How to Dance at a Wedding: The Moves You Should Know

Dance wedding

Do you fancy a chicken and chips meal without sauce? That’d be bland, eh? Well, it’s the same as having a wedding party without a dance! Who would want that? That’s right, no one!

You see, dancing is some sort of currency at a wedding party. Whether you are part of the happy couple, the bridal train, the groom’s men, or a wedding guest, it does not matter. It is a given that you must dance. You can’t wiggle your way out of this one unless you want to be a buzzkill.

However, this might be a bummer if you’re not so confident in your dance moves or you’re not entirely sure how you’re supposed to dance at a wedding. But not to worry; this guide will let you know all about weddings and dances, and dancing at weddings.

Dancing at a Wedding: The Couple’s POV

A couple’s dance at a wedding is the real deal. It is the queen bee of any wedding dance. It is known as the “First Dance,” which opens the dance floor.

Generally, the first dance happens at the wedding reception, although you can decide to tweak the flow of events.

Even for the Chris Browns and Beyoncés on the dance floor, nerves sometimes come up. After all, it is not so easy to have several pairs of eyes rest on you while you show your dancing prowess to the love of your life across the room.

It might even be worse if you’re not a Chris Brown or a Beyonce. How do you keep your cool? Most importantly, how do you keep from falling?

However, let’s take first things first. What kind of dance are you aiming to achieve with your first dance?

There is no one-size-fits-all rule as to the style of dance you can have for your first dance. You may go for a slow dance, an upbeat dance, or even a choreographed number. 

Slow Dance

You must be a helpless romantic if you decide to go with a slow dance. Don’t feel weird; being romantic has never been a crime. Besides, it is the go-to dance style for most couples.

Even if you have never done one before, let your mind be at rest. The slow dance is the most uncomplicated couple dance style at a wedding.

Choose Your Partner and Hold Them

Pick your partner and face them so close that you feel their breath on your face.

If you are leading the dance, you’ll place your right elbow at your partner’s back, so you can nudge them lightly as you dance along. Make sure you are guiding your partner gently and not being forceful.

Meanwhile, if you’re being led, place your left arm on your partner’s right shoulder. Hold their shoulders firmly to gain balance, but don’t squeeze too hard.

Guide Your Partner Gently

Hold your partner’s free hand and stretch it out, but with a bent elbow, so you’re not stretching it at arm’s length. The holding of hands would aid in the synchronicity of the dance.

For the partner leading, you may shift your hands on their back to their waist at intervals and edge them a little close for intimacy.

Move slowly in Circle

Now, you can step to the left with your partner while in this position, then place your right foot over. You should continue this and make sure your feet are in sync with your partner’s.

Don’t be overly conscious of your steps. Even if you miss a step or step on your partner’s toes, apologize and move on with the dance.

Meanwhile, when moving your legs, ensure your foot’s angle is diagonal so you’re not just moving in a straight line. Continue stepping at this angle as you guide your slow dance in a circle.

Help Your Partner Make a Twirl

As the one leading the dance, lift your left hand (the one holding your partner’s hand) to cue your partner that you’re about to twirl them. With this, your right hand holding their back gently slips away, and your partner rolls away from you while still holding your left hand.

After the twirl, your partner rolls back into your open arms. Now, they stand at a diagonal angle to you (that is, their side is to your front). Your right hand takes position at the small of their back, and your left hand holds their right. Your gaze meets theirs, and they rest their body against yours. You tilt your back a little.

Do the Dip

At this point, you roll them to face you. So now, you’re both holding hands and facing each other. You raise both hands together.

As the hands descend, you pull away gently while one of your hands is still connected until your hand is on their shoulder and theirs on yours. You bring your hand further down until you’re holding their palm.

Slowly, you lead them to stand behind you and place their right hand on your right shoulder from behind. As they move to your front, your palms hold. You pull them into a hug until their hands are crossed over your shoulders, and yours are on their waist.

Now, you can twirl your partner. While they’re rolling back towards you, let your body meet theirs halfway and guide them to do a dip with your hands still in position.

To properly achieve this, lean your body against theirs and bend your left knee a little. This is so your body will hold steady while you and your partner dip. You can hold the position for a few moments, possibly kissing them passionately. After this, you can raise them back up with you.

You have successfully done the slow dance.


If, on the other hand, you opt for choreography, that would be a different ballgame. Choreography entails coordination and detail. This should not scare you, though. With these steps, you would do okay even with no choreography experience

Decide on the Tune

You should decide on the song you want to choreograph. Ideally, it should be a song you’re comfortable with. It should also be danceable and family-friendly.

Ensure it won’t bore you, your partner, or your guests within minutes.

You may mash up your tune with various songs and dances to make the couple’s choreography more interesting.

Take Virtual Classes or Get a Dance Tutor

Some couples opt to take introductory dance lessons online. If this is you, several websites can put you through. This is a more relaxed way of learning, as you do it on your terms and at your own pace. If you take this route, you should start at least three months before the wedding.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a professional dancer teaching you, get a dance tutor. Let your friends and loved ones refer you to someone they can vouch for. The tutor could teach you individually or take on you and your partner.


It is not enough to decide on a wedding tune or get a dance tutor. You must take some time for a bit of practice if you want the dance steps to stick. It would be best if you also learned to be consistent in your practice.

Watching YouTube videos before the wedding day will also help. Youtube is a school you can access anytime and anywhere, so make the most of it. 5 Easy Dance Moves for Weddings & Parties | Solo Edition 

Also, if you are more inclined to the pen, you can write down the dance steps, detailing how many twists and turns or hip sways you have in a round. This might help you remember faster.

