One Is Better Than None!

February 12th, 2018 by admin

So many times I’ve heard, “OMG, Jillian, we totally forgot about the first dance!! We’re a bit dance challenged but can you squeeze us in for just one lesson???”

“Sure!”, I always respond because…

One is definitely better than none!

If you’re on the fence about coming in for just a single dance lesson for your big day, which may be just around the corner, don’t hesitate.

It’s so much fun to dance to your special song with your love in the final weeks before you say I Do.

Taking a little bit of “us” time when you may be up to your ears in last minute details can be a great time-out.

I can give you technique tips and tricks for lead and follow, turns, dips and movement across the floor to make that dance go much more smoothly.

Just the act of getting out there on a dance floor with each other beforehand is worth it to see how you work together.

Towards the end of the lesson, I videotape our final product on your phone for you to refer to during your practice and viola! you’ve got some helpful and fun dance ideas you didn’t have just an hour before!

Of course, if you do have a bit more time you can benefit from repetition and more explanation that multiple dance lessons offer.

But let’s face it, sometimes stuff just falls through the cracks.  So don’t worry, be happy and come dance with me!

I can be reached by email at or by text at 619.871.0241

Happy Spring Wedding Planning!

xxoo Jillian

Dance with Jillian!

Dance with Jillian!

Starting The New Year Off Right

January 19th, 2018 by admin

Yay, yay, yay — I just got the most exciting news!  A testimonial arrived at the dance studio in a great big envelope addressed to me from one of my past couples!!

Along with this incredible note and their adorable composite Christmas card, they included a CD of their wedding dance in their amazing outfits.  Priscilla looked like a princess in her sparkly dress and Matt was the prince perfect in his dress whites <3 <3 <3

They didn’t miss a beat and their smiles during the whole dance made them look like they do this sort of thing everyday.  What a great surprise on a January Sunday!


Dear Jillian,

We cannot thank you enough for your help in getting Priscilla and I up to speed in dancing to “We Take The World”.

We had so much fun dancing with you in the studio and during our big day.  All the practice and your tips really made the difference.

Every time we hear the song it brings us right back to that great memory, and we still do our same dance every Saturday night!

We wanted you to be able to enjoy your final product so we sent you a copy of the video.

Thank you & God bless, Matt and Priscilla

PS: Please thank Torin as well as he was a huge help in the demonstrations!


Click here to go to my Pricing page… 2018 weddings are coming up fast!!



December Proposal?

December 18th, 2017 by admin

Is it really almost the end of 2017? I can’t believe it went by so fast!

Feels like just yesterday I was putting on my LBD and visiting my local watering hole for a little NYE cheer. Of course I had to do a fun rumba with my honey to bring the new year in just right!

If your honey just popped THE question this holiday season, don’t forget to book a few dance lessons for your big day.

I always mention two things to my couples when I meet them for the first time:

1) We don’t really couples dance “like this” anymore so it’s good to get some lead and follow pointers and

2) It’s not often that we find ourselves the only couple on the dance floor so a few lessons will really help with that “we’re all alone out here” feeling.

Unless you’re a super extrovert the wedding dance can feel a bit daunting just knowing that everyone you know and love is watching you two.

I’m excited to help you feel cozy and confident with each other on the dance floor to your special song.

Text me your song ideas and I can give you some info as to what type of dance and figures would be fun to do to it.

To reserve dates and times visit my Pricing page on my website.

Happy wedding planning and happy almost 2018!!!

Holiday hugs,


Text: 619.871.0241

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!


‘Tis The Season

November 30th, 2017 by admin

It’s time to get your jingle on!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and the turkey coma didn’t hit too hard.  I have to admit it, I wasn’t feeling the turkey thing so we had Cornish game hens. 😉

With the season upon us I’m sure a lot of couples are getting engaged and ramping up the planning for their 2018 weddings.

Don’t forget Gift Certificates make a great holiday gift for your friends and family members.

But if your wedding is right around the corner, say on New Year’s Eve!, you can always contact me by text to get in a dance lesson or two before the big day.

