Bridal Club Magazine
The Wedding Dance
Start With a Song
Do you have the coveted "Our Song," with your spouse-to-be
already lined up? If yes, you are in perfect shape to start
thinking about how your first dance will play out. If not,
there's no need to worry. There are thousands and thousands
of songs, and nobody but you and your spouse-to-be get to choose
which one to use.
Even if you are unable to pinpoint that perfect tune right away,
opting into a genre of music will get your toes tapping in the
right direction. You'll find that traditional first dance
songs come from classic crooners like Etta James, Nat King Cole, or
Frank Sinatra. Modern first dance songs may be performed by
the likes of Elton John, Beyoncé, or even popular musicals like
Phantom of the Opera.
To Choreograph or Not to Choreograph?
Ballroom dancing isn't for every couple, but don't let the word
"choreography" scare you into sitting through your whole wedding
reception. Many couples seek out dance instructors have a
whole "routine" created, while others simply take lessons to learn
the ballroom basics.
Ballroom styles include:
- Waltz: This is a classic, romantic dance. It is
characterised by a slow tempo, and a rise and fall of extravagant
- Swing: Slip on a pair of saddle shoes and boost your blood
pressure with the triple-step rhythms of swing. A few styles
of swing exist, from the slower, more formal West Coast Swing, to
the lively East Coast Swing, to the fast, acrobatic Lindy Hop or
Jitterbug. Swing is a fun beginner dance, with spins,
Charleston steps, and aerials for the bravest of newlyweds.
- Cha-Cha: Originally called the Cha-Cha-Cha, this Latin dance
was born from the Mambo and Rumba. The dance relies heavily
on Cuban beats, and flirtatious "1, 2, cha-cha-cha" rhythm.
- Tango: A passion-infused dance, the tango includes sharp,
distinct footwork, and movements that are smooth and slinking like
- Rumba: To put it plainly, the Rumba is a sexy dance. It
is top-notch in the Latin dance collection, with playful
action-and-response movements, and exciting African-Cuban musical
- Foxtrot: An American dance that is performed in a closed
position, like the Waltz, but to Big Band or jazz music, like
Swing. The steps are divided into two categories, 2 beats per
step for "slows," and 1 beat per step for "quicks."
But dance lessons aren't just limited to ballroom, let alone the
six ballroom dances above. If you want to do something a
little different, then consider a choreographed hip-hop
dance. Bust a move and show your guests what the newlyweds
are made of!
Want to spend a few moments dancing with your new spouse but don't
want to steal all the spotlight? A clever option for
incorporating other dancers is by utilizing a new trend called a
Prior to the reception, you and your selected dancers (most likely
the wedding party) get together in secret to plan a routine.
Each dancer is given a musical cue to join in with the group.
The "Flash" in Flash Mob comes from the unsuspecting viewers who
realize, as each dancer joins into the routing one-by-one, that
there is a sudden, dancing surprise happening.
Imagine the looks on your guests' faces when you switch from a
beautiful slow dance, to an upbeat dance with your wedding
party. The Flash Mob is a great alternative for shy couples
wanting to let loose of the guests' attention, and a great party
starter for those looking to liven the mood.
Choose a Dance Instructor
It is recommended that you start your hunt for your instructor
about 3 months from the wedding or, allotting yourself around 8-10
weeks of lessons. You may want to start earlier if you have a
complex routine in mind, or busy schedules to work around.
Check with your dance studios about consultations. Most
studios will offer you and your fiancé a mini lesson to showcase
different dances, introduce you to the available instructors, and
discuss wedding dance packages.
If a free lesson is not indicated on their website, then simply
ask! Your first dance is like your wedding cake, and you
deserve a ballroom "taste test," before you spend money on a
package of lessons. Some instructors will even make house
calls, if you've got the space to dance at home.
View your dance instructor as another member of your wedding
party. They should have a personality that meshes well with
you and your fiancé, a sense of humor for when you're nervous, and
patience for when you just can't grasp a perfect turn right
away. Some instructors may have a specialty dance style,
while others adhere to strict schedules. It's important to
voice what style or styles you are interested in, and make note of
who teaches what and when, at your initial consultation.
Gowns, Tuxes, and Dancing
If you're a traditional couple in formal wedding attire, than a
waltz in a ball gown will be stunning, and practical. On the
other hand, if you are interested in choreographing flashy aerials
into your swing dance routine, and you've got tux tails and a
mermaid gown to contend with, your first dance may turn out
memorable for the wrong reasons.
If you're questioning whether your dress can shimmy and shake like
you can, then simply put it on and dance! Take it through a
veritable "boot camp" of dance moves and see how it functions and
feels against your skin. Is your strapless gown drifting too
far south? Is it difficult to bend your knees? Are you
stepping all over your lace trimming when you spin?
The same test goes for heels and veils. You won't want to
get tangled in a veil during your sensual tango routine, and wobbly
ankles from platform heels won't add any charm to your
Getting into your groove may be as simple as bustling your train,
and slipping on a shorter pair of heels. For more intricate
or lively routines, another option is to have a "costume change"
before your grand entrance to switch to a dance-worthy party
We Have 5 Songs…
If, after all the planning and song-hunting you are still unable
to choose just one, ask your DJ, or even a local musician, to remix
your tunes into a unique medley. A remix is one way to
showcase a timeline of your relationship via your favorite tunes
throughout the years. Or you may choose to pay tribute to
those who are unable to attend by playing a clip that reminds you
of them. For the indecisive couple, it's simply as a way to
include all the songs you've been dreaming about.
Whatever you choose, from a few steps to a full routine, from swing
to hip-hop, you are destined to be dancing on a cloud in the arms
of the one you love most. Enjoy it!