Congratulations to our wonderful students, Dustin and Rania, who have recently tied the knot! They began taking dance lessons in November of 2011 and have been dancing ever since! Working with Dustin and Rania has been a joy to us. Even with their busy work schedules and sometimes stressful wedding preparation, they managed to take lessons consistently and be supportive to each other throughout the whole process. Remembering the first time they walked into the studio, looking excited and a little nervous, they told us all they wanted was to be able to dance together naturally. They wanted the first dance to look sincere.  We kept that in mind and we were happy to see that the final product was a first dance that matches their fun personalities and was performed with sincerity.

Find out more about this lovely couple, their wedding, first dance and advice for other couples in the Q&A below.

How did you meet? We met our sophomore year of college, at the University of Texas at Austin. We were taking a seminar together and became friends at a welcome dinner the professor hosted at his house.

What is your favorite place in Chicago? We enjoy strolling through our neighborhood in Wicker Park, particularly in the summers, trying new restaurants and just taking it easy when we aren’t at work.

How was your marriage proposal like? It was New Year’s Eve.  I had worked the night before and needed to catch up on sleep during the day. When I woke up, Dustin had poured two glasses of our favorite champagne for us to sip on while he finished cooking an amazing dinner.  He tricked me into thinking it was only a fancy meal for New Year’s, but then during dinner, he surprised me by getting on one knee and proposing.  I immediately said yes!  At that point, fireworks were going off throughout the city and we shared the moment on our rooftop deck, just the two of us. It was a wonderful moment for both of us.

Where did you have your wedding? In Austin, Texas – where we met!

What are some of your favorite moments at your wedding? We were really lucky and everything turned out great, even our first dance!  It is hard to pick a favorite moment, but it was fantastic sharing the evening with such close friends and family members, many of which we had not seen in several years.

What was your first song? It was “Our Love is Here to Stay” by Frank Sinatra.

What styles of dance did you learn? What is your favorite style? We learned foxtrot, swing, and a little bit of waltz.  Our favorite is foxtrot – that is mostly what we did at our wedding, injected with a little bit of swing.

How did your first dance go? It was wonderful!  And we received lots of compliments! Thanks again, Szewai and Matthew!

What advice would you give other couples who are learning to dance together? Start early, have fun, and think of it as something you are learning to do together that you will be able to enjoy the rest of your lives!