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The “Pointe” of Wedding Dance Prep

Matthew and Cassidy Shackelford practicing their routine before their wedding.
Matthew and Cassidy Shackelford practicing their routine before their wedding.

Wedding skirts displayed at Amanda Wolf Productions
Wedding skirts displayed at Amanda Wolf Productions

Peak wedding season occurs from May until October every year. During that time, couples come together to create a game plan for their big day. Everything from catering, dress and tuxedo fittings, venue, decor and more goes into making their dreams come true. For some couples, this also includes taking wedding dance lessons. Not everyone grew up taking some form of dance lessons, which can cause problems for their wedding reception. Fortunately enough, Pittsburgh has studios all around the city to meet the needs of every couple.

“It’s a way to reduce nervousness and become more comfortable in the moment,” said Amanda Wolf, owner of Amanda Wolf Productions and Pittsburgh Wedding Dance.

Xintong and Mohammad performing their special dance on their wedding day. Photo courtesy of Nova Ballroom
Xintong and Mohammad performing their special dance on their wedding day. Photo courtesy of Nova Ballroom

Wolf moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 for a professional competitive partnership. During that time, she assisted in opening the Absolute Ballroom Dance Center of Pittsburgh. By 2012, Wolf had opened Pittsburgh Wedding Dance. When she opened her current studio, she was the first to specialize in first dance choreography. Located in Aspinwall, Wolf provides private one-on-one lessons for couples preparing for their first dance.

“I focus on building the moment the couple wants to have,” said Wolf.

Packages for Pittsburgh Wedding Dance begin at a minimum of three lessons and go up to ten lessons, including customization for parents or other guest dance lessons. Children’s lessons are not offered at this time. Price range, package options and more can be found on the Pittsburgh Wedding Dance website at

Couples come to take dance lessons for different reasons, such as perfecting the moment, reducing nervousness or even simply to better understand the forms that go into choreography.

A group of dancers after performing at the Ohio Star Ball. Photo courtesy of Nova Ballroom
A group of dancers after performing at the Ohio Star Ball. Photo courtesy of Nova Ballroom

Nova Ballroom Company sees dance lessons as an often underappreciated element.

“The dancing is one element of weddings that is often overlooked. From the first dance to the honor dances, anniversary dance and grooving at the reception, guests and families alike want to connect and make memories, not simply fumble through these special moments. Dance lessons help couples and families feel confident on the dance floor, as well as create an unforgettable experience that reflects their unique love story,” said Jonathan and Stratton DeWitt, owners of Nova Ballroom Company.

Located in Ross Township, this husband-and-wife duo shares their love for their art through every lesson they teach. Nova Ballroom offers private and group lessons, which allows the couple to choose the style best for them. For each pair that walks through their doors, a different story is created through dance.

“Our lessons are an opportunity for the bride and groom to enjoy their dance time as date nights. These are welcome escapes from the stress of wedding planning, while ensuring that this important element of their big day is accounted for,” they said.

Nova Ballroom offers one-on-one instruction to help dancers reach their goals in four, eight, or twelve-lesson packages. For non-wedding dancers, Nova Ballroom also offers various packages depending on need. The minimum age requirement for sign-ups is three years old. Additional information can be found online by visiting

Formerly located in the Southside, Art & Style Dance Studio was opened in 1997 by Rozana Sweeney and her husband. They first came to Pittsburgh from Germany for professional dance competitions but quickly fell in love with the city. Art & Style Dance Studio is currently located near Sharpsburg, which opened in 2014.

“We love music and love getting to interact with people,” said Sweeney.

Couples enjoy coming to the studio because it gives them an opportunity to make something all their own. Taking these lessons also gives them something impressive to showcase to their friends and family on their big day.

“It is something for them to do together while learning to be a team and overcome obstacles,” said Sweeney.

During the lessons, couples get to solely focus on each other, rather than preparing details for everyone else; this makes it more intimate than other preparations that go into getting ready for the wedding. Sweeney makes the experience unique to the couple, whether that means a special song, their first kiss or anything else that may mean something special to them.

At Art & Style Dance Studio, lessons are private to the couple. Aside from wedding dance lessons, Sweeney also offers private lessons to active dancers, as well as classes at a more fun pace. The minimum number of lessons begins at four and goes up to eight. Additional and customized classes are also offered beginning at age five. New sign-ups must have some dance background to join the studio. Other information can be found online at the Art & Style Dance Studio website at

No matter the need, these studios can provide proper tools to relieve nervousness, “having two left feet,” or simply add some extra jazz to your big day.

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