A couple enjoying spending time together taking wedding dance lessons.

You’ve decided to take dance lessons in preparation for your wedding. Hurray! We love to hear that you’re spending time with your loved one, preparing for an important moment of your wedding day. Now, we know that the decision to take dance lessons might not be one that was met with joy and excitement. It might feel like just another thing that you need to check off your wedding to-do list. Well, we’re here to help you change that feeling! While it’s our job as dance instructors to inspire your interest in dancing, there a few changes you can also make to ensure you have a great time learning and spending time together. Really, it all comes down to the way you think about dance lessons.

In some of our previous blog posts, we’ve pointed to research done by Carol Dweck on the power of mindset. As dance teachers, we witness this power every single day. When students walk into the studio, the state of their mental energy can have a huge impact on the success of their lesson. At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we’ve seen the impact and benefits that a positive mindset can have. Here are 5 attitudes and mental affirmations to bring to your Wedding Dance Lessons to ensure success:

  1. “I can do this”
    As a society, we are socialized to have many negative perceptions of dancing, and those perceptions can influence how we see ourselves as able to learn to dance. But have no fear! Nothing is better for the learning process than the belief that you are able to accomplish your goals. Even if Try #1 doesn’t work and feels like a failure, a belief that you are capable of improving will carry you through hardships.

  2. “My partner wants me/us to succeed”
    Sometimes in dance lessons, you might need to receive feedback directly from your partner. Believing that your partner has both of your best interests in mind is the surest way of feeling supported by your partner. If you’re able to take any words of criticism or advice as a tool to make you better and as a chance to give your partner more support, you will not only make yourself feel better, but make your partner more comfortable as well. It’s a win win!

  3. “This is going to be an experiment”
    Expectations can be detrimental to any learning process. If you show up to your first violin lesson expecting to play like Joshua Bell by the end of the hour, you’re going to be discouraged and sorely disappointed. If instead you approach learning as an experiment, with an idea of the desired outcome while expecting a few trials and failures, you’re more likely to be excited by the process of learning to dance.

  4. “I’m a collaborator in this process”
    You are a valuable and integral part of the dance learning process. Really! Without you, we’d be out of a job. If you see yourself as an important voice in your dance, rather than a player in a game of ‘Simon Says’, your dancing will reflect you and your ideas. While we’re here to guide you through learning to dance, your feedback and ideas are what shape the process.

  5. “I am going to relax and have a good time regardless of what happens”When learning to dance for your wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in the long-term goal of performing your first dance and forget to have fun in the moment. But, if you try to see each lesson as an opportunity to relax, have a drink, and have fun, you’ll not only have a much better time in lessons, you’ll have a much better time performing on your wedding day. That means you get to relax now and on your big day.

At most studios, learning to dance is usually relegated to the physical training of the body, but at Ballroom Dance Chicago, we know that it’s as much mental training as it is physical. If you practice having a good time dancing, you’re guaranteed to have a good time dancing. Have other ideas about attitudes for success? Share your thoughts in the comments!