I’m so pleased to have been involved teaching some First Wedding Dance and Hen Dance Party style movement to the gorgeous models (who were really fab!) – you may spot my little star as Flower Girl got featured – she loved it as much as I did. 🤩 I showcased all the feels of having a final first dance rehearsal or hen party in a glorious wedding venue (read here about why this is important for me), to really enhance the gorgeous experience of learning to dance together.
Take me back to this glorious hot summer day please. If anything is going to get us excited about Summer weddings, it’s this STUNNER of a relaxed luxury wedding styled shoot in the countryside organised to a ‘T’ by Mrs T Weddings alongside an incredible team. The photos by Hester Barnes Wedding Photography are outstanding ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
FRESH. COLOURFUL. UNIQUE. GLAMOUR. “Almost as though it would have come out of Chanel advert”. Rock My Wedding – read the full edit here.
See who was involved in the incredible team below the images and video.
Sometimes finding a balance between coping with the strain of daily life, or a busy professional world, whilst (as I write in Jan ’21) homeschooling, and then trying to find quality time for fitness, socialising (yes, it will be a thing of the future), or just to be alone with no care in the world just doesn’t seem achievable. Read to the bottom to claim a free trial Pilates session with me!
I’m a pilates instructor, dance teacher, and I have also been a personal assistant for the past 20 years helping busy professional people streamline their lives so they have more time to think strategically, creatively and freely. Transfer this to streamlining lifestyle, homelife, and perhaps there are ways that we can find more time in the day, the week…and find the budget, to be able to have more carefree ME TIME: be able to afford more fitness – being motivated by a fitness professional to help you achieve goals; to fulfil passions; or for activities, not just for ourselves, but to do with family or friends…
As a fitness instructor I quite often meet their inability to joining in my sessions of: ‘I don’t have enough time’. ‘I can’t afford it.’ And this makes me sad, people! So I got thinking, how can I help my clients overcome these ‘barriers to participation’, and also to remove the mental blocks which will enable them to ultimately attend my pilates sessions, where I take pride in my regular clients’ feeding back that they are so much calmer, or stronger for whatever physical demands of parenting requires? So here we go:
Here are my 3 top tips to work towards streamlining your lifestyle, including:
1. Planning with the household – shared accountability.
A problem shared is a problem halved. What can you share with the people you live with. Some of us might take on chores/tasks without questioning whether we should be doing it, or if they could be shared with a child. If the child is younger, perhaps start planting the seed of helping around the home now…and make it fun or rewarding! Planning with the family and letting them have input might also increase the chance of their ‘buy in’ to sticking with their responsibilities – hopefully eventually becoming an automated behaviour without your input!
2. Get organised
A weekly planner that is filled out at the start of every week – could be electronic, perhaps on a shared, non-editable tablet, and printable – or it could be a wipeable weekly board displayed in one place in the household. Perhaps a 10 minutes Sunday powow with the family to work out who is going where, what needs to be done, what homework needs to be in, what childcare is needed for you to achieve your Me Time, and most essentially WHERE YOU WILL FIT IN YOUR ME TIME! Connecting organisational digital apps together too is also a brilliant way of planning – Office 365 is great to track tasks, emails, your to do list, prioritising, scanning important letters from school that you keep losing around the house.
3. Financial Planning
Get budgeting – plan your goals you need to spend on – it could be getting a 1:1 fitness instructor to motivate you to your goals. it could be going kayaking and paying for a membership for a club. And it could be as longer term such as a weekend away with friends. But plan the budget so you know there’s no additional barrier to getting your me time in. It could also be something you’re saving towards with the family – something fun for you to do together – me time isn’t just about the time on your own – it’s also making space in your life fo care-free time with everyone, without thinking you should be doing something else.
I’m not generalising in my advice, as we all have different circumstances and home dynamics, and I know some of you will have streamlining your household down to a fine art. My tips are by no means the complete solution. But I also know the struggles of, for example some single parents, and even if a small part of my suggestions can be implemented, hopefully it’s planting the seed for the chance of a marvellous future, where regular, perhaps even daily time to fulfil passions and hobbies, or sitting quietly alone for more than 5 minutes is a thing.
