Choreographed First Dance – Fabulous or Tacky?

The first dance at a wedding reception is often a source of anxiety for couples. Some people are uncomfortable in the spotlight, and cringe at the thought of all those eyes upon them. Others do not not how to dance, and are afraid of embarrassing themselves on the dance floor. And clumsy types are just petrified that they will trip over their own feet and take a digger in front of all their guests.

Those are all very common concerns. An excellent way to alleviate them is to take dance lessons, and practice your first dance until you have achieved a level of comfort with it. There are some couples, however, who take it to the whole next level. These are people who not only don’t mind being the center of attention, they live for it. And for those brides and grooms, no ordinary first dance will do.

A big trend in weddings right now is the choreographed first dance. Instead of simply taking a spin around the dance floor to a romantic song, newlyweds are working with professional choreographers to arrange elaborate dance routines. Always dramatic, and often funny, the idea is to startle the guests and make a big splash.

Typically these choreographed dances will start off looking like a regular first dance to a traditional love song. The impact comes from the “surprise”, when suddenly the couple switches from standard dancing to some sort of dance routine. Part of the act often includes a dramatic pantomime when the first song abruptly ends in the middle. The couple pretends to be surprised, then suddenly another song starts, and the newlyweds start to breakdance (or moonwalk, or whatever they think would get the biggest cheer from the crowd). The routines are very intricately choreographed, and clearly take a lot of planning and practice.

The question is, does this type of choreographed first dance add to the wedding or detract from it? Like many things, the answer lies mainly in the eye of the beholder. A lot of people think that it is hysterically funny to zing their guests with an unexpected element at the reception. There are also apparently a large number of brides and grooms just dying to become YouTube fodder. Undoubtedly, performing your first dance with thunder and lightening effects will make a strong impression, but is it the right one?

To answer that question, you have to know your audience. If you recreate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, will your grandmother think it is hilarious, or will she be mortified? Does the bride’s father really need to see his little girl “shake her moneymaker” on her wedding day? Another question to ask is when you look back on your wedding in five or ten years, will you be amused or embarrassed? Remember, too, that just because you can learn the steps doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the rhythm to pull off the moves!

For a bride who wants to really shine on her wedding day, there are ways to do it that are always in good taste. A spectacular wedding gown with a full set of dazzling crystal bridal jewelry always looks impressive. The crystal bridal jewelry is also great because you can pull it out and wear it any day that you need a little lift. (Jewelry has a way of elevating any woman’s spirits!) You could also consider an entrance fit for a princess, such as a horse-drawn carriage, or even an elephant. It is possible to achieve a dramatic effect without going for shock value.

What the wacky choreographed dances are lacking is the dignity that is due a milestone as momentous as a marriage. For some couples, all that matters is having a laugh, and that is certainly their prerogative. But before hopping on the latest bandwagon, stop to consider whether you want your first dance to be about showing your love, or just showing off. In case you haven’t guessed, on the question of fabulous or tacky, I vote for tacky!