Wedding Dances

First Kiss as newlyweds. First Toast. First Dance. Does one of these strike fear in your heart? Most often I hear it’s the first dance! Dancing has been a tradition for centuries, infusing joy into special occasions and celebrations. Most cultures incorporate specific ritual dances in their wedding day. However, the majority of weddings I have attended feature The First Dance as a box to check on their wedding reception list.

I remember my wedding day some twenty years ago, walking out to the middle of the dance floor with my new darling husband in-hand and awkwardly swaying back and forth to the song we chose. Looking back, my one regret in the wedding planning process is we didn’t learn how to dance for our most special and memorable day, even though we knew all eyes would be upon us. Years later, my husband and I chatted about something new we could learn to do together and his answer was “Let’s learn to dance!” This was positively the best thing we did for our marriage. So, if you’re thinking about incorporating dance into your life together, what better time to roll it out than on your special day.

Here are tips we wish we had received “back in the day.”

  • Take Lessons Together There are great dance organizations in the area that offer them. Check-out a few and experience a mix of styles (waltz, fox trot, swing). You’ll find a style that best fits your personality as a couple. Take at least four lessons to learn the basics, either in a group setting or private lessons.

  • Enlist Your Bridal Party Ask them to join you for a couple of lessons. Often, group rates are available. Make it your gift to them, instead of another trinket that may rarely get used much after your wedding day. This really could be “a gift of their lifetime.”

  • Flash Mob If you and your fiancée are super comfortable with putting on a bit of a production, work with an instructor to create a flash mob. You could enlist local dancers, your bridal party, or wedding guests!

  • Kiss No, not THAT kiss. I mean “Keep ISimple Sweetie.” Practice dancing with your loved one to the song you picked ahead of time. You may prefer to dance slowly and let your groom lead you through a few dazzling turns. Lovely!

  • Dress to Impress Not to Stress If you’re learning a choreographed routine, be certain to take the shoes you’ll be wearing at your wedding reception to practice! Then lose the three inch stilettos before your First Dance. They could kill you, or injure your brand new husband. And bustle your dress if possible. Some brides change into a darling “movable dress” for their special dance, and to wear it during the rest of the reception.

Most importantly, have fun and make Your First Dance special and memorable for the two of you – and for your guests!

Carrie Newman

Co-Founder Evansville Swing Cats

“I asked my brother to step in for the Father/Daughter dance at my wedding in memory of our late dad. Instead of doing a traditional slow dance we opted for a Charleston (which was perfect for our 1920’s themed wedding)! We reached out to Carrie and Jamie for their expertise, and they were so excited to help us out! They worked with us for 6 weeks before the big day making sure we were confident in the routine, and even invited us to join the Evansville Swing Cats for a night to perform our dance in front of an audience. If you’re looking to incorporate a choreographed dance into your wedding day, look no further. Carrie and Jamie were absolutely amazing to work with and made our wedding day incredibly memorable!”
–Randi Conrad-Bogard