Wedding FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Dance Lessons

Where & When? Private Lessons at The Verve Ballroom In Lynnwood 19820 40th Ave W
or Dancesport in Magnuson Park 6344 Ne 74th st

REGULAR HOURS: Mon- Fri Evenings 5pm -10pm

Weekday Lunch Dance 11am -2pm
Weekends – 12-4 by appointment

SPECIAL HOURS: Mornings, Late Evenings, Weekends
Requests for Special Hour appointments can often be accomodated. Just ask.

Will I make a housecall to teach a private or group lesson ? yes, just ask for a rate quote.

How to get Started:

email Shannon
Call 206-618-9624

How Much does it cost?
See the Packages and Prices page for rates.

1. Is the lesson rate per person? No, the private lesson and package rates are for the couple. Please inquire about group rates for additional people.

2. “How long is one lesson?”
Each lesson is 55 minutes long.

3. “Do we have to sign up for a package of lessons if we don’t feel that we can fit it into our schedule?”No, you are more than welcome to pay per lesson as you go.
I offer discounts on the initial wedding packages but you decide how many lessons you need.

4.”What form of payment do you accept?”
I accept payment in person cash or check only.
I accept credit card payments on the website Via only.

5. Would it be better to try some group classes before we sign up for a private lesson?
NO! Group classes are NOT for everyone!

Private versus Group Classes

Especially for couples, if you are looking to dance with that one special partner you may not enjoy a group class that has you rotating partners and dancing with other people for the majority of the lesson. By the time you get back together, you have had different experiences & still no idea how to dance together.

Group classes do not teach wedding dance material, don’t waste your time on something you are probably not going to use. Repetitive dances that have alot of footwork like ChaCha & East Coast Swing are just too much work for wedding dancing.

Alot of competition Ballroom dance techniques are not right for wedding dancing, such as not looking at each other and being way too serious.
For people that have never taken a lesson , group class is not the best way to be introduced.

Group Classes usually have a set lesson plan.
If you don’t get it right away, they move on without you leaving you feeling discouraged and confused.
Private lessons move at your learning pace and every lesson is individualized to ensure that YOU GET IT!
Private Lessons will have you dancing with your partner and having fun in a much shorter time!
In a Private Lesson you will dance with your professional instructor and get the correct feel of the dance.
In Group Classes you will dance with other beginners and sometimes get the wrong feeling!

People will often compare themselves to others in the group without having any knowledge of the other’s experience level. If someone is self conscious about their lack of knowledge about dancing and performing in front of people,,, group class could be like throwing someone in the lake to learn to swim.
If your are trying to convince your partner into taking dance lessons, do not attend a group class first, they can be discouraged by a number of things and some will decide dancing is not for them after a bad experience.

6. “What is the best to make an appointment– phone or email?”
You are welcome to do either…
however, it is easier for me if you email me all the info. I work weird hours dancing so give me a day to email you back.

7. What should we wear to the dance lesson?
Ladies should not wear open toed shoes to the first lesson if possible.
please protect your feet from him until he learns his steps. No Thongs.
Shoes that stay on your feet are best. Heels with ankle straps are very nice.
Dress is casual, sneakers are ok on the first lesson, dress shoes or wedding shoes by the last lesson.
Smooth leather sole or THIN Soled shoes that stay on your feet are best.
The worst shoes for dancing are flat thongs, clogs, clunky platforms,
mules, platform boots.

Also, it’s not a good idea to wear your actual wedding shoes for the first lesson– Make sure to cover your wedding shoes toes with clear tape to protect from scuff marks until wedding day.

8. If we are really bad dancers, should we pick a really slow song?
No! Dancing slow is HARDER than dancing fast.
At Last by Etta James is a really slow song, it is not an easy song to dance to because it has a tricky jazz beat, so beware when picking this one, it is actually one of the more difficult songs for dancing!
In order to be able to do justice to a slow song, you have to remain calm & steady,filling in the gaps in the music with minute, fluid, subtle body movement.
Normally you’d have to be a very experienced dancer with great rhythm to pull this off.
If you doubt your dance abilities at all, you should go with a medium tempo song– not too slow.
Starting the party off with something a little bit fun and lively upbeat song can get everyone in a great dancing mood.

