The ‘First Dance’ at your Wedding.
The “first dance” of a married couple is a popular element at many post-wedding celebrations, not just here in Russell, but in modern traditions throughout the world. Exactly like an old-fashioned ball, the idea is that the married couple, as the guests of honour at a dance, open the dancing, not that they perform a choreographed duet for spectators. Sometimes, to further the traditional gender roles of father-daughter relationships in weddings (similar to ‘giving away’) the bride and father of the bride may share a dance either as the first dance or after the husband-wife one.
In the past, the first wedding dance was commonly a waltz. In modern times ballroom dancing is no longer a widespread skill, and rehearsing the “first dance” has become a lucrative business for dance studios and independent dance instructors. Today around New Zealand more popular dances include the foxtrot, merengue, and swing. Alternatively, many couples just do a “slow dance”. More recently, some couples have been known to introduce a surprise into their dance to shock and humour their audience e.g. by dancing to a song in a mock disco style.
Check out this great You Tube clip for a fantastic take on a ‘first dance’!