I love the holiday season and teaching during it makes everything just that much more special!


Just in… a fabulous testimonial from another one of my gorgeous brides and her dad.

Emily and her dad came in for some dance lessons to their song, “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne and had such a great time together.

I think every time I glanced over at them from the music they were laughing and smiling at each other.

Mom even came out for a bit at the end so dad could have a great practice partner when his daughter was out and about.

From the pictures, the wedding looked amazing!

Here’s Emily’s testimonial:

Hi Jill!

My dad and I came in last Spring to learn our Father Daughter Dance for my wedding.

We got our pictures back and I wanted to share some and tell you thank you so much for your time with us!

My dad and I had so much fun and it was such a special moment that I will remember forever!

The crowd loved the dance, and I will always cherish these memories with my dad.

I wanted to thank you for you big role in such a special part of our day!

Thank you again, and hope all is well, Emily & Dad, Don

Father Daughter Dance Fun!

Father Daughter Dance Fun!








Have a lovely holiday all,


Wedding Dance Basics

October 26th, 2017 by admin

Over the years and years I’ve taught wedding couples, I’ve been asked a lot about the basics of dancing together as a couple.

Sure, everyone wants to wow their guests with exciting picture moves, dips and maybe even some leans or lifts.

But how can a couple, who hasn’t danced together much like this, carry off those YouTube moments?

I believe it’s all about basics.

*** If the gentleman can learn how to lead and the lady how to follow – this is a game changer.

*** If the gentleman’s lead is clear and the lady understands his direction and weight choices – she’s more on board.

*** If the lady really takes the lead and goes willingly into the next step – he’s excited to dance.

Ultimately, the dancing couple needs to understand their transitions from move to move so they can work together to make their dance look effortless.

My couples tell me it’s all about having fun and feeling in the moment.  If the basics can help them do that then they give it two thumbs up!

Spend a couple of hours with me a month or so before your big day and you’ll notice the difference on your dance floor.

You can use what you learn later – dancing on your honeymoon or at that friend’s wedding coming up right after yours!

Happy almost Halloween, Jillian


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!



Moms and Dads Dance Lessons

September 28th, 2017 by admin

Yes, it’s your wedding but what about your Moms and Dads?

Everyone knows about the Father Daughter dance and Mom Son dance but what about later on at the reception when Moms and Dads of the bride and groom will be dancing with their partners?

It makes sense and it’s just plain fun, too, to let them have a lesson right along with the traditional Father Daughter and Mom Son dance lessons so they can brush up on lead and follow, turns and movement around the floor.

Reception dancing is very different from the dancing that couples do all alone on the dance floor like Bride and Groom First Dance, Father Daughter Dance and Mom Son Dance.

When dancing during the reception, Moms and Dads need to take into account lots of different levels of dancers, floor size and number of couples, singles or even kids on the dance floor.

That promenade with spins that works great taking up half the dance floor during the Father Daughter dance might be difficult to do on a crowded dance floor.

Keeping steps small and watching out for your partner are just a few good tips to keep in mind making your way around a wedding reception dance floor.

Let your Mom and Dad come in for a lesson and have fun with each other to some of the songs you know you’ll be playing at your reception.

It’ll be fun to see them out there having a good time as you Get Your Party Going!

Happy Fall,


The dance and beyond

August 22nd, 2017 by admin

Great new testimonial just found on FaceBook!

I can’t tell you how excited I get when I happen to come across a testimonial that I didn’t even know existed.

It happened just the other week…

I was crawling the web and there it was on the Avant Garde Ballroom FaceBook.

I’ve been at Avant Garde Ballroom since 1998 when I was referred there by one of my actor friends. The new studio, where it’s been for about two years now by The District, is spacious and the floating dance floors are divine for my knees!

Here’s what I found,

“Jillian is wonderfully patient and helps beyond (the dance).”

– Ron S.

I remember Ron and his quest to learn the Viennese Waltz in time for, you guessed it!, a Viennese Waltz Ball held in Vienna.

We had an outstanding time learning the basics of the waltz and we learned some “beyond”.