9. “We’re not sure what dance or song we want to do for our First Dance. Any suggestions?”

First look at your own music, bands that you like together
After that, the Sinatra jazz standards & Dean Martin Greatest hits are a safe bet (“The Way You Look Tonight”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, etc.) For a more contemporary sound, Ed Sheeran, Michael Buble , Jason Mraz, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson
The song you pick determines the dance you do, though some songs can fit into more than one dance style.
Surprise dances are fun but take a little more planning and more outgoing personalities, if you are really nervous, I wouldn’t suggest trying to be funny! You can’t go wrong with romantic.
I have had couples do anything from the jazz standards mentioned above to Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Enya, Sade, Nat King Cole, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Julio Iglesias, Sting, Firehouse, Marc Anthony, Rita Coolidge, Ronan Keating , Alison Krause, Maroon 5, coldplay, U2, Marc Cohn, Michael Buble, Al Green, even Led Zepplin & Weezer, Eddie Vedder
Modern Country music has some great songs perfect for weddings. Zach Brown Band, Lee Bryce

10. “Will you ever sell our contact info to other people/businesses for mailing lists?”

11 .”If we have to cancel, do we lose our lesson?”
You are welcome to cancel and/or reschedule your appointment,
and will incur no charge as long as you call or text to report the cancellation with 24 hours notice.
I can be reached at 206-618-9624
If you are sick or have an emergency or have to work late please call me immediately. I do understand that things do happen, I have a family of my own too.

Do you offer a FREE trial lesson?

Beware of “FREE” lessons! You get what you pay for! Free lessons are not given out of the kindness of a studio’s heart, most “free lessons” at dance studios are simply a lure to get you through the door. Much of the lesson is spent convincing you of the benefits of dance as a lifetime hobby and reviewing lengthy and expensive packages for after your wedding. The free lesson’s emphasis is not actually on learning to dance but rather on selling you more lessons. It costs a dance studio thousands of dollars to create a dance instructor and promote their business. Therefore, studios do not give away QUALITY private lessons for free. Therefore, they must recoup their loss on the “FREE” lesson by hiking up the price on any lessons you purchase in the future. A “FREE” lessons generally consists of 20 minutes of dance instruction (which may not even focus entirely on your actual dancing goals) and the rest of the “lesson” is a sales pitch. Your time is valuable, studios should respect your time by answering all your questions over the phone, by email or on their website. The first sign that a studio is in the higher price bracket is if they refuse to quote you their rates over the phone and/or don’t post them on their website. Other studios know each other’s prices, so you have to ask yourself…who are they hiding them from? If you have to spend your valuable time finding out that a studio is too expensive or doesn’t meet your needs or expectations, isn’t that already too high a price to pay for a “FREE” lesson?

With me, you can expect answers to all your questions before even walking through our door. The lesson is intensive and focused on your specific needs from the onset. I will even GUARANTEE you an entire wedding dance in ONE hour if you tell me in advance that is all you intend to take. Isn’t that better than a “FREE” lesson designed to convince you that you need MORE lessons? Ask the studio if they are willing to make that same guarantee on a “FREE” lesson.

How do you ensure customer satisfaction?

1. Provide a timely response to your emails and phone calls.
2. Provide full answers to all your questions online or on the phone before even walking through our door.
3. Read the teachers’ bios, testimonials and teaching philosophy before you even walk thru the door.
4. No pressure or sales pitch during your lessons or EVER!
5. Offer a grace period for upgrades after you have had two lessons. The industry standard doesn’t accommodate for upgrades.
6. Present you with all the most valuable and important material and techniques on the first lesson! I don’t hold back on teaching material.
7. Schedule lessons well in advance and end lessons 1-2 weeks prior to the wedding.
8. I extended the lesson duration to :55 minutes when the industry standard is :40 – :45 minutes.
9. My lessons are moderately priced and I publish them so you know you are being charged the same as the next client.
10. Offer discounted wedding packages.
11. Only the best, most experienced instructors. No trainees.
12. Offer private lessons “a la carte” so you can control how few or how many you purchase.
13. Convenient weekend and evening hours.

We feel overwhelmed. How do we select a dance studio/instructor? If after reading all of these you still can’t decide, call me, I will be happy to answer questions and chat with you about your visions and concerns.