If you’d like a FREE trial online group Pilates session with Dancing Mama Fitness, complete the questionnaire below, so I can get to know more about the lifestyles of the ‘audience’ I’m speaking to!
Maybe you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not to have first wedding dance lessons, or you’re sure you can crack the code to creating a fabulous first dance yourselves, but just don’t know where to start.
You might have even downloaded the free Find Your First Dance Music and Style Guide by now and are feeling inspired.
So I’m giving away my trade first dance choreography secrets in a step by step DIY Your First Wedding Dance Manual and LIVE Online Masterclass.
The guide is download-able and designed to accompany a one hour Masterclass with me! This masterclass will set you up with some clear steps to help you push forward with alllllll the choreographic tools to help you plan your very own first dance! I’ll include: how to find inspiration; how to learn some basic first dance steps; how to listen to your song and put the moves to it; some key practice tips and ways to help with first wedding dance nerves. There is so much we’ll cover – crazy huh?!
You see I think everyone can become a choreographer when we’re considering your own first dance dreams, desires and personalities!
You might have got a first dance song in mind, but don’t know how to move TOGETHER to your song!
And believe it or not many wedding planning couples struggle to find their first dance song.
Or some might love a style of dance they’ve seen and want to find a song that suits the style of dance, whilst
You know you’d like to do something a little coordinated for the first dance, but haven’t got a clue how to start or what style of dance will work with the song. But this FREE ebook – Find Your First Dance Music and Style Guide, written by me, First Wedding Dance Choreographer of 10 years, is the solution for guiding wedding planning couples through the various first dance style possibilities in preparation for their first dance.
Get some clarity on what styles of dance might suit your first dance song, personalities and level of dance skills. Discover how you could take your first dance journey to a whole new level.
This is the perfect starting point even if you’re not yet sure that first dance lessons are going to be for you. Click the link here to grab my Find Your First Dance Music and Style Guide and get inspired today.
It’s Hazel and Rich’s Wedding Anniversary, so I thought I’d share their success story and 4 reasons to have the final first wedding dance rehearsal in your wedding venue – as Hazel & Rich did at the stunning wedding venue, Cain Manor! Scroll to the bottom to see the full rehearsal.
Happy Wedding Anniversary to this lovely pair. How fabulous is their jive? So much fun! Neither of them had danced like this, let alone jived, before. They looked so chilled. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 The final rehearsal with me in their wedding venue made all the difference. This was an incredible opportunity for Hazel and Rich to get into their wedding venue, get mentally prepared for the first dance and get a feel for how it’s going to feel, in the space on their wedding day…plus a brilliant opportunity to just gush at their gorgeous wedding venue. A big pat on the back to themselves for achieving what they had planned so far for their wedding!
4 Reasons to have the Final First Dance Rehearsal in the Wedding Venue:
💜 picture themselves on the dance floor and confirm where their guests will be sitting – i.e. which way to face their dance; 💜 relieve nerves with a visualisation technique used by pro performers – see this post for suggestions to enjoy every first dance step – and to imagine how it will feel when they’re in front of their guests; 💜 have a mini ‘Dress Rehearsal’ – Try out the shoes and get used to the floor type (e.g. Is it slippery, uneven?!), and try wearing a dress/skirt similar to the wedding dress – or the underskirt; 💜 get excited about being in their glorious venue. It all starts to hit home about how special their day is going to be.
Read this post about how it also worked for Caroline & Tim!
And here’s the gorgeous feedback from H & R:
“Thank you sooooo much Alison!!!! We really enjoyed our first dance and so did all of our guests!!! You were a fantastic teacher and I think Rich and I are a little sad our lessons are all over now!! Thank you so much again!! Hazel and Rich x”
🎶’Follow Me’ by the Baseballs 🎶 I do not own the rights to this music
Who’s ready for the dark mornings and even darker nights??
Yeah – me neither. Doesn’t always inspire a workout does it – especially one outdoors.
