How did Windy City Wedding Dance start?
When I first moved to Chicago in 2009, I remember walking on Michigan Ave glancing up in the sky, and seeing people dance from the street like they were in the movies. I was in a trance and couldn’t take my eyes off the window. I searched for the front door of the dance studio and nervously walked up to the front desk to ask how I could schedule a dance lesson. Once I started there was no turning back. I found an amazing school with a teacher training program and enrolled. I just wanted to dance as much as possible. In 2013 I asked my friend Alesha how to buy a domain name. We sat at one of Chicago’s oldest and finest bars, The Greendoor Tavern on N Orleans Street. We drank IPA’s and I bought several different URL names. The lucky winner was Windy City Wedding Dance.
What areas do you serve, and can you elaborate on the packages you offer?
We service Chicagoland and parts of Indiana. Our main location is at 410 S Michigan Ave in the heart of downtown Chicago. We offer a variety of packages to service the different needs of each client. Once the client comes in for their first lesson and describes their vision, we can help educate them to which package best meets their needs. Partner dancing takes some practice because we depend on one another. We offer the following package quantities. Our clients decisions are based on several criteria. These include: availability, how many songs they would like to dance, parent child dances, timeline, and budget. We offer lesson packages of 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, and 20.
What is the process of teaching a couple how to dance if they’re total beginners?
The first step to getting a couple started is having them schedule the introductory wedding dance lesson. During this lesson we can gather the information necessary to design their first dance. Once we establish which song they are dancing to, then we start with the basics.We need to determine which dance style or styles can be used with their song. So we ask them to stand up and show them how to connect into the dance frame. Then we start from the ground up. During the first lesson we are focused on demonstrating and showing them their dance and foot positions for each step. Each lesson we progress and build on like we are baking a cake. We add layers each lesson until we have a finished product.
How far in advance do you recommend clients reach out to Windy City Wedding Dance?
The earlier they start the less they feel like a newborn deer. We would love to have 4 to 6 months with each client. Our goal is that the client can go out on the dance floor without even thinking about their steps. In order to feel this kind of comfort level, we want them to start early so they can create muscle memory. It’s important to understand that we are working around 3 people’s schedules. Once the client purchases a package, we schedule everything in advance so we know we can fulfil our obligation to design their first dance. The last 2 months their schedule get very busy with dress fittings, makeup trials, showers, parties and more
What is your process for creating new dances?
Every clients dance is unique to them. At Windy City Wedding Dance, we have some baseline rhythm styles and steps we use based on the speed of their song. Then we add on the whip cream. Some couples are adamant about having something simple. They are more concerned with just being able to stay in sync and not feel awkward. As you can imagine, social media is full of videos that inspire our couples. Sometimes we have to remind them that the couple demonstrating in the video are professionals. We use the skills of the client and their requests to design the first dance. It’s a collaboration and something we do together not something we slap in their lap.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I played soccer in college and didn’t start dancing until I was in my late 20’s. Right now we are not only teaching wedding couples how to dance for their wedding, but we are performing and dancing throughout Chicago. Last year we flew to Cyprus to perform at one of our couples weddings. It was a magical experience. This year we have already danced in 6 shows.
Do you have any advice for clients who are just starting the wedding planning process?
Chicagoland is full of amazing vendors. I always highly recommend they use a wedding planner. I know they can save a great deal of money and can find dependable vendors. Referrals are also an amazing way to book vendors. I think it’s important to use the resources and trust the advice of your planner. Check reviews on google, the KNOT, and yelp and make sure if you are signing a contract you read all the details carefully. You get what you pay for so be careful and cautious.
Are you looking to learn more about other wedding vendors in Chicago? Check out these posts for more!