Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getting Personal with Deborah Joy, Owner of TWDS

by Amy Jean Fry, author of blog

I really enjoyed working with Deborah from The Wedding Dance Specialists... and I thought it would be fun to do an interview with her to show you why I think she's just so talented and so much fun to hang out with... It's such a blessing when you find a vendor during your planning that you really enjoy, so you gotta flaunt it when you do! :)

Relentless Bride: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Deborah: My husband and I started The Wedding Dance Specialists when we got engaged. While preparing for our First Dance, we sampled many teachers and studios and realized with our dance, business and wedding planning background we could provide superior customer service and insight into the unique needs, budget and timetable of engaged couples.

Relentless Bride: What is your biggest piece of advice for a bride?
Deborah: Be sure to ask for help so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Relentless Bride: For a groom?
Deborah: This is a team project. The amount of energy, creativity, forethought and consideration you put into the planning process is similar to the way you will react to joint decisions, commitments, and adventures you will have during your marriage.

Relentless Bride:  for the wedding planning?
Deborah: A weddings requires A LOT of time, energy and organization. That is why the event planning industry exists. Whoever is playing a role in paying for and planning the wedding might benefit from a meeting with an event planner to answer questions, strategize, manage expectations, and save you time by providing pre-screened resources.

Relentless Bride: for the wedding itself?
Deborah: Hire a day of planner

Relentless Bride:  for the marriage?
Deborah: Marriage should feel like each person is helping the other grow and learn. Unexpected hurdles will come your way but as a team you will have the strength to navigate them.

Relentless Bride: What do you love best about working with couple who are in this time of their life, high excitement. high stress high chaos?
Deborah: I know I am preparing them for a stronger marriage and a big sense of accomplishment. Plus a couple that dances together, romances together!

Relentless Bride:  What dance describes you and your personality?
Deborah: Salsa. It’s how I discovered and fell in love with partner dancing in the first place. Just dancing in the DC Latin Clubs.

Relentless Bride: What dance would you say describes your husband?
Deborah: Argentine Tango

Relentless Bride: What dance describes you as a couple and why?
Deborah: Argentine Tango – It was our First Dance. It’s so incredibly exotic and sensual yet elegant.

Relentless Bride:  What was the hardest thing for you learning to dance with your husband?
Deborah: Argentine Tango was brand new to both of us and it is a very close contact dance so the chance for injury and discomfort is higher. Practicing without an instructor as a “mediator” was a challenge so we came up with several coping strategies that we now share with all of our students.

Relentless Bride: What was your first dance and why did you pick that?
Deborah: Brian surprised me with a romantic trip to see “Forever Tango” on Broadway. That was our first introduction to such an amazing dance. In honor of that romantic date, Brian suggested we choose this dance style and since I didn’t teach it at the time, we went in search of lessons.

Relentless Bride: As an instructor, what is the most difficult thing to face in a student?
Deborah: Someone who cannot acknowledge their positive accomplishments, someone who is very critical and controlling of their spouse, someone who wastes their precious class time.

Relentless Bride:  As an instructor, what is the best quality a student can have?
Deborah: Excitement to learn, trust in my expertise, patience with themselves, respect and humility toward their partner

Relentless Bride:  As a married person, what quality do you think is the best to have to make a happy and satisfied marriage in the long run?
Deborah: Respect, Appreciation and encouragement of your partner.

Relentless Bride:  Looking back on your wedding day, what is your biggest regret?
Deborah: Ironically, after a year of preparation for our First Dance, our DJ (who had a lot of prior experience working with professional dance exhibitions) did not ask our guests to clear the dance floor so our performance conditions were not ideal. It was difficult for the whole crowd to see and for the videographer to get ideal full length footage.

