Make a Move

For the bride and groom it can be the most nerve-rack­ing mo­ment of the day—but it needn’t be. Melissa Twigg speaks to the pros about how to take the mis­steps out of that mem­o­rable first dance

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings - - Contents - Digital Art ME­LANIE JAM

We speak to the pros about how to take the mis­steps out of that mem­o­rable first dance

It should be the most ro­man­tic ex­pe­ri­ence of your life. The mo­ment you fan­ta­sise about when you’re 15, pic­tur­ing an ab­surdly hand­some man gaz­ing into your eyes as you waltz around the room to the per­fect song, your guests burst­ing into spon­ta­neous ap­plause at the drama and beauty of it all.

But the re­al­ity, well, that can turn out a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. From grooms shuf­fling awk­wardly across the dance floor with a stricken ex­pres­sion on their face to brides with wardrobe mal­func­tions, it is all too easy to turn from blush­ing bride to blush­ing with em­bar­rass­ment. In fact, a quick browse on the Mail Online re­veals the seem­ingly in­fi­nite ways a first dance can go dis­as­trously wrong: a groom ac­ci­dently kick­ing his new wife in the head as they at­tempt a back­flip, for ex­am­ple, or a bride break­ing her an­kles as they try to recre­ate the Dirty Danc­ing lift.

Luck­ily we’re here to en­sure that, firstly, the paramedics won’t num­ber among your guests, and se­condly, you won’t au­di­bly howl with em­bar­rass­ment when your maid of hon­our sends you a clip cap­tioned “The First Dance.” Here are the rules ac­cord­ing to Hong Kong Tatler.

DO be re­al­is­tic about your danc­ing abil­ity

If you’ve al­ways been the life and soul of the dance floor, skip this point and plan an ex­trav­a­gant dance rou­tine. It’ll be fab­u­lous. But if your style is more along the lines of awk­ward shuf­fle, then keep it sim­ple. “Re­mem­ber, the idea is not to en­ter­tain your guests. It is to share a pri­vate mo­ment be­tween the two of you,” says Her­man Lam of Her­man Lam Dance Stu­dio. If you’re re­ally em­bar­rassed, we also sug­gest a shot of vodka and ask­ing your maid of hon­our, the best man and your par­ents to join in half­way through.

DO think about tim­ing

Tra­di­tion­ally, the first dance kicks off the danc­ing por­tion of the re­cep­tion and most cou­ples save it un­til af­ter the meal, il­lus­trat­ing to guests that it’s time for them to get out of their seats and ramp up their flirt­ing on the dance floor.

How­ever, cou­ples are grow­ing in­creas­ingly fond of a grand en­trance, which means ar­riv­ing at the re­cep­tion af­ter all the guests are in place and launch­ing straight into the first dance. The ad­van­tage is that it cre­ates a fan­tas­tic en­ergy from the get-go, but it can make it more dif­fi­cult to drag your guests away from din­ner.

DON’T pick a song that ac­tu­ally means “it’s over”

The most pop­u­lar first-dance song of the last 20 years is I Will Al­ways Love You by Whit­ney Hous­ton, but while the ti­tle is per­fect, the verses and cho­rus are not ex­actly ideal. “Bit­ter­sweet me­mories, That is all I’m tak­ing with me. So good­bye. Please don’t cry: We both know I’m not what you, you need.” Hmm. Okay, so firstly don’t break up on the dance floor, but also pick a song that

“Re­mem­ber, the idea is not to en­ter­tain your guests. It is to share a pri­vate mo­ment be­tween the two of you”

means some­thing to you. “You can dance to any song in the world, that’s our prom­ise, so pick one you love,” says Katie Bridges of Ce­roc Hong Kong. “We love it when cou­ples choose some­thing that is mean­ing­ful and spe­cial to them. It’s then our chal­lenge to chore­o­graph some­thing unique to fit their per­son­al­ity, dance skills and de­sired style.”

DO take celebrity in­spi­ra­tion

If you’re draw­ing a real blank in terms of song choice, why not do what the fa­mous do? The Oba­mas went for You and I by Ste­vie Won­der. Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Justin Th­er­oux picked Chan­de­lier by Sia, the Clooneys had Why Shouldn’t I? by Cole Porter, while the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge opted for El­ton John’s Your Song per­formed by Ellie Gould­ing.

DON’T have a wardrobe mal­func­tion

When you buy your dress, prac­tise danc­ing around the bou­tique with your best friend and if you find you can’t move prop­erly, get it al­tered. “The style of dress does dic­tate the moves,” says Bridges. “We will al­ways ask our clients about their dress choice in the first les­son, even if that means send­ing the fi­ancé out the room. Do tuck long trains into a bus­tle where pos­si­ble, or add a hook onto your fin­ger. We’ve even had dress re­hearsals with blind­folded grooms to en­sure ev­ery­thing goes ac­cord­ing to plan.”

DO have some lessons

“It’s like giv­ing a best man’s speech off the cuff,” says Bridges. “Yes, you can talk and you prob­a­bly know your sub­ject well, but with­out prac­tice you could fall flat on your face (lit­er­ally). Cou­ples gen­er­ally find dance lessons re­ward­ing be­cause they give them the con­fi­dence to feel good on the day—and men in par­tic­u­lar say they en­joyed the process much more than they ex­pected to. It’s great for bond­ing.”

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