The first wedding dance is a beautiful statement that has roots going as far back as the institution of marriage itself. If nothing else, the sheer longevity of the wedding dance tradition speaks to its credit. In short: wedding dances are fun, powerful expositions of a couple’s dedication, partnership and teamwork! One of the questions I’ve heard students ask during our first wedding dance lessons is “Is there any history behind the first dance?”
I love the people want to know what sort of tradition they’re a part of, so I figured I’d answer that question today!
Nowadays, when you think of a wedding, you think of a venue. This, however, is a very modern development. Before World War II and the turn of the 20th century, wedding celebrations took place at the home of the bride! Only after the war did dance halls become common, leading to the shift that brings us where we are today.
Obviously, having the reception in your own home made for a very different experience, and like so many customs from the last few centuries, what sort of party you threw depended on your social class. Wealthy families tended to have ballrooms in their houses, and so had what we might consider “normal” weddings with sumptuous food, live entertainment, traditional dancing and more. Yet those ceremonies were anything but normal, if you were a middle class or low class family. In those situations, the party would be hosted in your house, and might take the form of a mere luncheon. Some families even had mass weddings, where multiple couples would all marry and celebrate on the same day and in the same place, just to save money.
Thank god that’s over with. One bridezilla at a time please!
So nowadays, due to the marvels of our modern age, you can experience dancing the way our (very rich) ancestors did! What a time to be alive! Now that you’re faced with the opportunity, don’t let it slip by. People talk about the wedding dance, and memorable ones leave serious impressions in people’s minds! And don’t forget the benefits for you! First wedding dance lessons are fun!