Types of Wedding Dances

May 9, 2017

So, you want a wedding dance? That’s awesome! Now, you’re probably wondering what kind of dance you want. It’s easy to get overwhelmed considering dance styles and favourite songs, so let’s start with a few questions that can narrow down what you’re looking for.

  1. What kind of feeling would you like your dance to convey? Romance? Fun? Flirty? A combination of all of the above?
  2. How much dance floor do you have to work with?
  3. How long would you like it to be? Generally, dances less than 2 minutes are ideal.
  4. How structured would you like it to be? Completely choreographed? (recommended for beginners) Spontaneous? Loosely structured?
  5. How long do you have to learn?

Once you’ve answered these questions (tell your instructor, if you have one), there’s a few other factors you’ll want to consider:

Slow vs Fast

Generally, slower dances emphasize romance, elegance, and class, while faster dances are sexy, flirty, and fun. For slow dancers, consider the slow waltz, foxtrot, or for more sensuality, the rumba. For the latter, try the salsa, east coast swing, or merengue. Just be aware that faster dances usually take longer to get comfortable with them.

Recently, it’s also become more popular to transition from slow to fast halfway through the dance. This can be a great way to keep the audience’s attention - and you’ll learn two dances instead of one!

Available space

Smooth/standard dances are often called ‘progressive dances’, because they travel more rapidly around the floor than their Latin counterparts. These dances require more space, and therefore look better if you have more room to work with. Consider more of the latter if the dance floor is less than 12 ft. x 15 ft.

Time/Lessons needed to learn

Not all dances were created equal - while some can have you dance-ready in just a few lessons, others take considerably longer. Of course, it also depends on how deeply you want to get into the dance! Check the table below to get an idea of how challenging different dances are.

Hopefully this gives you everything you need to the dance(s) that work for you and your special someone. Next week, let’s talk about what kind of songs work great for a wedding dance… And what really, really doesn’t.

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.



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