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From Tears to Cheers: the Simple Guide to the Perfect Choreographed First Dance

So you’re interested in a choreographed first dance? Smart choice! A surprise choreographed dance will entertain your guests and make your wedding reception unforgettable. If you’d like to feature such a spectacle at your reception but don’t know how to get started, never fear! You’ve come to the right place! Below you will find several tips to consider as you assemble your surprise first dance.

Don’t tell anyone:

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Resist the temptation to tell your parents, bridal party, or friends. The only person who really needs to be aware of your choreographed dance is the disc jockey. Otherwise, enjoy surprising your audience. If your guests are not expecting a choreographed first dance, they will be more shocked and not as critical of the result. If they are anticipating this dance, their expectations will be a little higher and it will make it difficult for you to live up to those standards.

Make it a true surprise:

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To play up the element of surprise, start off your first dance with the traditional slow dance. Play a traditional first dance song and allow your audience to think that this will be a first dance just like any other. To transition from the expected song to a more unique one, you have a variety of options. You could have the track sound as though it was accidentally cut off and have the crowd buzzing. Or you could have an intense sound effect signaling the abrupt change. Talk to your DJ about the possibilities and find a way to transition from the expected slow dance to the surprise one in a way that is fittingly shocking.

Role reversal:

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Depending on the playlist for this surprise dance, you and your new spouse could have your guests rolling on the floor laughing by role reversals. If you select a duet, have the bride dance or lip sync to the guy’s part of the song and vice versa. If you select multiple songs, have the groom featured on a song sung by a soulful woman and the other way around. The more deep the voice of male singer and the more feminine the voice of the female singer, the better. This simple element transforms your surprise first dance from entertaining to hilarious.

Use untraditional tracks:

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Instead of Aretha Franklin or Christina Perri, go for Kendrick Lamar or Twenty One Pilots. Try rap or rock instead of jazz or classical. You can even break away from what would normally be considered romantic or wedding-related. By taking the untraditional route, you can select a song that caters to your musical tastes and your personalities. The more unconventional, the better!

Include famous (or infamous) tracks:

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If your audience recognizes a song, they are more likely to enjoy your rendition of it. Since they have an understanding of the lyrics, they will be able to chuckle appropriately if the lyrics comically contrast the romantic mood of a wedding. Also, if they know the melody, they will be able to bop along right with you.

Try odd moves:

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Since the intention of this surprise dance is to make your guests laugh, don’t take your moves too seriously. Break out the oddest and most strange moves in your book. Watch some YouTube videos and be creative. Don’t be insecure or self-conscious about looking foolish. You have the most welcoming audience you could ever imagine, it’s a group of your closest friends and family!

Outfit change:

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An outfit change will truly have your guests on the edge of their seats. The groom can rip away his suit and the bride can drop her dress to reveal other outfits underneath. Or the two can change before the dance begins and come out to the floor in their new garb. For a less dramatic but equally effective route, you can simply adapt your outfit in some way. Sunglasses, hats, boots, scarves, and other accessories will all do the trick. The outfit change will not only entertain the guests, but can allow you to put on more comfortable dancing attire.

Enlist the help of a choreographer:

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While you should try to incorporate your signature moves somewhere, you may want the help of a choreographer to ensure that your surprise first dance keeps your audience cheering. This choreographer does not need to be professionally trained or nationally renowned — you can simply ask one of your friends or acquaintances with a background in dance for assistance. You could treat him or her to dinner or a concert for payment and have them sworn to secrecy! The assistance of an amateur choreographer is not necessary but can greatly boost the quality of your surprise dance, making it even more of a surprise if you and your love are not known for your dancing skills.

Even if you incorporate just a couple of these suggestions into your surprise first dance, you will quickly have your guests doubling over with laughter. Remember, your audience loves you and will appreciate any effort you put forth in making your first dance entertaining — and they will reward your efforts with their laughter!

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