We’ve been recommending wedding dance lessons by the talented Corrie Wade of Corrie Wade Studios to all the couples getting married here at Friday Creek Retreat, since the day we met him. We have seen this Coffs Harbour dance teacher guide couples, with little to no dance experience, in learning their own personalised first dance that wow’s their crowd. After falling in love with dance in his twenties and years of performing all over the world, we are so lucky to have him back in the Coffs region.
We caught up with Corrie behind the scenes to find out more about how he helps couples create magic on the dance floor.
I take two people off the street and turn them into performers in a couple of hours. I am a teacher, coach and creative choreographer with experience in more than 40 styles of dance and two decades teaching.
My first answer is to deliver a beautiful and personalised choreography to their favourite song. The deeper answer however is to offer a new and wonderful experience that they will remember for years to come. Whilst the goal is to have a performance set for the day, most of my dance couples are surprised at how easy the process is, and how much fun they have along the way. You might say learning to dance together is a little like learning to live together: there is an ebb and flow, lead and follow, with a little bit of surrender, vulnerability and magic thrown in. Perhaps dance lessons should be compulsory for all newlyweds?
“How much time do we need? How many lessons?”
Ok. Three 1 hour lessons is probably a good target. Couples come to me the week before, the month before, sometimes even the day before! Generally a few weeks before the event is grand.
“I can’t dance – is that ok?”
Learning a set routine (choreography) is actually a lot easier than learning how to social dance a particular style. If we only do a few lessons the emphasis is learning the routine, the more lessons you do however, the more you are learning to dance as well.
“We don’t have a song picked or any dance experience.”
I can help you select a song and a style of dance that suits you.
For me there are a few stages to the process. The first thing is to chat to the couple and establish details – how far off the wedding is, any particular requirements or requests; i.e. we are dancing in a barn, or we want to do the Dirty Dancing routine, or my partner has a false leg (this has happened), or we want our bridal party involved, or we really want to dance the tango … that sort of thing.
Once we have a song chosen, then the first lesson is about finding a dance style that works with the music and suits the couple. I then send the couple home with a few “dance sentences” to practice. Before I meet up with the couple again I will have cut and edited the music (if necessary) and roughly choreographed the entire performance based off my meeting them and seeing their capabilities and preferences. By the time I meet with the couple for their second lesson I generally know the music backwards and we are ready to hit the ground running – so-to-speak.
Choreography is a creative and organic art form. The joy for me is in finding the right moves and ideas that suit each individual couple.
I can teach anyone to dance. ANYONE! If you are getting married tomorrow and we only have one hour … then at 59 minutes you will have a personalised routine. It has been done before. I love what I do and have been doing it for more than 20 years. The role requires a creative fusion of dance teacher, subtle relationship therapist, and choreographer.
A confidence and joy that they are able to dance and perform – to look and feel good with very little practice.
Ummm dancing? One particular format that I have worked with only once or twice – yet has been so wonderful to be a part of – father and daughter dance routines. Guaranteed to bring the house down.
Learn a dance with your partner! It only takes a few hours and can be done as little as the week before the event. It is a beautiful bonding experience, a gift to offer to your friends and family, AND in years to come, every time you hear “your song” on the radio or in the supermarket, you will remember your dance and the love and joy you felt whilst doing it.
photos and interview by The Ginkgo Studio