But I prefer workout in the open, and I’m trying to work out how to make the best still of outdoor workouts. Here’s my 5 tips for fitness motivation whilst smashing the winter workout blues:
1. Get kitted out
My best purchase of all time was a Uni-Qlo calf length ‘duvet coat’ as I call it, which I found when I was pregnant in the sales. I could just about fit my daughter underneath in the baby carrier in later years when we went out for our long walks in whatever the elements were throwing at us. I still love it now for those cosy winter walks – I wore it out for a walk yesterday in the crazy driving rain and felt both Snug and Smug at the same time.
Will you need to be warm? Dry? Need certain footwear to match the terrain or gear to match the activity – balaclava underneath a cycle helmet or raincoat with a peak in the hood to keep the rain off your face?
Granted some of the fitness gear can be pricey, but catch the right time of year and you can bag some bargains. That all said, some of the high street brands have their own fitness ranges these days – I quite often buy from Decathalon – it’s reasonably priced, and their clothing lasts me for a good year too!
2. Choose the location wisely.
Start planning some locations that aren’t too muddy – gravel pathways are usually a good shout for cycling, running or walking with good drainage. On road, or concrete pathways good for cycling – I’m not a fan of jogging on concrete as I used to suffer from shin splints – make sure you’ve got good running shoes for harder surfaces. Or what fitness instructors can you find online to save you leaving the house? I’ve been teaching my pilates clients online and it’s definitely helped out for those who have been shielding…and now for those who quite enjoy staying in for their workout.
3. Choose the time to work for you…
An increase in home working has meant we can work a little more flexibly, with some employers becoming more relaxed, and self employed peeps can also arrange their working day and be kinder to themselves to create the space in the diary for a lunchtime workout – some daylight and fresh air to help revive for the afternoon has huge benefits…unless a workout leaves you wanting to snooze!). Timeblock the week so you can make it happen – and sometimes paying for a course will motivate you to stick at it. Quite often with slightly cheaper rates as an incentive.
By far my winning workout situation is when I build the workout in to a part of my existing routine – lately I’ve been cycling my daughter to nursery and doing a route around the houses on the way home to clock up some miles!
4. …which leads me to strategic planning!
Make sure the type of fitness is relevant for the time of day. An invigorating, power workout in the morning or earlier on in the day will keep us mentally focussed, whilst a chilled Yoga session later in the day may help you to sleep, clear the mind and wind down. Different strokes for different folks of course so find out what works for you!
5. Workout with other people.
Nothing like some good motivation from working with a partner or a group of friends. Make fitness social. If you’re not in each others bubbles, fair enough you may not be able to do any contact sports, but team games where you can socially distance are just fun and quite often lead to a social life too. I wanted to join a rowing or kayaking club – might have to find a daytime or weekend club in winter(!), but the clubhouses quite often also have social nights.
Hope this has inspired you to research the options and talk to others about what they’re doing or enjoy. If you can get through the winter without the dark nights as an excuse not to do it, you should fall in to an easy year round workout routine
T H I S . I S . M E. Look out world ‘cos here I come!*
Thought I’d introduce myself to some new followers, the face behind The Love of Dance.
I’m Alison, First Wedding Dance Choreographer – I founded The Love of Dance 10 years ago to help wedding planning couples who didn’t know where to begin in planning something a little special for their first dance. Most of my clients over the years have been ‘non’ dancers (I hate that phrase because everyone is a dancer in their own right!) and they needed anything from learning some basic social ballroom steps (footwork), to a first dance extravaganza choreographed for them!
I’m also a Pilates Instructor and incorporate postural strength into my service in helping couples stand tall, proud and confident on their day, or generally help them strengthen and tone. (Downward Facing Dog optional!).
I’m based in Bedfordshire but thanks to the wonder of tech I now teach couples/clients all over the UK… maybe I’ll be able to say ‘the world’ soon!
“Look out (world) ’cause here I come, And I’m marching on to the beat I drum, I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, T H I S . I S . M E”
*Oh, and yes – I love The Greatest Showman. Slightly edited the words, but If ever there’s a power ballad for 21stC, that’s the song!
