The first dance is an important part of any wedding reception. All your guests will be gathered around the dance floor eager to see what you have planned and how you’re going to kick start the party.

So, do you waltz around the dance floor with the grace of a gazelle or do you awkwardly spend the next 3 minutes rocking to and fro wishing for this agonizing moment to end…

Dancing is often not a skill both of you will have developed unless you regularly take part in dance classes. Even then, how do you choose the right song?

Over the last 10 years we have been present at hundreds of weddings and seen just as many first dances. From traditional waltzes to Gangnam Style Mash Ups – we’ve seen them all. Some work… and some are a complete disaster.

So how can you make sure your first dance is a memorable moment and not an embarrassing experience you’d rather forget?

Follow this simple guide and your first dance will be something your friends and family will talk about for years to come – but for all the right reasons!

What do you really want?

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of first dance do you want? Do you want a slow romantic dance, a classic choreographed dance like a waltz or a foxtrot, a comedy dance or a mash up of all the songs important to you and your new spouse?

If you are not sure what you’re looking for then You Tube is an excellent place to look for ideas. Here are some of my favourites…

Super Cool First Dance Mash Up – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvN_zqJ1hME

Classy Choreographed Rumba – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsj8Badq6rA

Steamy Argentinian Tango – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M4casjZ4BU

Once you have decided whether you want to be remembered for a steamy Tango or a party mash up the next step is to choose your song!

The Perfect Song

If you want your first dance to be a success then choosing the right song is super important – and a tad tricky.

Not only should it be something that suits the style you have chosen but ideally it should be one that means something to you and your partner. Try to think back over your time together, are there any songs that stand out? If not do you know of any songs that have relevant lyrics?

Try using something like Spotify to listen to possible tracks and ask your friends for suggestions. Avoid any songs that are about splitting up or arguments as no matter how nice the song is to dance to, the lyrics will overshadow it.

The Dance

Once you have chosen your style and your song it is time to start thinking about your dance. Getting a dance instructor to help you even if you do not want a fully choreographed dance can be a good idea and I strongly recommend it. A professional dance teacher will be able to choreograph a whole routine or just give you a few pointers on what will work with your song and what to avoid.

Most importantly – Make sure you practice before the big day!  Lots!

Nerves will undoubtedly show up on the day and the more practice you have had the easier and more enjoyable your first dance will be.

Your Big Moment…

Make sure your DJ or toastmaster knows what time you plan on doing your first dance. Usually between 7.30/8pm is a good time because all the guests have arrived but the party has not yet got going.

Get your best man to confirm with the DJ or toastmaster when you are ready to go on – this avoids that awkward scenario where your first dance is announced and you’re in the loo!

Take a deep breath and relax. At the end of the day your first dance is about you and your new partner, it doesn’t matter what your guests think and doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.

Just enjoy the moment and have fun! And remember – if it all goes wrong and you fall flat on your face – at least you’ll become a YouTube sensation!