Video Courtesy: Full Frame Digital Cinema
Thirteen years ago, back in the good old days of Britney and boy bands, my husband and I went on our first date: the Homecoming Dance. A shy freshman boy and a "cougar" of a sophomore girl hit the dance floor. It turned out the freshman had moves, much to the surprise of the sophomore.
They danced the night away, but then the music slowed and *NSYNC's "This I Promise You" came on. As if J.C. and J.T. couldn't have written it any better themselves, that first slow dance would become our relationship anthem for over a decade.
After breakups, makeups, and a reuniting move to Los Angeles, the wedding had finally arrived. We found it only fitting to pay homage to the boy band who sealed our fate so many years ago.
We knew we were going to dance to "This I Promise You," but dancing only to one slow song just didn't feel right. We were the couple who would dance like idiots if Katy Perry came on at a bar. Cheese flows through our veins. So we knew doing a traditional first dance would certainly leave our friends and family disappointed.
I had read in a wedding magazine that the era of choreographed dances was coming to an end, and I completely agreed. I had seen so many "Let's do the Twist" and "Party Rock Anthem" mash-ups on YouTube, and I didn't want to do something so run of the mill. But I knew we had to do something.
We chose to do a dance to one more *NSYNC song, because frankly that's all we had time to learn. So on the Sunday before our wedding, in our little apartment gym, my husband Kyle and I began researching videos and attempted to learn the exact moves to "Bye, Bye, Bye."
I had to work the Emmy Awards that day for E!, so we had only two hours to knock this bad boy out. I wish you could have seen the looks on people's faces when they walked in the gym and saw us sashaying and shimmying to the eight counts. Priceless.
But as you can see from the video above, it was well worth it. It went off without a hitch and our friends and family still talk about it to this day. Now here are some tips to ensure that your first dance, choreographed if you so choose, goes the same way!
1. I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY
You may want to dance, but does your partner want to dance with you?
Don't force it. If your fiancé is really uneasy about showing off their dance skills in public, then making them do a choreographed dance probably isn't the best way to start off your marriage. Whatever song or songs you decide to dance to should match your personality as a couple.
For instance a fellow Fashion Police co-worker of mine danced to "Tweezer" by Phish & "I Would Die For You" by Prince. They totally jammed out and pranced around the dance floor. It wasn't choreographed per say, but it was so cute and so fitting because it was so them.
So whatever you choose, whether it be country, rap, or Sinatra, everyone is sure to love it as long as it you love it too.
2. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
We've all seen them. The choreographed dances that turn heads as soon as the record scratches. Everyone jumps to their feet to see what the couple is about to do. It's hilariously entertaining at first, but then it keeps going...and going...and going.
You've got their attention for the first minute. The energy is up and everyone is going insane. But the longer it lasts, the longer it is for people to lose interest.
When choreographing a dance, you don't have to use the entire song. We chose to edit the beginning verse and ending chorus together. That way you end when the energy is still high, and the people who are on their feet stay there.
3. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Lastly, while everyone is on their feet, don't make them sit back down. If you decide to do a choreographed dance, make sure it's slated right before everyone is allowed on the dance floor. Don't create all of that commotion only to go and finish your salad course.
After we finished, we invited everyone to join us on the dance floor to celebrate. With all of that energy flowing, it's a great way to get the party started and is a sure way for them to stay out there for the rest of the night.
When you think about it, at what other point in time will all of your family and friends from all walks of life be in the same room at the same time? That's what makes weddings so special. If you look at it from that perspective, there's no way your first dance will be anything but a great and lasting memory.
Kind of like the memory of an *NSYNC reunion. A "cougar" sophomore girl can dream...