Updated: Nov 21, 2019
A first dance should elevate the sense of romance and celebration. It's an opportunity to get the dance party started and spirits lifted. What really uplifts your guests is having the opportunity to see you and your fiance enjoying yourselves and each other. Your guests want to see YOU and your UNIQUE CHEMISTRY with your bu. Similar to personalized vows, written and spoken specifically for your beloved and from your heart, the first dance is another opportunity to express the way you feel about each other. There are infinite ways to do this, and your musical selection is key. The feeling of the melody, the seduction of the bass and the poetry of the words all support your first dance. So please be true to yourselves when picking your music and designing your dance. Here are some un-played-out songs and accompanying choreographic suggestions to get your mojo working.
“Ritcheously” Anna Ash
This sweet little number is delightful, sexy, and features a female vocalist. Folk with a twangy undertone.
Dance idea : Bust into a snuggly, side by side country line dance at some point! Have your wedding party join in for a mini flash mob to get people really whoopin’ and hollerin’.
Meaning : Flash mobs are a fun choice that highlights your community. If you’re the kind of couple that is all about your friends, a wedding party flash mob is perfect for you. Synchronization sends a message that says “we are synchronized in life and love.”
“Betray my Heart” D’Angelo
A slappy, happy, syncopated, love song with male vocalist. A newer d’angelo song that sounds like it could be an undiscovered 70’s soul hit.
Dance idea : I imagine lots of sassy jazz strutting, pivoting, and chasing back n’ forth between the newly weds. This song is dynamic and there's plenty of groove to add some playful social dance moves too!
Meaning : The effect of separating, chasing, and coming back together plays well with the words and feeling of this music. This choreographic choice reflects your relationship well if you are both sexy, confident, and individualistic. You spend a lot of time apart doing your own thing but you undeniably know where your sweet spot is and it’s with your sweetheart.
“Fool for You” Ceelo Green feat. Melanie Fiona
Super slow tempo, sexy, soulful. A male/female duet that belts out how ridiculously in love the two fools are.
Dance idea : blues dancing would be a great genre choice for this one. Bend your knees and work that pelvis like your in a magic mike show.
Meaning : If you and your bu have a shout it from the rooftops, can’t get enough of you, drunk kind of love. This is a fun one for you.
“River” Leon Bridges
Nostalgic, spiritual, honestly humble. The lyrics imply baptism and can also be interpreted as the way we want to purify ourselves to receive the glory of being loved and accepted by another. Leon Bridges (male vocalist), plus a supporting choir, and angelic female soloist.
Dance ideas: I imagine a simple blues dancing base along with good amount of symbolism and gesture. No need to get too fancy with big tricks. A simple lift or dip here and there will do. Put more effort into what your saying with simple gestures and shapes.
Meaning: If you connect with the words and feeling of this song as a reflection of the journey that brought you to your wedding day, this would be a beautiful first dance. Your fiance’ and your guests would certainly be brought in to your inner world so that they can know you and celebrate you.
“No Diggity” Chet Faker
Adorable, sultry, playfully romantic. Remake of the 90s hit by the same name.
Dance idea : This is a classic crush ballad that’s all about how fly she is. I’d love to see lots of flirtation between the couple with lots of dancing close and sexy but not quite touching. Extra fun if he busts into a little sexy solo mating dance at some point.
Meaning : If your intimate dynamic is fun, sexy, playful and flirtatious this song is a great fit for you!
“Give You My All” Aniiml
Gorgeous, tender, and vulnerable love song from this exquisite female vocalist/songwriter. Backed by the simplest of acoustic guitar chords. Makes me cry every time I hear it.
Dance idea : This is the kind of song that could support a beautiful and fulfilling dance offering from just one newly wed to the other. Imagine, for example, the bride doing a solo dance for her love to this song. Coming together at the end would be extra sweet. A hug, a kiss, a lift.
This song would also be delicious with a duet or solo/duet combination.
*If one person is in a wheelchair or differently abled, try one person reflecting the movements of the other with just their arms or whatever part of their body has the most mobility. #wheelchairdancing #differentlyabledfirstdance #differentlyabledweddingdance
Meaning : This song speaks to the fear of vulnerability in love and the willingness to love completely anyway. If you're a hopeless romantic that has some fear around vulnerability, but you're still willing to put your whole heart into your marriage, this is song is yours.
“My Love” Until the Ribbon Breaks
Alternative love ballad. A male/female duet with a heaping spoonful of heart and soul.
Dance idea : This song starts off like a finale and keeps crescendoing from there. It calls for a good number of epic lifts and dips, juxtaposed with some super slow, sexy partner dancing.
Meaning : You and your fiance like to live large and take passionate risks.
“Yes You” + “Good Lovin” Bobby McFerrin
For my ‘first dance song mashup enthusiasts’, this duo is dynamic yet consistent.
In Yes You, Bobby McFerrin loops his incredible vocal range to create a fully acoustic, extra darling, love song.
Good Lovin’ is a fully acoustic remake of the classic 50’s dance hit.
It would be a blast to mash these two songs together for a first dance. One after the other or going back and forth between the two.
Dance Idea : You’ll obviously want to get all sock hoppy for the "good lovin’" number. "Yes you" leaves more room for creativity. I suggest embodying contrasting parts of the music. For example one dances to the melody while the other moves in response to the bass. Unison for the chorus.
Meaning : If you and your love are in the opposites attract category, yet you harmonize brilliantly together, “Yes You” and the above choreographic suggestion would be perfect for you.
Absolutely gorgeous electro pop song with a touch of classical and synth. In a genre of it's own. Mike Milosh's falseto volcals are swoon worthy.
Dance idea : This song is so lovely I think you could do a pretty simple partner dance with some luscious dips and sways. Create meaningful impact by adding lots of authentic tenderness and sensuality.
Meaning : a life-long commitment to intimacy with your partner is a tall order. This song reminds me of the day by day navigation of maintaing intimacy in a marriage over time. It reminds us to keep staying open and receptive to our partner.