First dances that say something

Photo by Nicole Sandoval Postma
To cha-cha, or to swing? To tango or to rumba? Dare you foxtrot with your new spouse on the dance floor?
What do you want your first dance to say? You’ve said your vows, now show it with your body language. Trust, grace, love, and laughter all have a place in your first dance. How do you want to start your marriage? In this day and age, there is a dance for all occasions. While you could do the dougie if you wanted, there is a way to pick a dance form that reflects how you want to start off your marriage.

If you are looking for elegance and sophistication, of course, I would recommend a waltz. Waltzes are ageless dances that convey grace and class and it says volumes about listening and working together. Waltz is the most popular wedding dance of our time, because it is a classic that says a lot of wonderful things about teamwork and truly hearing each other.

Are you a couple who prides themselves on their passion? Perhaps you should start the ball rolling with a tango. A tango is going to emphasize the raw power within your relationship, and demonstrates a confidence in yourselves that is truly unique among dances.

A swing dance (and I recommend west coast swing) is adventurous. Infuse it with some lindy hop moves to show that fun loving side of your relationship. The fun lindy hop moves also demonstrate trust and bravery. A swing or lindy hop will show that you are risk takers with a penchant for excitement.

Intimacy and deep feelings will come through clearly in a rumba. Rumbas are very sweet, but very passionate, and Latin dances like this will make you feel like you and your new spouse are the only ones in the room.

Something that is pure fun would be a Charleston. This dance form is straight out of the 1920s. The embellishing moves that can be thrown in with the basic steps will cause laughter and smiles. While the footwork seems complicated, a lesson or two would be able to break it down, and the footwork will become second nature in no time. You will be unique with this dance choice, as it is neither traditional nor very serious, but if fun and laughter are your priorities in marriage, why not show that with your dance?

Looking for something easy to learn? Try a salsa. Salsa is easy to pick up, and always looks beautiful. It’s a fun dance where, once you’ve got the basic steps down, you don’t really have to think anymore. It is a nice choice if you just want to improvise with your spouse within a loose structure. A salsa says that you think on your feet, and you like to roll with the punches.

A personal favorite of mine is the cha-cha. Cha-cha is playful and fun, but it can also be complex and full of surprises and unexpected turns. With this dance, you will be showing that you are hard workers who love learning and growing together. Cha-cha shows that you meet challenges head on, and with quick, solution-based thinking. This dance will keep you on your toes, but so can marriage.

Another thing to consider is a medley of any combination of any of these dances. Hiring a choreographer will make this easier, but make sure you tell the choreographer what you want to say with your first dance, and why you’ve chosen to include each type of dance.

​In the end, it’s just a dance, but it is also the beginning of a magical new chapter in your life. Your first dance can say something about who you as a couple want to be in this marriage. Use the first dance to set an intention within yourself to be mindful in marriage, and aware of your strengths as a couple. What will your first dance say about you? What will it say to your family and friends?