Relentless Bride: What is the one thing you spent a lot of energy on and you feel was well worth it?
Deborah: We had many fun twists like live doves, ice sculpture, hand made ceremony programs, handmade ice breaker conversation place settings and personalized love song CD favors. I still have to say our First Dance and my Daddy/Daughter Waltz were the highlights of the reception. We’ve been dancing that dance for years ever since….

Relentless Bride: Chocolates, candy, cupcakes, cake or pies? What is your favorite and why?
Deborah: Definitely chocolate! With all it’s aphrodisiac qualities and healthy antioxidants, it’s the next best thing to dancing!

If you want a fun and adorable dance instructor who knows her stuff, not just about dance but about marriage, life and dancing with a partner... definitely make sure you have your First Wedding Dance Lessons taught by Deborah... She is phenomenal. Stay tuned for our He Said She Said Wedding Dance Finale Post :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dinner and Dancing Date Night in Alexandria


Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra

The Carlyle Club
411 John Carlyle St.
Alexandria, VA

Everyone's dancing with smiles brought on by the infectious energy dapper Doc Scantlin.He beckons you back to a Harlem nightclub with his "Bandanna Babies", dancing girls.Or elegant, romantic ballroom with soloist in ong evening gown caressing the microphone singing a sultry
Reserved Booth with Dinner Reservation - $35Reserved Table with Dinner Reservation - $25Reserved Premium Bar Seating - $25General Admission to Bar (No Guaranteed Seat) - $20

Thursday, March 4, 2010

HOT Dance Competition!

MADJam March 4th-7th Sheraton Premiere - Tysons Corner, VA. DC's West Coast Swing, Hustle & Hand Dance Spectacular! professional performances. Over 60 workshops with top teachers & national champions. pro staff including more than 50 dance experts Competitions for over $20,000+ in cash & prizes. 100% pure Hustle ballroom Fri & Sat nights.

Make a Difference! Donate NOW!

As you are about to create your own nest as newlyweds, I am sure you are horrified by the millions losing their homes due to natural disasters in the U.S., our neighbor Haiti and other countries. Does your heart break for the victims? Do you feel helpless or wonder what you could do to help in a substantial way? How about providing a shelter and an entire survival kit? There are two non profits and that are doing just that and other crucial services and they need your help. We contributed and hope you will too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Last Dance Lesson: The Groom's Perspective

Amazing. That is the only word that comes to mind about Deborah's dance lessons. We had our final lesson before the wedding and it was the first time we did the full dance. Deborah videotaped us doing the full dance and I am shocked at how much she was able to teach someone as novice as myself in just a few short lessons. My confidence is at an all time high that we will for sure WOW the audience on Saturday night. Although Amy and myself make mistakes or forget little things as we go along, Deborah has shown us the best ways to make those mistakes invisible to the audience and when we watched ourselves on tape, even we couldn't notice the missteps, even though we knew we had made them.

I cant put into words how happy and excited I am at the thought of being able to give Amy the "first dance" she has always dreamed of and without Deborah's masterful guidance, it would never have been possible. She is a great teacher and really knows what she is doing. She is truly an expert in her field and I would without a doubt recommend her to anyone who is getting married and wants to wow their crowd.

If you recall my earlier posts, I wasn't exactly confident that I would be able to do even half of what I feel I can do now on the dance floor. I've learned how to keep the beat of the music, how to twirl my angel around, and most to dip her without severely injuring her or myself lol. Now that we've had a full set of lessons, I know I can pull all of these things off. For Deborah to be able to teach someone like me all of this, I would not hesitate for a moment to say that she can teach anyone to dance. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Last Dance Lesson: The Bride's Perspective

Our final dance lesson proved difficult at first... but mostly b/c i was so tired and had spent the day earlier at the Weddzilla Flash Mob and the day before preparing for it... But within minutes, Deborah's contagiously fun personality infused a new sense of energy and I was ready to rock and roll... LOL

