Father Daughter Dance
A symbol of the evolving relationship between the Bride and her father, the Father Daughter Dance, also known as the Honours Dance
The lights dim. That special song begins to play. Fog creeps across the dance floor and rises slowly until you feel like you’re on a cloud. Your new husband takes your hand and escorts you on to the dance floor.
If you’re dreaming about the perfect wedding and you’re visiting this site, your vision includes a “Cinderella” dance scene. Now, I don’t recall a father figure in Cindy’s story, but if you’ve got one in yours, a spin around the dance floor with the most influential man in your life to date – Dad – is part of your wedding fantasy.
The music changes and your father offers you his hand as an invitation to dance. The dance between the Bride and her father is sometimes referred to as the “Honours Dance,” a tradition that pays respect to the evolving relationships between the newlywed couple and their parents.
The Honours Dance has different configurations. In the past, the groom might escort his mother on to the dance floor midway through the song. This in turn, may open it up for general dancing, beginning with the wedding party. Today, there is a shift from tradition and the floor remains the domain of the Bride and her father for the entire dance.
Learning an Honour Dance with Dad can be one of the most memorable parts of your wedding preparations. You’ve orchestrated so many of the details of your day, why not defer to, or at least consult with Dad on the choice of music and dance? Remember to change things up a bit. If you chose a waltz as your first dance with your new husband, you may want to try a fox trot or samba. For something more theatrical, you might consider the Paso Doble, in which the man is characterized as the matador and the lady as his cape in the drama of a Spanish bullfight.
You’ll also want to work with your dance studio on your music selection. Often there are several versions of a song, providing a range of tempos suitable for different dances. Your dance instructor might even have access to special software to slightly modify the tempo of a song to make it easier to dance to.
While it may seem like pulling teeth to get your “significant other” signed up for wedding dance lessons, you need only bat your eyelashes and ask “Daddy?” and you’ll be on your way to picking out your favourite father-daughter dance tune. The ease of this transaction could be, according to psychologist Peter Lovatt (aka Dr Dance), because unlike women, whose confidence on the dance floor peaks around age 35, a man’s confidence in his dance skills increases with age. Which means you and your Dad might make the perfect couple on the dance floor!
More probably, Dad’s willingness is about that special father-daughter relationship. After all, what father isn’t reluctant to part with his little girl?
If you’re the least bit doubtful that Dad will buy in to dance lessons, try tag teaming with your Mom. My guess is that she’s secretly been harboring this fantasy for years. Before you know it, you and your betrothed, along with your parents, will be heading down to the studio to don your dancing shoes.
Dad may even foot the bill.
Wedding Dances - Creating your Wedding Dance Story
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