The Bride’s Guide to All Things Wedding Dances

The Bride’s Guide to All Things Wedding Dances

To dance or not to dance?

My name is Dani Bliss and I’ve been choreographing and teaching couples their wedding dances for over 15 years.  Last year I got married and experienced the wedding dance from a whole new perspective.  My fiancée wasn’t a dancer and had all the usual worries about looking like a dork, but even I was nervous… 

So, this blog is for all brides to be, and grooms to be, and will cover everything from how to decide what dance to do and choosing music, to finding a dance studio and tips and tricks for enjoying your first dance.  Let’s start at the very beginning..

  • Where did wedding dances come from?
    • Wedding dances have been around since the 17th century when the highest ranking people at the ballroom opened the dance with a Quadrille.  So, at your wedding you are definitely the highest ranking couple.  In modern times, the first dance you have as a couple is symbolic of a life in partnership.  It’s become a common part of wedding celebrations and the good news is you no longer need to learn a quadrille! 
  • Why is sometimes called a bridal or wedding waltz?
    • This comes from way back in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s when ballroom dancing was a skill that everyone had, and the most popular dance was the waltz.  These days you can dance anything from a rumba to a salsa and everything in between.

To dance or not to dance? What discussion do I need to have with my partner?

Even though it is tradition, you don’t have to do a wedding dance.  It’s up to you, the couple, to decide.  Here’s a few conversation starters…

  • Who are we doing this for?  If you and your fiancé love the idea of a first dance, then it’s easy. Start planning.  If one of you is keener than the other, explain honestly why you want to do a wedding dance, is it about “all eyes on you” or the feeling of being special or do you just want to prove to your best mates that you can dance? 
    • Remember, sometimes it’s about your families, is there a cultural expectation or perhaps a special person like a grandma who really wants you to see you on the dancefloor? 
  • What’s realistic?  Let’s face it, we are not all cut out for Dancing with the Stars, but guys usually find it more daunting than ladies.  Expecting a non-dancing partner to be a part of a choreographed extravaganza isn’t realistic.  Be empathetic to your future partner and try to understand their position and what they may be feeling about getting up and dancing.
    • Work together to come up with something that works for both of you, don’t set high expectations. Make this a fun process not something you are both going to dread.
  • What’s the feeling you want to have on the floor?  Joyous, romantic, fun, silly, your dance should reflect your personalities as a couple
  • How do you want your guests to feel?  Are you looking for a WOW reaction or an Awwwww reaction, smiles or tears?
  • What’s the style of your wedding?  Whether it’s a black tie and tails function in a huge ballroom, a barn dance or a relaxed beachside vibe, a dance needs to reflect the day.  Check in with each other whether a wedding dance is a good fit for your occasion.   

So, that’s your homework, sit down and decide whether a wedding dancing is for you… Next time we’ll look at how to choose the right dance and music for your special day.  Meanwhile, check us out at

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