The first dance

The first dance
The first dance

A first dance between the bride and the groom is a perfect symbol of two lives joining together. If you are one of those people who believes they have two left feet, don’t fret; with a little planning, your first dance will be beautiful. After all, you’ll be in the arms of someone whom you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

Picking the Song

Before you can decide on a dance style, you have to choose your first dance song. If you and your betrothed already have a song that is special to you, this is easy. If not, think about your engagement; was a song playing in the background during the proposal?

There are many beautiful songs that are perfect for this special day, and a perusal of your iTunes library is a great place to get the wheels turning. If you are still having problems, you can’t go wrong with Gershwin or Irving Berlin standards.

When choosing a first dance song, listening very carefully to the lyrics beforehand is extremely important. Lyrics are often overlooked, especially if a tune has a romantic melody or singing style.

You’ll want to be certain that special song you’ve always loved so much isn’t actually about a breakup or the darker side of love! You should also think about your guests; what you two find a perfect representation of your love may be shocking to an older generation.

After you have chosen the perfect song for your first wedding dance, you should talk to the DJ or band to ensure he or she has it or can get it and is clear on when to press “play.”

Choosing the Dance Style

Ballroom dances are very popular for wedding receptions and for good reason; they are easy to learn and don’t require improvisation. In fact, if you can count to eight, chances are you can pick up the choreography right away. Popular first dance styles include:

–       The Waltz

–       The Fox Trot

–       The Tango

–       Swing

When deciding which dance style to use for your first dance, consider asking a professional or even a friend who is familiar with dancing. While the waltz must be danced to specific waltz music, the fox trot can be used for many types of song genres.

Learning to Dance

Some couples choose to attend dance classes or lessons to prepare for their big day. Besides helping couples get the steps down, dance lessons are a great way to de-stress from all of the wedding planning and to spend time with your future spouse.

If you plan far enough in advance, you can attend dance classes with other couples at a cheaper rate. Often, dance studios will hold informal parties where you can practice your new moves with others. If you have a limited amount of time to learn the dance, you can get private lessons with an experienced instructor.

If dance lessons are too cost prohibitive, head online to find an instructional video. There are hundreds of videos that can help you learn ballroom dancing for your first song without spending a penny. Just be sure you practice until you are comfortable with your dance skills if you choose to go this route.

First Dance Trends

As seen on YouTube, there is a new wedding trend where brides and grooms will begin with a traditional slow song before the DJ changes to a current pop song so the couple can bust a move. This trend not only introduces humor into the reception, but it also allows the newlyweds to stay true to their tastes.

If you are nervous about your first dance, there is no reason you and your new spouse have to be alone on the dance floor; ask the DJ to call your parents up during the song so you have some company. You can also call up your wedding party (including the flower girl and ring bearer) to share the spotlight with you.

Want to get everyone involved in your first dance? Break out the conga! After you dance for a minute, get the DJ to change the music and go through the reception hall gathering guests into the conga line.

First dances vary based on each couples’ tastes. Just be sure to pick out something that you will love and will remember for a lifetime.

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Written by Steve Williams
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'.