The Wedding Dance Specialists The Wedding Dance Specialists
<February 2006 Wedding Dance 411>

" We turned our dance lessons into a dinner and dancing date! It became a welcomed weekly escape from our hectic wedding planning." Cindy Rich, Newlywed and Assistant Editor of Washingtonian Magazine "

February 2006 Newsletter

Dance Tip: The Grand Entrance
After you are formally announced, we recommend the Groom formally escort the Bride toward the dance floor. While you approach the floor, you can opt for no music and have the sound of applause fill the room, exciting music or the introduction music of your first dance song.  Once you reach the center of the dance floor there are a variety of special movements you can take to achieve the final position of facing each other in a formal frame. A formal entrance creates an elegant presence and leads to a sense of anticipation on the part of the guests. Also, a choreographed entrance absorbs the first 30 seconds of the song to calm your nerves from the adrenaline, and listen for the beat. Since more difficult to hear the beat during the intro music, a formal choreographed entrance eliminates the need for actual dancing during the intro music section which is generally rhythmically a little more challenging than the rest of the song once the baseline kicks in

We do not recommend starting the dance on the floor. This tends to add to the awkwardness of the moment and risks being present while the wrong music is cued up. Plus the inevitable delay of the music starting can feel uncomfortable and nervous with your guests watching you do nothing. Additionally, when the music finally starts couples tend to begin dancing with a jerky start.

Wedding Planning Tip: Why hire a wedding planner?

Written by Shannon Baker, Owner and Coordinator of Astounding Events & Expressions

Every bride wants her wedding day to come together with as little stress as possible.  So many ask, “Should I hire a professional wedding coordinator?”  If you have a tight budget, you definitely want to consider hiring a coordinator.  One of the most needed services they can provide for you is negotiating with vendors to stay within your budget.  The goal of a coordinator is to give you the best wedding for the lowest possible cost.  And most importantly, a coordinator will ensure your wedding day flows smoothly and will resolve problems for you to keep the stress levels down on your wedding day. 

How much will a coordinator cost you?  A coordinator’s services are charged in one of three ways, a percentage (10% - 15%) of the total wedding, by the hour or a flat rate that can range from $500 - $2,800 depending on their experience and location.  Is it worth the expense?  Yes, it is.  Some of the things a coordinator will do for you is coordinate with all of your vendors 1-2 weeks before the wedding, provide all of them a detailed itinerary for the wedding day, provide the bridal party with detailed itineraries for the wedding day, and coordinate the details of the ceremony rehearsal (seating of family and guests, responsibility of the ushers, order of the bridal party).  On the wedding day the coordinator arrives 1-2 hours before the ceremony to assist with last minute details and emergencies and to ensure all of the vendors fulfill their contracts.  At the reception the coordinator will ensure things flow smoothly and in a timely manner (serving the food, toasts, cake cutting).  Most importantly, a coordinator will make sure EVERYONE enjoys every moment.

Many brides consider using a friend or family member to coordinate their wedding day because they volunteer to do it for free.  While this may be the case, they don’t have the knowledge or the experience needed to handle situations that may arise (the wrong color flowers, the cake doesn’t show).  Neither do they have the same taste or style as you or share your wedding day vision.  And besides, you’ve put a lot of time into planning your wedding; do you want to end up working at your own wedding?  You should be able to enjoy the entire day and so should your friends and family members.

If your site has its own coordinator, keep in mind they have the interests of the establishment in mind above everything else.  They will make sure the responsibilities they have been paid for are taken care of (i.e. the menu, cocktail hour, starting and ending on time).  But a site coordinator will not negotiate with any vendors, verify the time they will arrive to set up, give you reminders as your wedding day gets close, except for their payment of course, or assist you with any last minute details that may arise.  If your DJ doesn’t show, they won’t find you another one.  If something is wrong with the cake, they won’t try to fix it.  And at the end of the day the site coordinator won’t make sure all of your gifts are taken to a designated location so you can claim them after your honeymoon.  The site coordinator does just what their title says, coordinate the site.

So to be able to sit back, relax and look back on all of the unforgettable memories your wedding day will be filled with hire a professional coordinator so that you only have to worry about being the bride and groom.