One of the most helpful things that FH and I did for our last and final Wedding Dance lesson was practicing the week before. In all honesty, the time we spent alone discussing our ideas about the dance lesson, figuring out the best way to communicate silently on the dance floor and when and where certain things are or are not effective - really got us on the same page for our last lesson. The extra time we put in gave us a familiarity that partners need when dancing to feel and sense each other's movements without actually touching aside from the proper positioning of hands/arms/etc... Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Fourth Dance Lesson: The Groom's Perspective

Tonight's lesson was a short one because we hit some traffic on the way to the dance studio. It seems people don't know how to drive in the rain. We got there a few minutes late and we couldn't run very much past our allotted time because Deborah had another lesson following ours but still gave us an extra 10 minutes to try to make up for our tardiness. Anyway, Deborah continued to work with us on our first dance, starting from the grand entrance through the big dip at the end. Of course, I had forgotten what I was supposed to do at the entrance, but after a quick refresher from Deborah, Amy and I were back on the same page.

After getting that out of the way, Deborah started to teach us a few new things to add to the routine. The first was a way for Amy to spin from a position where our arms were extended and she rolls down my arm into my chest where i can hold her tight for a second. I really liked this part, as it gives us a chance to really feel together as one while on the dance floor. After Amy spins down my arm and into my chest, Deborah then had her do a little seductive dance around me....of course this i really liked lol. We worked on this for a little while and then came what i thought was the highlight of the night...the dip. Deborah had Amy watch, and showed me what to do. I dipped her a little to low so we had to work on that. The lower you dip, the harder it is to come out of the dip. Well, I guess it was even harder than normal, because as i dipped Deborah, she realizes and exclaims "oh no, i forgot to tell you how to bring your partner out of a dip" while I was still holding her just a few feet from the floor. Once I lifted her back up, she explained the correct way to do this, which definetly made it much easier than just trying to use brute strength from an awkward position lol. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Fourth Dance Lesson: The Bride's Perspective

It scares me to think that we have only one lesson left because I feel like we are really starting to get the dance, dancing together and more than that, enjoying it... but its true. One more dance lesson...

The first thought I had when I realized our Lesson #4 was done was "Already?" Granted, we were tardy - but it was more b/c I was thoroughly enjoying myself. What a difference a refreshed (or fresher) FH made!

We started off a little rough. I mean the blank look on FH's face was priceless. He couldn't remember a thing... so I tried to lead him with what I remembered of the beginning of the dance... well I also forgot a big part - the TWIRL! I love the twirl. We got started and it was a little bit of staggering and trying to figure what we were doing... I mean, it felt really bad at first - like we just weren't melding well.

Well Deborah, our awesome instructor (whom I love even more every time I see her) from The Wedding Dance Specialists, broke it down for me... she grabbed me and said "Let me dance with you!" It was not more than 10 seconds before she diagnosed a big part of the issue... I was not in the right position nor was I firm and providing any resistance. This does not prove helpful to FH who needs to lead me, but if i can't sense his next move b/c i'm not providing the proper resistance to, it won't matter how much he tries. A very helpful suggestion was to try dancing with my eyes closed b/c this would MAKE me reliant on FH.

Oh, did i mention? I took my fabulous Wedding shoes with me? yup, my gorgeous 4.5 inch stilettos... yea, I made it through, but started to feel pressure obviously - my main concern - b/c they weren't tied to my feet - the possibility of them slipping off. But the height also helped FH get used to how tall I'd be the day of and i think it helped him hold his position b/c he didn't feel like he was bending over to me... (and that was in my 2-3 inch shoes LOL).

The best part was figuring out the dip... I mean, we don't have to dip - but i want a dip... and twirl and all that romantic fun stuff. Keep in mind, the high school was difficult just weeks ago for FH - so i wondered to myself, was I asking too much? Well, Deborah had FH dip her but as they landed the dip, she quickly realized that she forgot to instruct him on the proper way to get up... so they stayed that way for at least 30 seconds ... just kinda stuck with me giggling on the sidelines. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.