The beloved father-daughter dance is a staple at many weddings. It’s the moment during the reception when the bride honors her father and expresses her appreciation for him as she enters this new chapter in her life. Some brides prefer a simple dance with their father, while others prefer to have something more choreographed. Regardless of how you envision this dance going, we have some tips for you! Below are some common questions we will address in this article:
· When do you have the dance?
· What song should you use?
· Should it be choreographed?
· How long should the dance last?
· What to expect during lessons and how to get started?
When to have the dance?
This is completely up to you! This is your wedding, and you can choose how you would like for your reception to flow. Generally, the bride and groom will dance their dance first, then the father-daughter, followed by the mother-son. I have seen brides begin with the father-daughter dance to honor their father first, and then go into the first dance. It’s your day, so do what feels right to you.
What song should you choose?
There are so many great songs to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. The first question you need to ask yourself is: would you prefer an upbeat dance to lighten the mood or a sentimental moment? A great way to narrow down this first question is to think about your relationship with your father. Is there a song that reminds you of your father? These are just a couple of questions you may want to ask yourself to help you choose which song works best for your special moment. Below is a list of a few father-daughter song ideas.
My Girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3KJ7d2qBoA
My Little Girl: https://youtu.be/1rigq_M8qh4
I Loved Her First: https://youtu.be/Pg8Z69B6RFQ
Isn’t She Lovely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVvkjuEAwgU
My Wish: https://youtu.be/bhrCc8VCHns
Should it be choreographed?
If you would like to be in sync and move in a connected way, or if you are looking to do something that is more planned out, then your answer is “yes”! Having an idea of what you will do on the dance floor, such as something as simple as 3 Basic steps than an underarm turn will help you and your father know what to expect during your special moment. So, when nerves kick in and all eyes are on you, you both will be on the same page and know exactly what to do! If you want a dance that is more complex and choreographed to the song, you will need to put in the time and learn special choreography for your dance. Regardless of your dance choice, make sure to plan ahead and start taking lessons months before your wedding.
Generally, I would suggest giving yourself at least 3-6 months of dance lessons prior to your wedding. If you’re wanting something that’s more extravagant, then I would say 6-12 months. This would all depend on your current skill level and how often you’re in the studio per week.
How long should the dance last?
Ultimately, this is up to you! We generally recommend keeping it to roughly 2- 3 minutes long. Not only will you lose people’s attention if it is longer, but it will take longer to learn that much choreography and will require much more preparation. That said if you choose a song that is sentimental and tells a story that you would prefer not to edit, then, dance to the whole thing!! This is your day and your dance, so who cares. Do what you what! If you choose to shorten the song, it usually works out well to fade the music near the end when it’s repeating the chorus. To figure out exactly where to edit the music, ask your instructor to help you.
What to expect during lessons and how to get started?
This is the fun part!! Taking dance lessons is more than prepping for the big day – it’s quality time that you get to spend with your father a couple of times a week! To get started, call your local studio (or us, if we are in your in the Houston area 😉), and set up a consultation. During the consultation, the instructor will go through a series of questions to learn more about your vision for this dance. These questions will be something like: When is your wedding? Have you picked out a song? Are you looking to have the dance choreographed to the song? Are you looking to learn a few moves so you can social dance to your song? Do either of you have any dance experience? They also may ask for details about your venue as well. If you have picked out a song, your instructor will let you know what type of dance goes with it, and maybe even show you what that dance looks like.
Next, the instructor will go over their packages and make a recommendation on which package would be the best for you based on your goals and timeline. If you decide to proceed, the next steps will be to set the schedule!
During your lessons
Let the fun begin! First, make sure to bring the shoes you will be wearing at the wedding so you can break them in and get comfortable dancing in them. Another option is to get a pair of dance shoes to wear during your lessons and at the reception. Dance shoes make dancing a lot easier because they allow you to move smoothly on the floor without picking up your feet. Lessons are typically 45 minutes long. During the first lesson, your instructor will be getting a feel for your abilities while teaching you a few basic steps and actions. You will learn how to hold your partner and move together to the music. Once you learn your choreography, your instructor will add the finishing touches. Finishing touches are like adding the icing on top of the cake! You will learn how to style your arms, how to embellish your movements, and how to do a dip or some type of picture line! Lastly, always keep the communication open with your instructor to let them know how you are liking everything so far. Your instructor will be doing their best to give you the choreography you dream of, so make sure to let them know if it’s not working for you.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it to be helpful. If you are in the Houston area, we would love to choreograph your father-daughter dance – give us a call today to set up your consultation!!