What is the difference between a wedding dance specialist and a general ballroom dance teacher? Your goals.
One of the problems with selecting a standard dance studio or instructor is that they view wedding couples as “lost leads.” This is because the wedding couple has a short term goal – – the wedding, which does not usually lead them to take very many lessons. Keep these facts in mind when you call or go into a studio:

1) “FREE” lessons: you get what you pay for! Most “free lessons” at dance studios are a means to get you through the door. Much of the lesson is spent convincing you of the benefits of dance as a lifetime hobby and reviewing lengthy and expensive packages for after your wedding. The free lesson’s emphasis is not actually on learning to dance but rather on selling you more lessons.Therefore, studios do not give away QUALITY private lessons for free.

2) One dance style versus a variety: We leaves the decision of how many dances to learn up to you-the client! Most wedding couples are on a tight schedule and limited budget, they want to focus their attention on feeling comfortable for their first dance in front of their guests. In contrast, general dance studios may discourage students from studying only one dance for various reasons (primarily the bottom line). Complicating a small program (3-5 lessons) with additional dances may result in needing to purchase more lessons and cause a sense of confusion and discomfort on your big day. Feeling comfortable with new dance material generally requires about 5 hours. Depending on your skill and comfort level,it’s O.K. to reevaluate your progress and comfort level after the third or fourth lesson to consider learning the very basics of a second dance but be wary of teachers too insistent on focusing on more than one dance from the onset.

3) Experience of the instructor: Since wedding couples generally purchase small packages (less than 25) many studios have their most inexperienced instructors teach the wedding couples. Dance lessons are as important as any other service you might hire for your wedding. You have every right to ask how long your instructor has been teaching. How many wedding couples? Do they have photos, videos or references?

4) Flexibility in package options: Be wary of studios who insist you cannot benefit from just one lesson or worse do not allow you to purchase only one lesson! Even one lesson with the right instructor can show remarkable results. Some students time or budget do not allow for more than one lesson. I created this niche in the Seattle area years ago because I saw a need was not being met. I have been flattered by those attempting to imitate me or my website.

5) The Teacher: The personality, demeanor, image, teaching style are all important factors to consider when selecting a dance teacher. Just because they are good dancers does not guarantee that they will be good teachers. The teacher must genuinely enjoy working with beginners and ideally have the compassion and understanding of the unique pressures that wedding planning involves. Your wedding dance preparation can be the most relaxing and romantic aspect of your wedding planning process IF you have the right instructor! I encourage you to do your research and compare! Competitive show dancers may be great at that but their choreography can be way to over the top. I dont want your family judging you on tricks and footwork, I want them to notice the way you laugh and smile at each other, happy to be married.

6) The Script: If you feel your instructor is using a scripted sales pitch, They probably are!
Your 20 year old instructor, Miss Sweet, will usually try to make it seem important by calling you Mr. Jones & Miss Smith. What she cannot tell you is where all of that expensive lesson money goes, because she only makes $13 an hour and is only prompted and scripted on her sales meetings just minutes before your appointment. Those instructors are young, naive and temporary. They usually are only in “training class”. Unfortunately they are also “scripted” to lie about their experience, training and level or qualification so it is very difficult to distinguish. They are also not allowed to teach beyond the material planned to be taught for that days sales procedure so if you ask to “see something different” your instructor will probably not know anything else or be allowed to show you.
If they did not start choreography on your wedding dance to your song on the first lesson, you are probably at one of these studios.
If they continue to talk about your dancing goals for the rest of your life although you have given them your wedding date, you are probably at one of these studios.
If they are trying to sell you the benefits of coming to their group classes and parties and want to sell you a package that includes these, you are probably at one of these studios.
If you are often supervised or have your lessons interrupted by a manager, you are on a sales procedure.

7) Contracts: I don’t use them. I don’t sell more than 20 lessons at a time and we will schedule all lessons paid for. I do not schedule any of your lesson time for “talking about money” and I will never take you into an office.
Phone or email is great for extra questions.
I do not have a manager or second salesperson that is going to check up on us and I personally take responsibilty for everything I do.

Wedding Songs and Music – WedAlert Wedding Song Directory offers soundclips of Ceremony Music; First Dance Songs; Mother / Son (Groom) Songs; Father / Daughter (Bride) Songs, and other music for your wedding reception.