“The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine. On the basketball court, I worry about nothing. When I’m out there, no one can bother me…” – Michael Jordan

So, you have spent months learning to dance together in preparation for your wedding. You have mastered all the steps and patterns that your instructor taught you and now it is time for you to impress your friends and family during your first dance. But what should you be doing right before this unforgettable moment to ensure a great performance? Here are a few things you can do to calm your nerves, prepare yourself physically and find peace just like a great athlete does before a game:

Warm Up: If you can find a quiet place, dance together for a couple of minutes right before you perform. Whether rehearsing the whole dance or simply doing a few steps together will help you feel in tune with each other. Make sure you do not criticize each other. The goal here is to make sure you feel confident and connected to each other.

Visualize: If you do not have the space or time, you can simply go over the dance in your head. Imagine the dance going perfectly and all of your friends and loved-ones cheering you on. Positive visualization is a powerful tool. Athletes often picture successful outcomes in their minds before a game to boost their confidence and promote great performances.

Stretch and Breathe: By the time you are ready to start your first dance, you have probably been standing all day in your heels or stiff dress shoes. It is a good idea to do a few simple stretches and breathing exercises so that your body and mind are prepared.

Smile and Have Fun: Hold each others hands and tell each other that your first dance is going to be great as long as you have fun and enjoy the moment. You must trust yourself, each other and all the efforts you have put into learning the first dance. This is a moment for you to celebrate your marriage! And keep in mind that all your friends and family are there not to judge you, but to cheer you on.

Advice from our graduated couples:

Dan and Amanda: “Dan and I just looked at each other, took a deep breath, and said “Are you ready?” We gave each other a pep talk and marked through the dance the night before, which helped!”

Dustin and Rania: “As we were waiting to be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. (which was immediately prior to the first dance), we held hands outside the ballroom and talked, just the two of us.”

What did you do right before your first dance? Feel free to make a comment. We’d like to hear about it!