We have performed wedding dances for many types of couples. Sometimes there are multiple "first dances" with elaborately choreographed routines, and sometimes the first dance is cut out completely.
At the end of the day, the only important really thing is to do what feels right to you. That said, just because you're not professional dancers, doesn't mean you should ditch it. A first dance does make for a great photo op, so if you want to be sure your photographers get some great shots, go for it.
Of course, it should be a moment that you and your sweetheart enjoy as well. But let's face it, maybe you or your partner could use a little help on the dance floor. Here are a few options for your first dance:
1. Keep it short and get everyone involved:
One couple we worked with didn't want to be alone on the dance floor. Their first dance song was Carol King's "You've Got A Friend." They had previously spoken with a few of their friends and had arranged to have several couples gradually join them on the dance floor throughout the song. They danced together for the first verse than before we knew it, all the planned couples joined in and not long after, the whole crowd was up and moving. Once the first dance ended everyone was in place for the party to begin!
2. Get some lessons:
There's nothing wrong with keeping the spotlight on you for an entire dance - or even two if you want to fallow your first dance with a father/daughter & mother/son dance. If you're not so confident swaying to the music, it never hurts to get some lessons.
If you live in a big city, there are likely a few professional choreographers around who will gladly work out a routine with you. This doesn't have to be anything crazy, but here are a few great moves you might want to work on with a pro:
- The dip
- The cuddle
- Wrap turn
- A spin
- Inside/outside turn
Calling up some local dance studios and asking for recommendations would be a great place to start. Finding studios that teach partner dances like Salsa, Tango, Hustle and the like will probably lead you to a qualified instructor quicker than a ballet studio.
If you're in Vancouver, we'd recommend giving Fantasy Dances a call if you're looking for some couples dance lessons to prepare you for your wedding specifically.
3. Just be yourselves and don't sweat it:
Unless you're a dance instructor yourself, no one will be expecting anything spectacular. If you're not stepping perfectly on the beat, it's no big deal. Just get lost in the moment and savor the time you get to spend so close to your new partner! Everyone is your friend anyway and no one is judging. If your speeches were great, most folks will be struggling to see anything through their teary eyes anyway.
4. Have your first dance song played live by the band:
If you're not a natural performer and don't enjoy having ALL the eyes on you and only you, having the band perform your first dance song is a great way to ease the pressure.
The band's job certainly isn't to steal the moment away from you, so their performance will be more subtle and less attention-grabbing than the rest of their show, but just by nature of the fact that they are performing, they will attract some eyes.
Knowing that you're not the only one for your guests to be staring at may be just what you need to get out of your head worrying about what you look like. After all, you want to get lost in the moment with your partner and have an amazing first dance.
"Having the first dance song played live is an incredible experience, and one we highly suggest hiring The Phonix for. The entire process is very easy, and we felt extremely confident in choosing them. If you are thinking about hiring a band versus a DJ or hiring The Phonix versus another, take it from us. We would not have done it any other way. This Is The Band."
-Grace & David, Ecstatic Newlyweds
5. Make it slow...or fast!
Your first dance doesn't have to be slow! At one wedding we performed for, the couple chose Prince's "Kiss" as their first dance. Certainly not a slow song by any means. It may have been a shock to some of the guests, but for this edgy couple, it fit perfectly. They boogied hard and totally set the tone for the rest of the dance party!
Those are just a few concepts to get you started with envisioning your first dance. If you're looking for some first dance song ideas, be sure to check out our post on Sure Fire First Dance Wedding Songs You Can Use. You may also be interested in Wedding First Dance Cures from Fantasy Dances.