“I was very happy to know that Natalia and Marco wanted to do salsa as their main dance as it is not a common dance style for a wedding. But since they both had a strong background in this dance form they decided to do the salsa for their big day. Jean and Nazanin are doing a classic dance piece in waltz as they are getting married in France. They have really progressed in their lessons although they had little background in dancing. Now they are dancing with a lot of grace and style.”

Souraya said slow dance styles are more popular with most couples as these are better-suited when dancing in a wedding gown, heels and a veil. “Waltz, foxtrot and rumba are the more popular dance styles.”

She herself did six dances for her wedding – waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha and Viennese waltz.

‘I have been dancing since I was four years old. My husband too is a dancer and we went all the way to make it a fun-filled event.”


D-Day Tips

  • Tips for newlyweds at their dance
  • Dance with a smile on your face
  • Don’t let your face show your errors
  • Most guests don’t know how to dance – so even if you miss a step don’t show it on your face
  • Choose a slow number so there is little chance of you tripping on your heels and gown.
  • It’s your wedding – so give the dance a best shot.