Wedding Movie Review: Corpse Bride Directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton

Tim Burton Corpse BrideTim Burton’s Corpse Bride, based on an Old Russian folktale, begins with Victor Van Dort  (Johnny Depp) and Victoria Everglott (Emily Watson) meeting on the eve of their arranged marriage.  Her parents (Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney) are high class and snobs, but broke. His parents (Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse) are social climbers who just struck it rich. So this engagement is intended to keep Victoria's family in the money. When Victor and Victoria meet, it's love at first sight. Unfortunately, during the wedding rehearsal, Victor can't remember his lines, and leaves in shame to practice his vows. As Victor wanders through the night he finally says his wedding vows perfectly and places the ring on an outstretched gnarled branch.  Unfortunately for Victor, the branch turns out to be the skeletal finger of Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), the Corpse Bride.  Emily rises from the ground, takes claim of her groom and brings him to the Land of the Dead; Victor doesn’t want to break Emily’s heart but can’t figure out how this marriage is going to work when he is in love with someone else. 

The characters are vivid and the humor is dark, it’s a great movie to rent on a night when you don’t want to pour a lot of thought into movie watching, but just want a little lighthearted fun and a very sweet love story.  If you like Tim Burton’s other movies you will thoroughly enjoy watching Corpse Bride, and even if you’re not a fan, try it; you will definitely be pleasantly surprised. 

Vendor Special Offers
We pre-screen and negotiate with wedding vendors on your behalf to make your wedding planning easier!

Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance - 703-626-0715
Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner below to leisurely view Northern Virginia Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Attorney plus a newlywed, Co-Founder of The Wedding Dance Specialists and Assistant Instructor for Wedding Dance Practice Sessions.Click on the banner to go to Present this coupon to recieve:
1. A FREE Homebuyer's Seminar with expert advice from a real estate professional and a mortgage lender.
(value priceless) Scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 10:30am -noon, Holiday Inn Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA (2 blocks from Ballston Metro stop)
1. a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350)
2. 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (value $170)


Astounding Events & Expressions: 301-290-5299

Present this coupon to recieve: a preferred customer discount of 10% OFF of any wedding planning service like full-service planning, day-of coordination, decorations or flowers. Ask for Shannon Baker.


The Wedding Dance Specialists - Valentine's Day SALE!
SAVE 14% during our Valentine's Day Sale on private wedding dance lessons
when you register by February 14, 2006. You can schedule your lessons anytime within one year from date of purchase. Sale expires February 14, 2006.

Dance Bloopers!
These are NOT our students!
We promise you will never look like this! We GUARANTEE that you will look and feel more elegant after ONE lesson with us than if you just try to "wing it". There are no "accidents" in dancing. Every mistake can be corrected or prevented using a specific technique. Dancing is a science made to look like an art!

It is the Groom's responsiblity to dip the bride. She should not dip herself. Also when dipping, it is not recommended to show off your Adam's apple!

Wedding Etiquette: Out-of-Town Guests

Although it is not necessary to plan entertainment for out of town guests, it is always a nice touch to offer activities, gatherings or other forms of hospitality to those who have traveled to celebrate with you on your special day.

An ideal way for friends and family to help with your wedding is to entertain out-of-town guests.  You should provide the hosts with a list of names and addresses so they can send out invitations to guests and plan accordingly.  If out-of-town guests are staying in private homes, their hosts should also be invited to attend gatherings.  Don’t forget to send a thank you note and small gift to the party hosts in appreciation of planning an event for your out-of-towners. Here are a few ideas for activities in honor of your out-of-town guests:

Rehearsal Dinner:  If circumstances enable allow many wedding couples invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner.  However if this is not an option than a friend or relative may host a cocktail party, barbeque or other gathering while the wedding party attends the rehearsal dinner.

On the day of an evening wedding:  Friends may choose to host a luncheon or brunch during the day of a late afternoon or evening wedding.

At a post wedding brunch:  After an evening wedding most out-of-town guests stay the night.  If possible plan a breakfast or brunch for these guests, it makes a nice send-off.

