by Shawna Schofield
While a couples first dance at a wedding may seem like a tradition that has always been around, it actually has a rich history stemming from the lavish balls that used to be held commonly in the past. Though less common now, these lavish social gatherings were often commenced by a first dance that was initiated by either the guest of honor, or the person in attendance with the highest social position; a king and queen for instance. Even though social balls are few and far between in modern times, the first dance has stayed a staple in marriage receptions throughout many nations.
Since balls aren’t common place anymore, it is rare for people to be versed in any style of ballroom dancing, hence many couples tend to sway in place during their first dance, as opposed to conducting any form of proper ballroom dancing. While there is certainly no shame in that, it doesn’t exactly make for a memorable event in the minds of guests. A perfect way to up the wow factor is to invest in dance instruction that can give, at least, the basics of how to preform a standard ballroom dance.
Make it Unforgettable.
Seeking dance instruction as a couple can ensure that your first wedding dance is not only memorable to guests, but to you as well. If you don’t know the fundamentals of dancing, you may just want to get the first dance out of the way quick, without adding too much emphasis on it; however, I will urge you to resist that inclination. If it can be helped, nothing in your wedding should be hurried over, especially something that can serve as a beautiful and intimate moment with your newly wedded partner. A first dance is a time to show a coordination with you and your partner, and even basic skills can help the two of you flow more organically together, without worry of uncertainty or awkwardness. This should be a fun experience for everyone, especially the bride and groom!
The time spent learning a routine together is time spent that can help bring the two of you even closer than before. Learning and practicing dance can be a fun and intimate endeavor that can serve to add valuable bonding time before the wedding itself. Additionally, couples who learn to dance together can expect go on to use those skills at other social events and weddings in the future. It doesn’t have to be a one and done endeavor, it can be a learning process that the two of you can embark on together for many years to come.
The most common dance couples tend to learn when practicing for their first dance is the waltz. It is a classic and timeless dance that can serve you well as a starting point for building on later, or just leaving a lasting impression in the minds of your guests. However, if you want something more non-traditional there are certainly routines that can be choreographed to fit what you have in mind. Depending on how far in advance you being your lessons the sky is the limit for what you can do.
A first dance can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it; depending on your time frame. But, know that even if you don’t have time to learn a complex routine, you can build off of the basics you do learn. Remember, there is beauty in simplicity, and no pressure to go above and beyond right off the bat.
Get the Family Involved!
If you are really ambitious you can think ahead to the next dance on the traditional list; the mother-son and daughter-father dances. Of course, depending on family situation this can be tweaked to however you desire, the above is just the standard layout. If you want, you can even look into getting your chosen family members involved with dance lessons. You certainly won’t have to worry about your guests feeling bored while watching the opening dances, as they will be too awestruck to focus on much else. This can be a fun way to bring the family together, and forge even stronger bonds than before. Who knows, it might just turn out to be your families next favorite group activity!
The first dance has a rich history built upon elegant social gatherings, and by learning the basics of a dance, you can carry though that air of elegance into your own wedding. The process of learning can act as a bonding activity to bring you and your spouse even closer that you were before; and additionally, if you include more family members, those bonds can extend to them as well. Learning even a basic routine can help dazzle your guests, and leave both you and them with lasting memories that can be fondly looked back on for many years to come.
Dance is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s using your learned skills at another social event in the future, or even during an intimate date night on the town or at home, you and your partner can enjoy the experience together and continue making unforgettable memories with the power of dance.