How to Dance at a Wedding as a Guest

As a guest, all eyes at the wedding reception do not pierce the back of your head, especially when the wedding guests all come to the dance floor at once. So, a wedding guest’s dance is usually more about having fun because they aren’t too worried about their skill.

Whether you are dancing solo, have a dance partner, or are just vibing with friends, the main thing is to have fun. If you have a dance partner, consider adopting the steps above for a slow dance.

Also, try to avoid getting too worked up about the wedding line songs to be played at the wedding. There is a high chance you won’t know all the songs since you didn’t create the playlist.

And if a wedding line song you’re familiar with gets played, you can display those steps.

Helpful Tips on the Dance Floor

Whatever category you are in at a wedding, these are valuable tips you should keep in mind on the dance floor:

  • Relax and Feel the Music. This might seem like an odd instruction, but it is a much-needed one, especially for the overthinker. Loosen up, and don’t get your body in a knot before the fun begins. Allow your body to feel the music.
  • Let Your Body Vibe to the Rhythm of the Song. Naturally, whether you are a fluid dancer or not, your body responds to the rhythm of any music. So let it go. Sway your hips, move your hands, or tap your feet. Do this till your whole body synchronizes with the song. Let your body learn the rhythm of the music.
  • Prepare yourself for turns. Many dances have turns, especially when you have a dance partner. When you turn, ensure you have a point of balance. Your point might be a painting on the wall or a particular spot. So when you turn, you can fix your gaze on it, so your eyes don’t pop off their sockets.
  • Be Confident. Even when you miss a step or step on the toes of your dance partner, keep your cool and stay confident. If you let the mistake mess with your head, it messes with the whole dance. Also, if you move on from the mistake in time, your audience won’t dwell too much on it. You will find confidence seductively appealing, even to the coldest audiences.

What is the Standard Order of Dance at a Wedding?

It is common to see couples tweak several concepts at their wedding and instead go for innovative styles. For instance, some brides ditch the traditional white wedding dress concept in favor of something they’re more comfortable with.

So as a couple, you may decide on the order in which you want the dances at your wedding to go. You should know, though, that there is a standard order of dance at weddings that serves as a template. Here is the standard order of wedding dances.

The First Dance

The couple opens the dance floor with their special dance. They may decide to dance to a slow or fast song, but more often than not, the first dance is to a slow song.

Usually, the first wedding dance happens at the reception’s beginning. It is an intimate moment where the couple slow-dances to their song. The couple sometimes wears their creativity hat and performs choreographed music instead.

Whether you like ballroom, choreographed, or fast-paced dances, the first dance at a wedding is always the most anticipated.

The Parents’ Dance

After the first dance at a wedding, the parents’ dance follows. Here is the father-daughter dance, where the bride dances with her father. There is also the mother-son dance, where the groom dances with his mother.

A degree of flexibility could be introduced into the dance group as the bride’s mother may dance with the groom. In like manner, the groom’s father may dance with the bride.

Each of them may also dance with the in-laws.

The Wedding Party Dance

Following the first dance and the parent dance, the next group in line is the bridesmaids and groomsmen. They may choose a choreographed number, pick themselves up in pairs, and come on the dance floor, displaying their unique dance style.

Afterward, they dance with the couple. Before the wedding day, the couple may decide to have a formal dance with the group at this point.

Guests’ Dance

When the couple and each group have danced, the wedding guests may join them on the dance floor.

The guests may dance individually to a wedding line dance song or in groups. After this, there may be a general dance where they all form a dance group.

This wedding guests’ dance may not necessarily happen immediately after the wedding dance. Depending on the couple’s program, the guest dance might come immediately after the wedding reception.                                                                                                                                                          What are Some Classic Line Dances?

Over the years, we have had typical dances and songs at weddings. These are known as wedding line dance songs, and many people have adopted them.

As a wedding couple or guest, these are dances that you should already know. You would be doing yourself a great disservice if every other person performed the choreography of a wedding line dance and you were lost.

Although there are many wedding line dances, here are some popular ones:

The Cupid Shuffle

The Cupid Shuffle is a popular and easy-to-learn wedding line dance. You can quickly learn this online or with friends.

To begin, you take four steps to your right and another four steps to your left. There is no particular movement for your arms, so you can move them in tune with the music.

After this, stand in position and kick your feet in rhythm to the song. There are two sets of kicking, and the right foot goes first, then the left. So it goes: right, left, right, left. You can jump while you kick.

The next step is to “walk it out.” This is where you stand in place and dance to the song’s rhythm by bending your knees slightly, first to the right and then to the left. As you walk it out, you do a quarter turn to your left. You may repeat the process as many times as you want.

The Macarena Dance

A total crowd-pleaser, the Macarena dance is undoubtedly one of the most fantastic wedding line dances. It involves many arm movements, jiggles, and hip movements at the end.

How To Dance The Macarena 

The first step is to part your legs slightly, move your hips from side to side, and get into the rhythm of the music. While doing this, you extend your arms with your palms facing downward, with the left hand first. Make your palms face upward, starting again with the left arm.

Following this, cross your hands over to your shoulders, such that your left palm is on your right shoulder and your right palm is on your left shoulder. Then you pull your hands behind your ears one at a time.

Then you cross your hands over to your hip. Your left hand goes to your right hip, and your right hand goes to your left hip. After this, pull out your arms and place them on your bum, starting with your left hand first.

To finish up the Macarena, you do a big hip twist around while still holding your bum. Then you do a 45-degree jump to your left. Repeat the Macarena until you’ve done all four sides.


When you put these tips into practice, you will definitely see an improvement when you get to the dance floor. And don’t be shy; the only way to know this has worked is to put it into practice. Now, go be a dance god at that wedding!

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