Laurel Card offers private partner lessons at Urban Movement Arts and is our go-to wedding dance prep instructor. Couples come to her with their wildest wedding dance dreams and she helps them make those dreams reality. Matt and Kierstin approached Laurel to choreograph a bachata dance to their chosen song and worked with her leading up to their wedding. They share their very heartwarming experience taking private lessons with Laurel below. Check it out!
Where do we even start?! I guess I’ll start at the very beginning. We were referred to Laurel by a mutual friend of mine. My wife, Kierstin and I were planning our wedding and about 7 weeks out we were stressing with all the details and money. So, something I always wanted to do was have a choreographed dance for our first dance. We have been to so many weddings where guests lose interest in the couple while the first dance plays because they are just rocking back and forth. So, to break up our stress levels and add a little fun to the planning process I reached out to a friend from high school who is a very talented dancer and asked her if she knew anyone in Philly who could teach couples how to dance. Kierstin and I like to dance at any wedding we go to, but we are FAR from talented dancers!
So in comes Laurel and Urban Movement Arts. From the very start Laurel was so receptive, helpful, and invigorated by the idea of helping two people who had no prior dance experience, but wanted to do something special for their wedding. The first thing we did was send her our wedding song, which had a reggae feel to it, and she correlated that beat into a choreographed bachata dance. From the start Laurel broke down the simplest of steps to help us feel comfortable, and even by the first night of dance lessons we had a pretty good feel on the box step. As the weeks went on she would break our dance into sections to make sure we wouldn’t be overwhelmed (which at some points we felt like we were) But she was always so encouraging and would rehearse each section with us down to the very step. Kierstin and I would then take what we learned that week and practice in our home. Sometimes we would tape our progress and send it to Laurel to see what she thought. She would respond with words of encouragement and advice even when we weren’t in the studio learning. Each week, with Laurel and Jaime’s help we began to transform from two people just marching counting out steps to a couple that moved with some passion and skill.
Learning how to dance from Laurel was a ton of fun for Kierstin and I and we looked forward to it each week. Even after long days of working we always made time to practice our dance each night because we wanted to come prepared for the next class. On the 7th week of dance class we said our final goodbyes to Laurel and Jaime and felt fully prepared to blow our guests away with our new moves. But honestly the best thing about working with Laurel was she was always so encouraging and knew that we would do a great dance when it came to our big day. On the morning of our wedding she reached out to us to let us know how proud she was, and how well we would do. It was that relationship we made with Laurel during our time in the studio with her and that type of positive energy that helped us surprise our guests with a beautiful bachata dance the night of our wedding.
But our story with Laurel doesn’t stop there, we had so much fun with her learning how to dance that we fully plan on joining her Latin dance classes this fall. Learning to dance was not only fun for Kierstin and I but it also brought us closer together. Its something we really enjoyed learning to do together, and something (with Laurel’s help) plan on continuing to do for many years to come.
Matt and Kierstin Kramer
Thanks to Matt and Kierstin for sharing their story!