Before: The First Dance

6 Feb

Our “something borrowed” for the wedding day…

Eight months before our wedding date, we had not given a second thought to our first dance. With photographers to confirm, wedding gowns to hunt and venue contracts to sign, our first official boogie was nowhere near the top of the agen- da. And then, one lazy Sunday afternoon my groom was enjoying a YouTube bender when his search topic turned to first dances. We passed through awk- ward, junior-high-style slow dances; “evolution” dances (which begin as a slow dance or formal waltz but transition into a humorous bop to “Baby Got Back” and the like); and salsa numbers with super advanced choreography. We weren’t looking for inspiration so much as a good giggle.

Then, in the suggested videos list there appeared a video entitled “Best First Dance Ever”. Hmm, sounds promising! This is what that video showed:

Our jaws collectively dropped. Wow! That was amazing! Such fun choreo- graphy! Such a nice choice of song! We chatted away in awe over Mr and Mrs John Tucker. My groom got ready to click on the next video when I stilled his hand and said, “You know… we could do that dance.”
He looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, we could do that as our first dance. The steps are fairly simple, and it’s zoomed out enough that you can see what their arms and legs are doing the entire way through. We could teach ourselves and do it on the wedding day!”

Now we were excited! The Reflective Groom and I both love Frank Sinatra and thought “Come Fly With Me” was a perfect song for an international couple, who live on the other side of the world to our wedding location (my home country). We liked that it was something a little classy; apparently the dance is a mix of the society dances swing and foxtrot. I’ve also taken six years of ballet and tap, so it was important to me that we do something a bit special for the first official shak- ing of our marital groove thing. My groom and I agreed on that dance on the spot and didn’t bother to look at any more videos… and felt particularly proud of ourselves for wrapping up a wedding planning element we hadn’t even been working on. High five! We agreed to start learning the dance three months be- fore the wedding.

Shortly after we made our dance decision, I felt a little guilty: like we were “stealing” our first dance. Then I realized that most couples who attend professional dance lessons for their wedding simply learn a pre-made dance from an instructor, rather than completely create something themselves from scratch. How was this any different? In fact, our approach required a little more effort, as we had to spend time on figuring out the steps for ourselves rather than simply being taught them. <Grins smugly.>

In fact, I can quite recommend learning a dance online! Not only does it save money on dance lessons, but means your “instructor” is in your home any time you want to rehearse, and you can move at your own pace. Also, YouTube of course not only has wedding first dances but all kinds of dance lessons and per- formances (simply search for waltz, rumba, “Thriller” or whatever you want to dazzle your audience with!), plus clips from ballroom dancing competitions and programs like “Dancing With The Stars”.
You can also watch the video in slow-motion to make sure you really understand the fancy footwork. Simply download the video via a YouTube extension in your web browser of choice. Play the video in the program VLC Media Player, and hit the minus symbol on your keyboard as many times as you need to slow it down to the speed you want.

Join in next week to find out how we went about learning and rehearsing our first dance… and how it turned out with our performance! (Hint: Erm, not quite as we’d hoped!)

(Image from

How did you decide on your first dance? Are you taking lessons or coming up with something yourselves?

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5 Responses to “Before: The First Dance”

  1. Tampa Lawyers October 8, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    Good day!
    Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    • reflectivebride October 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      You can follow on Twitter via!

  2. ask April 23, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    Wonderful post! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.


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    […] first dance: Our first dance was a fully choreographed and very showy swing and slow foxtrot to “Come Fly With Me”. […]

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