Weddings are some of the most memorable occasions we experience. They’re life-changing events featuring all sorts of people gathering to witness the union of two hopefuls, sharing an abundance of food, socializing, meeting new folks, and enjoying the music. At some point in every wedding, the focus will center on the music and dancing will commence, making it useful to know some fundamental basics in order to avoid any embarrassment.

From the Rumba to Salsa, the Foxtrot to Hip-Hop, there are as many varieties of dance as there are people and traditions. There are, however, a few moves that are good to know for just about any wedding or reception, which are listed below.

  1. The Side Basic – One of the most fundamental dance steps is the side basic, where the pair are facing each other in the traditional fashion, holding hands with their left, the right hand of the male on the waist of the female, and the right hand of the female on the male counterpart’s arm or shoulder. The movement is made in unison by gently stepping side to side, following through with the hips, creating a rocking motion. As a general rule, the male initiates the movement by leading with his left foot while the female follows.
  2. The Right Turn – The next most important step follows the side basic. Using the same stance and movement, the leader then twirls the partner, who turns to the right on the ball of the right foot. Sure, we’ve all seen this time and time again, but a little practice would be beneficial in perfecting this maneuver, as it’s not as easy as it might look.
  3. The Waltz: The Box – Then we have the traditional box step or “Box Waltz.” A tad more complicated than the side basic, the box step is considered “classic” due to its delicate fluttering nature, giving it a certain air of sophistication. Though similar to the side basic, the box uses wider side to side steps and generally moves in a circular motion.
  4. The Under Arm Turn – The under arm turn is to the box, what the right turn is to the side basic. It’s an adaptation of the turn where the leader spins his partner in the the midst of the waltz step sequence. This adds an additional dazzle to an elready stylish display of elegance which is sure to catch the eyes of onlookers.
  5. The Dip – And lastly we have the dip, a maneuver that adds a little hint of ballet to the mix. After all the previous steps have run their course, the dip polishes it off with a final pose – an exclamation point if you will. The dip is where the leader pushes off the partner, twirls the partner downward while gripping with either one hand or both, and when the partner reaches the bottom of the dip (spinning either towards the base or towards the audience), holds for a moment, and then is usually (but not always) retrieved back to the original stance. There are many adaptations of this move, all of which are sure to make a grand impression if done properly.

It may be worthwhile to take a few dance lessons at your local dance studio to solidify your confidence before your next excursion to the dance floor. Just think, if you attend a lot of weddings and events where dancing is involved, the cost will soon justify itself.

Having primitive roots, dancing has always been a joyous form of expression accompanying jubilation, and good times in general. And as the grand finale of each wedding celebration approaches, everyone attending will be waiting with bated breath for the solo dance between the bride and groom marking the culmination of the grand event.

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul …” ~ Martha Graham

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