If you’re getting stage fright at the thought of your first dance – fear not! With the help of expert entertainers, Baker Boys Band, and dance instructor, Anne Marie Dox of Your First Dance Co, we answer the most important first dance questions, from choosing your song to whether or not you need those lessons. Let’s get your plans for this special moment sorted!
How do we choose our music?
Anne Marie: Make sure you both love the lyrics, the beat or the artist – there’s usually not a connection if only one of you is familiar with the song.
Baker Boys: Pick a song that is not too short, but also definitely not too long, unless you have a choreographed dance planned. Three minutes is a long time if you are not comfortable dancing! If you have a band, you can ask them to shorten a longer song, or arrange with your DJ the moment you’d like the song to end.
The most important thing is that the song really means something to you. If you’re worried people might think your choice is a little unorthodox, take a moment in your speeches to explain – people will enjoy learning more about your personality as a couple.
Top Tip: If you do have a band booked for your wedding, but are planning a choreographed dance, don’t be afraid to not have live music for that song. It’s totally fine to ask the band to play the original recording by iPod, to ensure the timings are right for what you’ve rehearsed.
What are some great first dance songs?
Anne Marie: ‘At Last’ by Etta James – Has a beautiful and natural waltz feel, being a ¾ rhythm.
‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran – More modern, couples are loving the inspiration from the film clip.
‘From This Moment’ by Shania Twain – Very meaningful and dynamic changes within the piece.
‘All Of Me’ by John Legend – Slow with dynamic changes, giving any dance a difference within sections.
‘Lost In This Moment’ by Big & Rich – A country feel and one that people love upon hearing.
Baker Boys: There are so, so many! And such a variation from couple to couple. An interesting new one is “Latch” by Disclosure & Sam Smith. The original Disclosure version is a club hit, but the acoustic version is beautifully gentle and a perfect first dance song. A few other of our favourites include:
‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes
‘Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green
‘What A Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong
‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri
Do we need dance lessons?
Anne Marie: Dance lessons are a great idea so you don’t have to ‘wing it’ on the day – having to sway for four minutes is everyone’s greatest fear! A lesson can be scary too if you’re not sure what it entails, but learning some combination steps for the person leading, if not a full dance, can make a great and confident impression.
How long would it take to learn a routine?
Anne Marie: All couples are different in terms of coordination and commitment to practising in their own time. A simple routine under two minutes can take between 4-6 one hour lessons, and a more complex routine, approximately 10-12 one hour lessons.
Top Tip: Film each lesson so you can note your progress and see the good times, the laughs and the connection between you. Every time it’s special. Take photos and selfies whilst practicing at home and listen to your bridal dance song in the car whilst driving to work – it helps revise your past lessons.
What happens after the first dance?
Baker Boys: We will generally start by inviting the wedding party to the floor at the very end of the couple dance – no-one except the bride and groom want to be the only ones on the dance floor! Then we’ll get things started with an upbeat song – a guaranteed dance floor filler that everybody knows, e.g. ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’. That gets everyone feeling the music immediately!
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