The father-daughter dance is a beautiful part of the wedding experience. It is an emotional tribute soaked in tradition at the wedding reception. Originally, the dance was borne from the gesture of the father “handing off” his daughter to her husband. When thought of in that way, it can seem somewhat antiquated given today’s culture that is much less formal. But, now it is considered to be one of the rituals performed at the reception where the bride honors her father, and it represents the gratitude she has for her father’s love as they enter a new phase of life. In the past it was the first dance at the reception; now the father-daughter dance is usually right after the newlyweds dance.

If you are getting ready for the dance with your father, we have some ways you can prepare for it. Wedding guests look forward to watching this dance. All eyes will be on you, for sure, so you don’t really want to just “wing it!” Having some prep time will make you feel more confident on the dance floor. At Fred Astaire, we have worked with hundreds of brides to get ready for the father-daughter dance. Let us assist you in preparing so both you and your father will be at ease and enjoy the experience.

father daughter dance

Choosing a Song

Start with deciding on the kind of song you two want. Do you like a slow song that has meaning to both of you? Do you want a fun, upbeat song that has a lot of energy? Or, do you want to dance to a song that your dad sang to you when you were young? It is up to you. Steer away from a song that is long, over three minutes. Your dance needs to be short and sweet so you don’t end up losing the interest of the guests!

Choreographing the Dance

Again, this is up to you. But, realize that a dance that is choreographed to a degree is more fun for all the spectators. And, it shows that you have spent some time practicing. If you are dancing to a fast, upbeat song, choreographing a routine is really fun. If you prefer a slower song, choreography may not be as important. Instead, you can still take a few dance lessons to practice your dance. A few steps that add a lot to the dance, even if it is slow and traditional might include:

The Basic Steps

The classic dances to slower songs are still the most popular for father-daughter dances. Dances like the Nightclub Two Step, Waltz, and Rumba are some that are mainstays. Both learning the basic steps and how to lead are at the core of preparing for these dances.

Learn How to Spin

Learning how to incorporate a spin into a traditional dance makes the father-daughter dance more interesting.

Start with a Graceful Intro

Before you start the actual dance, you and your father can walk out to the dance floor gracefully with a bit of flair. It increases the interest in what is in store.

End with a Dip

End your traditional dance with a fancy dip. This is a move you want to practice to be safe and graceful.

Start Preparing Early

We recommend that you start no later than 2 to 3 months before the wedding if you are getting dance lessons. In terms of the number of lessons…spend as much time as needed for you to feel comfortable (usually 2-8 lessons). It’s really about your comfort zone and feeling confident and ready!

Contact Us to Prepare for Your Father-Daughter Dance!

We can be an integral part of your preparation for dancing at the wedding reception to make your big day even more special. Whether you are interested in a choreographed routine or getting some practice in before the day, we can help. Call us at (919) 872-0111 or send us a message using the easy-to-complete form below. 

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