What does that mean?

I knew Ron would need to know a number of things in addition to the dance since he was going to be out on the floor with a lot of people, needing to dress appropriately, and learn the basics of entering and exiting to and from the floor.

Ron even brought in his fabulous date for the ball who was already a professional dancer and he rehearsed with her, too.

Here’s a YouTube link to some great shots of the beautiful venue and images from their ball.


The “beyond” of your dance can be just as important as the dance itself, IMO.

How you conduct yourself in your elegant attire, meet and greet, enter and exit the dance floor and dance on a busy dance floor later are all great skills to know.

I like to cover these skills as well as my usual ones like: posture, lead and follow, frame, turns, stationary and moving dance steps, choreography and musicality.

It’s fun to know how to “carry off” your look completely from start to finish at your wedding or special event.

You can email me at and let me know your date and particulars like song, dance type and dancers.

I would love to help you with your wedding dance or dances or special event.

Happy end of Summer and good luck with all the planning,

Jillian :)

My piggies, Zelda & Daisy

My piggies, Zelda & Daisy

Muscle Memory & Your Wedding Dance

July 13th, 2017 by admin

Muscle Memory!

What is it?

Wikipedia explains muscle memory as, “a form of procedural memory involving consolidating a specific motor task in memory through repetition.

When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort.

This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.

Examples of muscle memory are found in everyday activities that become automatic and improve with practice like riding a bicycle, typing on a keyboard, playing a musical instrument or even dancing.”

Great news!

But how can it help with the wedding dance?

The bottom line is this: by coming in a month or so before your wedding day, taking some lessons and then practicing what you learned for short five to ten minute periods between lessons and a few days right before THE big day, you can get your dance in your muscle memory.

Why is this important?

Peace of mind and less “deer in the headlights” are two very good reasons.

We’ve all seen that adorable couple dancing their wedding dance looking uncomfortable on the dance floor.

Many of my couples mention this familiar scene when they first come in for dance lessons.

It seems most couples don’t want to give the impression they took dance lessons yet they do want to go out there and dance looking relaxed and smiling!

Wedding Dance Wonder Cookies!

Sorry, not yet 😉

I wish I could give everyone an Alice in Wonderland cookie to eat that automatically got their dance in them, but muscle memory is the next best thing.

During your lessons we work on technique for lead and follow, movement around the floor, turns and pretty picture poses and a beginning and dip for the end.

I like to use my couple’s phones to video what we did at the end of each lesson so they can have something to look at when practicing.

Eventually, they have their whole dance available so they can see the moves and how they work with their song.

Next step!

Ball’s in your court :))

Just spending a few minutes practicing every couple of days between lessons and of course a few days before the wedding will help get the dancing in your muscle memory.

Don’t be afraid to practice by yourself, too.  A lot of my couples aren’t around each other as often as they might like, so take that chance to get yourself ready and review your moves and technique from the video.

Some of my couples even sneak in a practice on their actual reception floor when they are there in advance of their wedding day for other purposes.

Every little bit helps and makes you more and more familiar with the dance and less nervous to actually do it in front of other people!

Ready to do this!

Contact me with your available dates and song choices

Let me know what song or songs you’re considering and your schedule and we can start to get the dancing in your muscle memory.

You can reach me by phone or text at 619.871.0241 or email me at

Visit my Pricing Page to reserve the lessons that are best for your busy schedule now.

Happy Wedding Planning!!

Hugs, Jillian

Daisy and Zelda in holiday hats!

Daisy and Zelda in their 4th of July holiday hats!

Wedding Dance Parts

June 6th, 2017 by admin

What’s in a wedding dance?

A Beginning

Will you be walking onto the floor to start or will you have just been announced and already be in the middle of the floor?

Depending on the answer to this question, you’ll want to learn how to walk onto the floor and do a step to start or you’ll need an attention grabbing “first move” to let your guests know you’re starting your dance.

Go To Stationary Step

Whether you’re doing the box step, a sway or a series of turns it’s a great idea to have a step that’s relatively easy to fall back on at any time.

