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Savvy October 2019

First Dance Length?

Deanna, on May 10, 2019 at 9:08 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 14
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So this maybe a silly question but my FH and I are taking dance lessons for our first dance. We just started the routine and the instructor told us that generally the first dance is only about a minute 30 long and have the DJ fade out the song when we do our dip.

I have been to a few weddings and I cannot really remember if people did the whole song or not.

My best friends wedding they did a full 3ish minutes as they did a minute and 30ish seconds of two songs.

I feel like if I am paying as much as I am for dance lessons I really want to do the whole song. The instructor did say if we wanted to do the whole song we could but its not recommended as people/audience gets board watching us. My FH says less dancing the better *eye roll* lol

Plus we chose the song I wanted to walk down the isle to "Thousand Years" so I kind of want to enjoy the song too.

I am torn, advise?

14 Comments

Latest activity by Courtney, on May 11, 2019 at 11:33 AM
  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
    • Flag
    I’ve never been at a wedding then the first dance was 30 seconds long and it honestly seems super weird that a dance instructor would say.

    Our song is 3:09 and well be do a choreographed waltz to the whole thing. I think if you’re just doing the class stand and sway 3 minutes would be long but there are other things you can do (like inviting others to join you on the dance floor) that make the dance more interesting
    • Reply
  • Formerbride
    VIP June 2019
    Formerbride ·
    • Flag
    We are going to fade all our dances out. I don't want to dance for 3 minutes. Guests will definitely get bored. I get bored when couples dance to the entire song. Really, you should do what you want. It's your wedding and your memories!
    • Reply
  • C
    Devoted June 2019
    C R ·
    • Flag
    We're going to dance to the whole song, but have the DJ invite everyone else to join us after about a minute or so (or however long seems appropriate). For us, it takes "all eyes" off of us after a bit, but let's us enjoy the whole song.
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  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    We danced for a little over two minutes and faded it out. We also took professional dance lessons and had a choreographed routine.
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  • B11
    Super May 2019
    B11 ·
    • Flag

    Our song is short (under 2:30), so we will be dancing to the whole thing.

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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    The dances on Dancing with the Stars are 90 seconds or less, and, I think, for most people those are plenty long -- even though they are perfectly choreographed. Three minutes watching 2 people dance is an incredibly LOOOOONG time. You're paying your dance instructor, who probably has a fair amount of experience, so I'd probably listen to his/her advice. Daughter's DJ faded out all three special dances (B&G at the beginning of reception, B&FOB and G&MOG, immediately following dinner before the general dancing began) and it worked out well. They each got their "spotlight" and there are great photos/video of each. I've also attended a wedding where the B&G, G&MOG, B&FOB, AND B&MOB, each danced (all right in a row...). They didn't have a DJ, a relative was working their place list, so no fade outs.... It was easily 12-15 minutes of dances and incredibly painful to watch. There was a LOT of eye rolling. The B&G had taken lessons and had a choreographed dance, and, honestly, with them at least, that did not make it worth watching 3-4 minutes; it was super awkward and seemed pretty self-indulgent. Especially if FH's preference is a shorter time, I'd cut to < 2 min.

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  • D
    Savvy October 2019
    Deanna ·
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    Luckily for ours it will just be our first dance and then his mother/son dance. So it would be way shorter, but I see the point.

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  • April
    Dedicated January 2020
    April ·
    • Flag
    90 seconds is typical for all showcase dances, choreographed routines, and even competition dances. I've been ballroom dancing as a hobby for 8 years. For weddings, yes 90 seconds is typical especially if your choreography is not going to be highly skilled and intricate. And the reason yours may not be highly skilled and intricate is because you're a beginner dancer. And assuming you're not dedicating at least a year to get to a higher level, you wouldn't be.