Dance and Romance Date Night Ideas

Event:  Washington, DC's Best – Live Jazz
Fabulous Food & Drinks and the exciting IMAX® 2D
Dates:  Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m.
  $10 music cover charge / no minimums
Location:  Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History,Constitution Avenue & 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20560
Contact: 202-633-1000 ticket information

Event:  CARNIVAL Kick Off Cultural Celebration
Dates:  Friday, Feb 17, 2006 - 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location:  Brazilian-American Cultural Institute, 4719 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Closest Metro is Tenley Town on the Red Line
Details:  As we in America celebrate Mardi Gras, many around the world get incredibly festive for Carnival! … It is no more festive and jubilant than on the sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Tonight, with Carnival fast approaching, drink a Caipirinha, step onto Brazilian soil, and get ready to dance at 2006’s first official Carnival celebration!

1) BRAZILIAN CARNAVAL BUFFET: Enjoy tasty Brazilian food including pasteis/empadas, Feijoada, and other native specialties prepared by a Brazilian master chef who has prepared Brazilian banquets and dinners for many diplomatic functions within the embassy.

2) BRAZILIAN OPEN BAR: Sample a variety of Brazilian and South American wine, beer (Cirtra), and their famous Caipirinha (Cigana).

3) BRAZILIAN CULTURAL MUSIC AND DANCE PRESENTATION: If you cannot make Samba festival this year, we will bring it to you! Marvel at exciting costume dance performances of several regional Brazilian dances. From the beautiful beaches of Rio and São Paulo to the ecological Northern regions of the Amazon, to the natural beauty of Rio Grande do Norte, enjoy a multicultural Brazilian dance exhibition - with a special Carnaval twist.

4) LIVE BRAZILIAN MUSIC: Throughout the evening, enjoy classic and modern Brazilian music performed live by a Brazilian singer and guitarist.

5) ART GALLERY - SNEAK PREVIEW: Be the first to get a sneak preview of a new display of Brazilian art before it hits the galleries of DC. More details to follow.

6) BRAZILIAN FILM: Preview a short Brazilian film highlighting the beautiful cities, mountains, beaches and people of Brazil.

7) BRAZILIAN GREETING: Hear from the Executive-Director of the Brazilian-American Cultural Institute and mingle among invited diplomats.

Suggested Attire: Semi Formal. No jeans, sneakers or baseball caps permitted. Festive Attire Encouraged.

Date Night At Home:
Dance TV Series: Dancing With The Stars
Airs: Every Thursday at 8pm starting Jan. 5 on ABC
Details: Demonstrations of Waltz, Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha.
Starring: Tia Carrere – Television and movie star  partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.Giselle Fernandez – Emmy Award-winning journalist partnered with Jonathan Roberts, from last season.George Hamilton – Actor and international bon vivant, partnered with Edyta Sliwinska, second appearance.Stacy Keibler – World Wrestling entertainment diva partnered with Tony Dovolani, Drew Lachey – Recording artist and former 98 Degrees partnered with Cheryl Burke.Kenny Mayne – One of ESPN's most-recognized personalities, partnered with Andrea Hale.

Watch the Promo Video Event: America's Ballroom Challenge, Part Two, The Finals
Wednesday, February 8, at 8pm ET on PBS
Details: The creators of the long-running PBS hit series Championship Ballroom Dancing are back with an exhilarating new prime time special that takes viewers onto the dance floor and behind the scenes as ballroom dancing's elite go toe-to-toe to compete for the title of "America's Best." Hosted by Marilu Henner (Taxi, Evening Shade) and Tony Meredith(Former U.S. Professional Latin American Dance Champion), America's Ballroom Challenge shines a spotlight on 24 world-class couples as they attempt to cha-cha, samba, waltz, and tango their way to the top.

"America's Ballroom Challenge" is the first program to feature all four major styles of competitive ballroom dancing: American Rhythm, American Smooth, International Latin and International Standard. Twenty-four couples — six in each of the four dance categories — competed first in group dances, with an international panel of judges ranking their performances.

After the group dances, the top three couples in each category advanced to "The Finals," where each couple performed a solo showdance, vying to be named champion of their dance style. Finally, the winning couples in each of the four categories competed across dance styles in a "Best of Show" grand finale to determine the overall winner — "America's Best."

See video promo!