Wedding Feast to Wedding Fest

First Dance

Photo by zeandroid — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Just when you might have thought it was perfectly acceptable to look silly and in love, along comes a new movement to raise the cultural stakes: the professionalization of a wedding’s first dance.

Is this a reverberation of the televised star searches and dance competitions? Is it a radical outlet for performance art? Or, is it only a new competitive approach to make sure that one wedding is more memorable than another?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the professionalization of the first dance at weddings began innocently enough: choreographers and performance artists making sure that their audience had a good show, and showing off their own imaginative moves.

Now, there are companies who will train the bride and groom and then choreograph their very own special routines to their favorite music, “tailored to the couples’ personalities and abilities”. If the couple is too shy, there are always the bridesmaids who can be counted on to create a show-stopping number.

All art comes with a price. This one starts at $1,500.00.

Maybe it is a bit old-fashioned, but when one looks at the recent posts in the Forum that feature some of the world’s more awkward first dances, they might not be Fonteyn and Nureyev but they certainly are in love. What else could be the motivation? After all, what is a better way to show-off your newly cemented relationship: dancing like Fred and Ginger, or stumbling your way through Meatloaf’s “Dashboard Light” for your in-laws, friends, and their young children?

In the end, rather than judge the smoothness (and coaching) of the couple’s first moves, more insight into their characters (and relationship) is revealed in the choice of the music.

Imagine the couples behind Ruben’s choices in the Wedding Bells and Songs playlist, which move from David Bowie’s Changes to Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me with Science to Sid Vicious singing My Way.

Now, that’s a first dance — and saves the money for the feast. As an audience member, don’t you think that’s more important?

- Bill Reichblum

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