Wedding Fitness Motivation! A good, holistic fitness plan will support physical and mental health in advance of, and on your wedding day. Mix up the fitness/ movement styles you practice on a weekly basis to prepare you for various elements of the day, from calming wedding day nerves in the morning, through to dancing ’til the lights come up .* I wrote a blog for Carmela Weddings recently with my Pilates Instructor hat on. Follow the link in CW’s bio to her website, and then to the blog page. https://www.carmelaweddings.co.uk/cw-loves-the-love-of-dance/
A good, holistic fitness routine will boost your physical and mental health and wellbeing, preparing mind and body for your wedding day: 1. Reduce stress: Deep breathing exercises and gentle stretching helps to reduce stress, and manage stress when the nerves start kicking in: Try learning a simple, short Yoga routine in advance of your wedding day to practise on your own, on the morning of your Wedding.
2. Strengthen Posture: Pilates is brilliant for training the muscles in the back and improving postural stamina, so you can stand tall and confident as you walk down the aisle.
3. Tone Up: design your fitness plan to work on the areas you know your wedding outfit will flaunt.
4. Skin Boost: a good sweaty workout increases blood circulation, removing toxins and giving a wonderful, healthy glow.
5. Feel healthy, strong and confident: that feel good vibe will radiate from the inside, to the out.
6. Boost the immune system: keep lurgy at bay in advance of your wedding day.
7. Release the happy endorphins: Establish a plan you enjoy or can build in to a daily habit to help you stick to it:
Walking or cycling to work.
Build in breathing exercises before an important event or meeting.
A regular fun activity might be more enjoyable. Kayaking? Cycling? Trampolining?!
8. Bond and support: Find something you can do as a couple to motivate and encourage each other!
A good, enjoyable fitness plan may just stick for life, not just for your wedding day!
*Always seek a qualified fitness instructor or professional who can recommend the fitness plan for you. CIMSPA is a good place to start for registered professionals. Find classes and instructors at the local gym – some gyms are also offering online classes to their members. Chat to your doctor if you have any health concerns or know of any reason you should take advice about the type of fitness activity you can participate in.
Love still blossoms… Online dating was the norm even before lock down. Now face timing is the only gauge of someones mannerisms and demeanour which can’t be read from a WhatsApp message, but does it give accurate enough representation of a person.
Lockdown Love & Dating
Where do singles find love at the moment?
Can a fleeting moment in a supermarket queue spark new conversation and lead to love in the aisles?
A chat with the regular delivery guy?
A nurse who helps someone back to health?
Where else do singles find love at the moment and how can we make a face time relationship meaningful and really get to know someone through a screen??
What sequence of impactful types of online meetings and conversations need to happen to embed into a singular heart, amongst a sea of other love-seeking hopefuls?
Or do we just press pause on love??
These are the questions I’m going to be taking to @Ticheabrade’s She Created Life’s brunch discusses dating and relationships. Sunday 27 April 11-1pm. The link to join is in her bio.
I can’t wait to see and hear the unique love stories that might emerge and dust themselves off out of a period of complete random circumstance affecting our planet in numerous, monumental and societal shaping ways!!
The Wedding Planning Show Goes On
While on the subject of relationship related norms that are still happening – wedding planning is still very much live. I was involved last week in an online wedding show. @BeckieMelvineventsAnti Panic Wedding Show showcased some fabulous Beds, Herts and Bucks Wedding Industry suppliers, bringing the profile of their services to the living room of wedding planning brides-to-be. You can still view the videos through the event Facebook page linked above. It’s a great time for couples to do their research, build a rapport with suppliers while they might have that extra time on their hands.
And what better way to pass the time than learning to dance together with first dance lessons brought to you in your living room! The Love of Dance’s FREE online taster lesson will give you a taster of what to expect going forward from our first dance lessons. To claim, tag 3 wedding planning friends or brides to be into the comments on the Instagram or Facebook post linked here, and I’ll be in touch!