PUBLISHED: 15:35 02 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 August 2017

First Dance 8

First Dance 8

Julia McIntosh Photography

More and more couples are turning to the experts when it comes to enjoying that first dance like Cornwall-based wedding dance teacher Clare Lawrence

More and more couples are turning to the experts when it comes to enjoying that first dance. JULIA MCINTOSH meets one woman who has all the moves

Having grown up in Ireland, Clare Lawrence danced competitively from a young age, winning titles such as All Ireland Latin American & Ballroom champion. After moving to London with her parents at 15, she studied dance and performance and later added fitness instructor to her resume.

Six years ago Clare and her family re located to Cornwall, somewhere she and her family fell in-love with. Soon after she started her fitness/ dance classes with Zumba, Conditioning and Dance. It soon became apparent that there was a high demand for her classes and it was then that she decided to turn her passion into a small business.

I am passionate about making dance accessible to all, movement moves me and I see the results daily in my regular classes. The release of endorphins, the happy smiling faces and the positivity in the room leaves you feeling energise,’ says Clare.

Always looking to add to her already thriving business, Clare came up with the idea to incorporate First Dance lessons to couples wanting to add something extra special to their wedding day. Clare meets with the couples a few months ahead of their wedding to discuss the kind of performance and music. Strictly First Dance classes makes dance accessible, creating lovely memories, and boosting confidence even if you have two left feet,’ she explains. I work with couples who want to make their day extra special, and bring their ideas together to create their own individual story.'

I accompanied Clare on one of her First Dance’ lessons with couple Nick and Megan. They told me they wanted to learn a dance for their wedding mostly because Nick felt slightly apprehensive about it and added that it was because he has 2 left feet! The day I joined them was their last lesson before the wedding, and they clearly looked like they had it off to a T. Not only did they look like seasoned dancers, they seemed to be really enjoying themselves too.

I wrongly assumed that all first dances were akin to what you often see doing the rounds on social media, the type of dance where young couples shimmy and leap about to Michael Jackson’s Thriller but apparently not. Clare tells me: Some couples do want a more upbeat dance tune and go all out to surprise their guests with a full on dance routine, but most couples tend to go for more of a contemporary waltz.’

Impressing with expert first dances do seem to have taken off in recent years, and with a steady increase in TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Got To Dance and So You Think You Can Dance, people see regular people pulling off great dance moves and think okay, this is something I could do’. And what better place to show off your new found skills than by surprising your closest friends and family as you hit the dance floor for your first dance?

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