The First Dance

first danceIt's all part of the fairytale, once you are man and wife, your husband takes you into his arms and in front of all your friends, family and guests you gracefully dance together, never putting a foot wrong, showing everyone your love and perfect unison and proving that you are made for each other…… the perfect couple.

The first dance is the couple’s first official dance together as a married couple and traditionally they would dance to ‘their song’ or a song that they have chosen together.  All eyes will be on the couple and is classed as a wonderful moment for the new couple, and provides a great photo opportunity.

However, things are not always that easy! 

Never mind the fact that one of you (or both) may be left footed and struggle to clap in time, never mind keeping up a dance rhythm, there are other things to be taken into consideration before choosing your wedding dance such as:

  • Your experience/ability to dance
  • Do you want a simple or flashy dance and are you up to it
  • The size of your dance floor
  • How big/tight is the brides dress as some dances have been known to cause problems through lack of flair in the dress
  • How comfortable are your shoes
  • How long do you want your dance to be.  Two minutes will feel like a long time to dance, four and a half minutes may feel like an eternity

Don't Be Too Ambitious with your First Dance

The dance should be chosen to suit the couple’s ability, something that they can both dance competently to, whether they are nervous or have had a couple of drinks beforehand, no-one wants to see anyone falling over half way through the routine!  It is becoming more and more popular nowadays for brides and grooms to take dancing lessons prior to their wedding.  The dance studio can assess their skills and help guide them to the style of dance that will suit and compliment their abilities, ensuring that their wedding dance is one to remember.

Popular Wedding Dances

first dace 2Here is just a short list of popular first dance styles.

Latin American

  • Rhumba – the dance of love and lust
  • Cha cha – the cheeky dance
  • Paso doble – bullfight inspired, the male dancer takes the part of the matador and partner as his cape
  • Samba – carnival dance originating from Brazil
  • Jive – upbeat dance


  • Waltz – a smooth dance with rise and fall and sway
  • Foxtrot – smooth and graceful
  • Tango – strong and passionate
  • Viennese Waltz – rotational dance, not many steps but the hardest ballroom dance to do
  • Quickstep – upbeat, fast, bright with tricky footsteps

Street Latin

  • Salsa – Includes elements of classic New York mambo, Latin jazz, hustle and ballroom Latin.  It is a partner dance that incorporates a huge variety of ‘turn patterns’ and flashy footwork
  • Merengue – the simplest dance to learn, not many steps and mostly leading turns from the male.  A marching dance that can be developed into a very rhythmical dance

New Vogue

Sequence style of dancing where everyone does the same steps.  Great for social dancing as the routine has already been set

Argentine Tango

Characterized by close embraces.  A definite lead and follow pattern, consistently caressing the floor.  A dance full of passion and romance

Of course it is all down to personal choice, and if the bride and groom wish to cut down their time in the spotlight they can simply take a few turns of the dance floor, giving enough time for everyone to get the all important photographs and then split up to invite members of the family to join them on the dance floor.

The Parent Dance

first danceTraditionally, after the first dance the bride will dance with her father and the groom will dance with his mother.  This can prove difficult if parents are deceased, divorced, remarried etc and should be thought about in advance to avoid any embarrassing or awkward moments. 

Remember that occasions such as weddings are fraught with emotions and the choice of dance partner may be taken as preferences when the usual father/daughter and son/mother dance cannot be achieved.  With this in mind some couples nowadays choose not to have the ‘parent dance’ and opt for diplomacy by deciding to split the dance between partners or choose a dance that allows multiple partners.

The guests will need to be considered when thinking about how many dances there are going to be and how long they will take as if too long, guests may get bored or irritable, especially if its holding up dinner, cake or their own chance of getting up on the dance floor to shake their thing!

Everyone on the Dance Floor

Some friends and family may be on the dance floor before the DJ has finished setting up the speakers whereas other guests may require a little coaxing.  Think about your guests when planning the DJ’s set and try to choose songs that will appeal to most of your guests.  For example, older guests such as grandparents are more likely to leave early so plan a play list that allows them to dance or listen to music that provides enjoyment for them, instead of the DJ jumping straight into dance music that may send some of your guests home earlier than they had intended. 

As the evening wears on and the party progresses the music can become more livelier to suit the younger guests.  Of course the DJ will probably have within their collection specific songs such as the Timewarp, the Birdie song and YMCA etc, all of which are geared up to get everyone on the dance floor.

Dancing at a wedding should be fun.  Don’t get too caught up with the traditions and etiquette, plan to dance how you and your partner feel comfortable.  Dance to have fun and dance to celebrate the most memorable day of your life.