If you’re like a lot of soon-to-be-marrieds, the first dance with your spouse is a pretty big deal.

Back in the day, most newlyweds hit the floor with a simple and classic style of partnered dancing. But today, specialized, choreographed dances are all the rage.

Why? Because your first time on the floor with your new spouse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s also the perfect chance to make a statement that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

However, there’s a potential downside to choreographed wedding dances. Unless you truly make them your own, they can come off feeling impersonal and more than a bit dull.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to give your wedding-day dance a unique, authentic feel. Let’s look at some of the most helpful options.

1. Commit to the Idea

Commit to the First Dance Idea

The first step in creating your authentic first dance is committing to the concept. Ideally, that means a solid buy-in from you and your spouse-to-be. After all, you don’t want to start your marriage off with a hostage situation.

Have a partner who’s not keen on performing such a public dance? In a pinch, you can hit the floor up with a willing father- or mother-in-law instead.

2. Take Lessons

Take Lessons For First Dance

A brief course of dance instruction is a common part of wedding prep for today’s engaged couples. This makes sense since a qualified teacher can make it easier to learn even the simplest dancing styles.

If you want to create a unique, choreographed first dance, you may need to step up your game even more. That’s because your chosen routine may call for a much higher level of skill.

Some experts recommend beginning your training as much as three months prior to the big day. Weekly lessons and regular practice over this span of time will gradually turn you into mean dancing machines.

3. Create a One-of-a-Kind Routine

Create a One-of-a-Kind Routine For First Dance Lessons

One surefire way to personalize your choreographed moves is to put together a routine no one’s ever seen before.

With input from your instructor, you can create a series of steps that suit you to a tee.

And don’t think that you have to start from scratch. Many couples create great routines by mixing and matching steps from popular videos or movies.

4. Add an Element of Surprise

The element of surprise can add a killer touch to your personalized dance routine. How do you surprise your guests?

A tried-and-true technique is to begin with a slow, sedate dance style. This is something that’s been used at weddings for decades or longer. Then, at your chosen time, just switch over to a faster, contrasting style that no one saw coming.

If you like, you can even incorporate multiple changes throughout your customized routine.

5. Use Props

Use Props For First Dance

Want to throw an extra dash of oomph into your choreographed first dance? Consider using some kind of prop during your chosen routine.

Common wedding-day props include such things as hats, canes, and masks. You may also pick a more personal option that holds special meaning for you and your partner. Either way, it’s all about adding just that much more fun and swag to your dance moves.

6. Choose the Right Song

Choose the Right Song For Your First Dance

Choice of song can help make or break your wedding-day first dance. There are a couple of major guidelines in this area.

First, make sure to pick a song that both you and your partner genuinely like. That way, neither one of you will feel like you’re going against the grain.

Also try to find a song with a strong rhythmic pulse. This will make it easier to latch on to the beat and stay in synch.

And don’t worry about having a limited selection of acceptable tunes. Common rhythmic options include everything from show tunes and hip-hop to rock and disco.

7. Practice in Appropriate Clothing

To nail your dance routine when it counts, make sure to practice in clothing that fits the occasion.

If possible, that means wearing the same shoes you plan to wear at your wedding. It also means wearing suits or dresses that approximate your wedding-day togs.

By practicing in the right clothes, you’ll feel all the more relaxed when prime time arrives.

Looking to create an authentic, memorable choreographed dance for your wedding? It’s time to find a teacher at Arthur Murray and practice, practice, practice.

With your lessons underway, you can begin to figure out just how you want to put your routine together. The combination of preparation and a personal touch will surely wow your friends and family.