    My dance instructors got married 2 years ago and their first dance might have been longer than 90 seconds or maybe it felt that way because there was plenty of content and tricks. Either way it was only 1 song and they could pack content and tricks in it because they both have been dancing for over 15 years and they teach it for a living.
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  • April
    Dedicated January 2020
    April ·
    • Flag
    And to "A Thousand Years", that song is a Viennese waltz in itself. Which is a fast waltz so you would tire yourself out way before the song ends, I know I would/have. They are probably going to have you do waltz to it though. Which is slower and will bore your guests watching it for a long time. Might even bore the 2 of you while doing it if you went the whole song.
    • Reply
  • NextChapterReady
    Super October 2019
    NextChapterReady ·
    • Flag

    I feel like this is something that took me aback as well! I went to an initial dancing lesson with Fred Astaire and they were like "oh your song is 3 minutes and 15 seconds? We'll need to cut that down to 90 seconds!" The reasons given were that no one wants to watch you dance for 3 minutes. You won't want to dance for 3 minutes (IT"S A LONG TIME, the guy tried to stress, as though I have never danced to a song for three minutes before LOL). And that we would thank them afterwards.

    I was pretty offended by this. Number one, I've slow danced at a lot of people's weddings (and even though it was with other people) I understand how long three minutes is. Being on the dance floor alone doesn't make us uncomfortable either. We are usually the first ones to break the ice and start dancing!

    Number 2 is the one that really makes me upset. I've heard a lot of people say they would be bored to watch a first dance that was three minutes long. I just can't for the life of me understand this. I've been to a lot of weddings (about 15 in the past two and a half years) and I've never once seen them fade out the song or cut it. I also LOVE watching the couple do their dance. I think it's beautiful and lovely even if they just do the sway. It's their first dance together and it's a joy to watch them interact and open the dance floor.

    I was also told, I guess you could do the whole song if you understand it's for YOU and not your guests. And I was like ... yeah?? LOL it is literally OUR first dance. Not the guests. So for guests who say "I would just be bored" or "I wouldn't want to watch that for three minutes," First of all, it's THREE MINUTES. I'm sorry if you can't afford 3 minutes of the reception for our first dance, when literally the rest of the dancing is for the guests, then I'm not sure what you're doing there? In my opinion I've worked so hard for our guests to have a fantastic party, great food, great drinks, great music, cake, etc, the first dance is our moment and they will just have to find some way to survive for three minutes (difficult to imagine).

    As a guest, I love watching the dance and can't understand the opinion. As a bride, I'm offended by it. As a paying client of a dance studio, I think it's a way to avoid having to do more than their stock choreography.

    I rarely get bridezilla, but this brought it out in me. I went to another dance studio and when they mentioned typically they do 2 minutes of choreography i told them we would do the sway for the first minute and then do choreography for the rest, so that's an option for you to consider.

    Sorry for the rant, but we are so excited to have our first dance to the song we love and it's one of the few things I guess I'm going to be a bridezilla about haha

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  • Melissa
    VIP October 2018
    Melissa ·
    • Flag

    I have heard of first dances being shortened, but have never actually seen it happen. Our first dance was the full song. About 4 minutes. One of the songs we almost picked was about 8 minutes long - if we had chosen that one we would have had our DJ edit it down, but for a regular 3-4 minute song I have never seen it edited down to under 2 minutes.

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  • Jess
    Super September 2019
    Jess ·
    • Flag

    I've never been to a wedding where a full song wasn't played for the first dance. My FH and I's first dance song is almost 4 minutes long and I've NEVER thought about cutting it short. Actually all our songs (first dance, Bride/Father, Groom/Mother) is about 3:30-4 minutes in length. I think you should go with the full length song. Your first Dance is about you and FH, not the guests! So enjoy your moment together and enjoy those dance lessons!

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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
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    Yes, this is what we're doing as well. At some point (yet to be determined), our DJ will invite others to the dance floor to complete the song. I think our song is just over 3 minutes, but I know that can feel like an eternity when you're a guest watching from the sidelines.

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  • Courtney
    Master December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    Our dance will be about a minute and a half. The song we're using has a long into and outro, so our DJ will just fade in and out at the appropriate times.

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