Singaporean wedding ceremonies are solemn, and every moment has important meanings that might overwhelm the main actors: the bride and the groom. Once you get through the main stages of the ceremony, you should brace yourself for the final challenge: the wedding party.

The first dance is considered a celebration of your love and a display of harmonious and enthusiastic pairing for all your family and guests to witness. It is also a great opportunity to say “thank you” to the audience in a very special manner. Wonderful but scary, isn’t it?

The First Dance: Who? and When?
Although one might consider the “first dance” more of a Western intrusion into the local customs, let’s keep in mind that dance represents a significant part of the Singaporean tradition. Nowadays, not only is the moment one of the most anticipated by everyone (protagonists, relatives, and friends), but it has become more and more a means of preserving and displaying some cultural traditions.

There is no universal recipe for the moment of the First Dance, for the actors or the music. Usually, it is performed by the bride and the groom after the guests arrive at the wedding reception. Some prefer to open the party with a special father-daughter and mother-son performance or to invite the guests to the dancing floor for a First Dance together.

Other people choose to save the First Dance at the end of the party after having relaxed and already accustomed to the audience and the dance floor. You should feel free to decide what suits you the best.

Choosing the Perfect Song
Although many couples decide to slow music which gives the advantage of mastering the First Dance effortlessly, going for an upbeat song could offer a memorable show for the audience, especially if you decide to perform later during the wedding reception. Choosing the song for the first dance shouldn’t require a lot of effort as long as you find the answers to some questions related not only to personal choices but also to logistics.

Do you both have a favourite song that defines your relationship and dreams for the future? Then you’re in luck, your choice might be over! Look for your dancing shoes! If musical preferences are one of the elements that unite you, you should search through the artists and genres that you both enjoy. If you have different tastes in music, then try to find a song that both of you love, and that will become your song forever.

If you are not endowed with special choreographic skills or time to practice sufficiently, the wisest thing would be to make a prudent choice. Your guests will know that you are not Fred Astaire. The known way is the safest; emotion and involvement will successfully replace the intricate, hypnotic, and risky movements.

Choreographing Your Dance
Once the song is picked, you can start building your dance. Choreography is not everything, but it is essential. Don’t try moves you’ve only seen in movies or dance competitions. Not only because you could make mistakes; but also because you could get hurt. You certainly don’t want others to remember you as the groom who dropped his partner or as the bride who ended up in the hospital on the wedding night because she sprained her ankle.

You don’t need a circus performance to convince your audience that you are perfect together. Maybe you are not born dancers, but you are together, elegant, confident, and happy; you complement each other; you feel the same rhythm. In other words, you float.

If you don’t already have a plan, if you have chosen a song that you have never danced to together, or if you simply want to offer those present a unique and memorable moment, the safest way is to call on the help of professionals. There are dance studios in Singapore that, depending on your budget and time, can advise and train you for a memorable performance. Choreographers—some of them are even dance champions—can help you choose the most suitable rhythm for you, teach you the steps, and give you tips to overcome difficult moments during the dance.

The Dance Sport Academy (tda) offers Latin dance lessons or ballroom dance (waltz or tango) in the studio or online if you don’t have time to get there. Our First Dance offers both dance lessons and choreography sessions. Wedding Dance Singapore is a studio focused only on the wedding segment. The instructors can come to your home for training if you want to save time or feel more comfortable. Dancer’s Dream Studio offers both individual lessons at the price of $150, as well as packages of 4 ($540) or 6 ($750) sessions.
Bolly Dancing organises sessions for mob dance, couple dance, and solo dance performances for weddings.

Practice makes perfect
The scale of success rests on work. You must feel every chord if you want your first dance to flow perfectly. So, have fun and practice. Don’t think about math, and don’t stress. You can do it in the studio, at home, on the beach, alone, or with others. Put on comfortable shoes and loose clothes, and dance. Even after a hard day, you will see that closeness and music will make you feel better.

Carry a CD with your song with you, or, more simply, put it in the first position of the phone’s playlist. You never know when the opportunity will arise to improve your movements. Without feeling the strain, you will learn to feel your partner and exceed your limits in every attempt. If you get tired, you can take a break. If you make a mistake, start over again. Remember, it’s easier in twos.

Stay excited! If you stumble, watch some tutorials or call the instructor. There are no problems; there are only opportunities.

Have a Dress Rehearsal
On the eve of the big event, you must deal with the fact that challenges may still appear, no matter how much you have practised previously. So, a general rehearsal is recommended, just like before a graceful theatre performance.

If you choose a live band for the wedding, verify if they play your song. If not, or if you feel uncomfortable with the idea that their performance might sound differently from the version you have used for practice, find a solution for an adequate sound system.

Rehearsing with costumes will ensure that the size of the heels, the shape, or the length of the dress will not make some movements difficult or impossible. If you notice you cannot perform in your wedding outfit, now is the time to adapt your choreography or change your clothes for the first dance.

Also, a rehearsal on the dance floor where the performance will happen or on one as close as possible will make you feel at ease.

Preparing the stage
The song should be the most 4,5-5 minutes long, enough for you to perform your elegant moves but not enough to overload your physical capabilities or the audience’s attention. Basically, the party is just getting started!

Don’t forget to announce the moment to the audience. Your guests wouldn’t like to miss it. If you assign the DJ or the wedding planner to reveal it, make sure you are prepared to step on the stage.

Butterflies in your stomach?
It’s time to relax. You are ready; all eyes are on you. You know what you are doing. You will remember every move. If you think not, look into the eyes of the chosen one. There are all the answers.

What could go wrong? Basically, everything. What could you enjoy the most? Actually, everything. Remember that you are going to tell your story. But only you know the story. Did you miss a step? Don’t panic; behave naturally, and no one will notice.
Trust yourself and your partner. It is part of family life. And remember to smile!

The recipe is simple: work as a team all the way. Choose the song carefully, set the choreography according to your skills, practise hard, alone or with the help of trainers, and check the ring, the outfit, and the shoes. Trust yourself, feel good, and smile a lot.

Remember, it’s your dance, and it’s all about you. Once your heart beats in time with the music rhythm, your legs will follow.