Choosing Your First Dance

By DJ Bri Swatek
Spinning with Style

For a bride and groom, selecting your First Dance is an important aspect of your wedding, in terms of expressing the overall style of your event to your friends and family. Naturally, you want to choose a song that speaks to your taste in music. Lyrics that reflect your feelings toward each other are equally important.

However, as the owner of Spinning with Style, a full-time professional disc jockey company in the Hudson Valley specializing in weddings, I, DJ Bri Swatek, feel that “dance-ability” is often overlooked and deserves serious consideration. Some songs are best described as “listening music” as opposed to “dancing music.” These are songs that sound great in your car or on your iPod or mp3 player, but don’t translate well to the dancefloor. If you truly love a song that is not easy to dance to, consider using it during another moment in your wedding, such as during the ceremony, during your reception’s grand entrance, after a special toast, or even during cake cutting.

How do you determine what songs will work best for a First Dance? Professional dance lessons can be very helpful in narrowing down choices. However, if you want to make a more casual choice, simply put together a CD or mp3 playlist of your first dance possibilities, and then try dancing to them together. It may seem a little silly at first to try out a First Dance in, say, your living room. However, fairly quickly, you will both get an idea of which songs are too slow, too fast, have too many changes, or may be just plain awkward (what do we do during that guitar solo or rap break, anyway!?) Keep in mind as well that you may be asking your wedding party or all of your guests to join you on the floor during the First Dance. This option may further influence your song choice, including possibly selecting two songs–one for yourselves and a second song to share with your guests.

Over the past few years, Standards from the Great American Songbook and Contemporary Country Ballads in particular have seen a resurgence in First Dance choices at weddings. This is mainly due to their dance-ability and the fact that they appeal to a wide range of audiences. However, contemporary pop ballads, 80’s rock ballads, and R&B selections from the 80’s to today continue to remain popular as well. In the end, selecting a First Dance is all about finding the rig ht song to fit your unique style as a couple.

Choosing a special First Dance is just one of the many ways you can customize your wedding to share your unique style with your friends and family on your wedding day. For more ideas, visit Spinning with Style at

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