A lot of my couples are opting to learn how to dance with each other rather than memorizing a choreographed wedding dance routine and this helps create some shorthand.

Get Across The Floor Move

Your floor may be large or small but it is fun to move on it and not just do the whole dance in one spot.

Often my couples with a large floor can cover some serious distance with some simple walks and turns.

If the floor is small there are some nice rumba moves that can be adapted to still move you but keep your dancing contained.

Didn’t Know They Could Do That  Figure

This is the one where it looks like it’s harder than it is. 😉

I can show you some beginner eye-catching figures, that with a little practice make the middle of your dance memorable.


Most everyone opts for a dip for their ending, but how you get into that dip is up for interpretation.

The end of a wedding dance is often about romance and of course the bride and groom kiss – so making the ending work well for everyone is a big part of our lessons.

Let me know if you have any ideas for your dance too, since working together as a team makes the dance even better.

You’ll want to wear flats and bring access to your song on your phone, plenty of water with Summer coming and of course – your dance partner!

Happy Wedding Planning,

Jillian <3

Let's Wedding Dance!

Let’s Wedding Dance!

Dance With Your Dad!

May 9th, 2017 by admin

Father Daughter dances are super hot right now.

What could be more fun than to learn a dance to do with your Dad at your wedding reception – the first great guy in your life on such a great day of your life!

  • What type of dance works for a Father Daughter dance?
  • Will I be able to dance with my Dad in THE dress without him stepping on it?
  • What songs work for our different generations?
  • Will my Dad go nuts and start doing that chicken flap thing he likes so much?

These are just a few of the questions that I get on a regular basis about the Father Daughter Dance.

First off I just want to say I think it’s fantastic when I get a Father Daughter dance couple.  We have so much fun learning the ins and outs of lead and follow, exciting twirls and picture poses to the song.

Plus Dad gets a little “Me and My Girl” time with his lovely daughter during the preparation months when everything can be a bit hectic.

Mom often comes along to watch the lessons and record some of the precious moments and crazy laughter on her phone for posterity.

(I like to get Mom out at the end of the last lesson and let her cut-a-rug with Dad and test out his new found leading techniques!)

What type of dance?

Usually Dads tend to like foxtrots or swings or a combo of foxtrot frame and feet movement with swing arms and turns.

Most of the hundreds of Dads I’ve worked with prefer a “flight plan” rather than just winging it on the big day.

We usually put together a beginning, three to five figures including stationary and traveling steps, and an end – not too romantic – but fun with often a hug or cheek kiss.

Can it be done in the dress?


There’s a good chance Dad can stay off the dress as long as the dancing couple sticks to their lead and follow techniques, the steps they learn and their flight plan.

Of course, nothing is completely fool proof but let’s just say Dad has a better shot at it after taking a few dance lessons!

What song?

One choice would be a song that is a tried and true favorite.  That way everyone from 18 to 80 knows the tune and can identify with the feelings.

Another good choice: a song that Dad and Daughter shared as she grew up.  This Father Daughter dance song brings special meaning to the dance and the guests get a cool glimpse into their relationship.

Whatever song you choose I recommend a slowish song, not necessarily really slow, but definitely one that isn’t super fast so Dad doesn’t have to dance like a buzzing bumble bee.  A good beat also helps keep the dance on time!

Dad Moves

Dad may break into that certain “Dad Move” you know and sort of love but after a few lessons he will definitely have more options.

Equipped with a Father Daughter dance flight plan, Dad might just hold off on his Dad Move for celebrating later on the dance floor.

Often Dad Moves end up being incorporated into Father Daughter dances simply because none of the guests would believe Dad was actually dancing if his famous exits and mouse holes or chicken flapping didn’t make it into the choreography!

Whatever Father Daughter dance you decide on you can text or email me about your song choice and dance needs and we can brainstorm.

I’ve got private lesson specials that is perfect for Father Daughter dances.  All you need is your song, flat shoes and of course – your Dad!

Click here to reserve your lessons now!

Happy Wedding Planning ~

xxoo Jillian

Father Daughter Dance

Father Daughter Dance

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