Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: Gotta Dance!

Honestly, our first dance was not all I had hoped for.  I had this whole grand plan in which we would have a choreographed dance to "Bohemian Rhapsody" with props and everything.  I had half of it choreographed when Daniel backed out.  Though I've been dancing since the age of three, he is much less comfortable, and doing the whole big number was too much.

Can't argue with that.  I was disappointed, but I certainly wasn't going to blame him for being nervous.

But I had pictured at least doing some simple dance moves.  We've done that before.  At Andrew and Nicole's wedding, we helped open the first dance with a waltz, so we do know a little bit about couple dancing.

Nevertheless, when the time came, Daniel said he wanted this dance to be just for us.  Well, honestly, it ended up being more for him than for us.  We mostly did the sway thing, ironically because we danced much more effectively later.  I knew he'd be upset if I didn't let him lead, so I went with it, but I was disappointed that it wasn't a more lively dance, especially considering what I had originally envisioned.

We should have talked about it.  We probably should have practiced too.  I thought about doing so briefly, but it did not occur to me that our dance would be quite so blah.  But oh well, can't do anything about it now.

We still had a good time with it.  After incorporating Lion King and Indiana Jones songs into our wedding, I'm sure having "At Last" as our first dance song seems a queerly conventional choice.  However, it's the closest thing we have to "our song," so there really was nothing to be done about it.

Photos by Stephen Cheng except for the first which was taken by our friend Jorge.

The rest of the night's dancing was much more agreeable for me.  I literally danced to every song.  There were a few times that I tried to go sit down (like to eat our glorious cake and desserts), but since we had done the song list ourselves (and had to cut out all of the remaining fluff and then some due to time constraints), I loved all the songs and just could not let them go by undanced.

Rocking out with My Mom

Daniel and I danced together enough to be satisfactory to both of us, but I spent most of the time dancing with my friends.  Before, I was afraid Daniel would abandon me, and I wouldn't get to dance enough, but I hadn't thought about the fact that pretty much everyone I knew was going to be there.  And the Bride ain't exactly hard to spot.  It didn't matter that Daniel and I danced together probably less than half the time because I had my friends.

And oh the things I made them do!  I had forced a number of group dances into the playlist, including the "Macarena," "YMCA," and the "Cha Cha Slide."  I still don't really understand why Daniel dislikes the "Cha Cha Slide," but I'm glad we put them all in because those were the songs that got EVERYONE onto the dance floor (and by everyone, I mean the cool people...a group my husband cannot claim to be part of).

The "Macarena" was hilarious.  I got out in front of everyone, facing them, and lead the whole thing.  It was weird, but it was kind of cool too, even if the song did go on for way too long.

There was one dance in which literally everyone participated:  the Hora.  For those of you who do not exclusively date Jews, the Hora is a traditional Jewish dance performed at big events like weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs.  Basically, all you need to know about it is that I got lifted up in a chair.  Daniel wanted his aunts to teach everyone how to do the dance before we started, but they didn't quite get the message (they probably should have talked about that ahead of time too) and just started doing it, so we all just sort of caught on.  Oh, and did I mention I got lifted up in a chair?

We did it a little differently, but his will give you the basic idea:

 "OK, don't drop me now!"

 "No, seriously, no dropping the Nicole!"

 "OK, I think I'm safe.  Hey, this is fun!"

 Take a gander at Daniel's uncle's face.  Apparently, he needs to go to more Jewish weddings, get in a bit of exercise.

 My mom was hilarious the whole time she was up in that chair.  She's such a ham!  We got AMAZING pictures of her and Daniel's dad.

The Hora was a ton of fun, and I'm really glad we got to include it in our wedding.

On the other end of the spectrum was the father/daughter dance.  While it was just the two of us, it was deeply meaningful to me, especially because my dad does not dance.  I've known what song I wanted to use for YEARS, and it's definitely a heart-wrencher.  I thought for sure one of us would cry, but we didn't.  Still, you can tell from the pictures that it meant a lot to both of us.

 I didn't want to put my dad through five whole minutes of dancing just the two of us, so we had my mom and Daniel join in about halfway through.  I made sure a number of times that Daniel was OK with this since his mom wasn't there, but he assured me he was, and he and my mom seem to have a grand old time.

My dad and I have never really communicated as well as my mom and I.  We still have a really good relationship, but my mom was always the one who asked all the questions while my dad hesitated to make me repeat everything.  Plus, he was gone a lot when I was growing up, and there's always been a slight (slight) tension between us because of it.  Though he never exactly said anything, I know he felt a little bit like he was losing me as the wedding approached, and I'm glad we had the dance to sort of visually confirm that our love for each other wasn't going anywhere just because I was getting married.

There was one more dance of significance that night, and it was quite an accident that it became noteworthy.  My Maid of Honor and I had not planned on performing a duet.  I should explain.  Seema's family had a lot of massive Indian parties when we were in high school that I attended.  I LOVED them!  Indian parties kick American parties in their oversized booties.  Anyway.  There was one song that they always played from some Bollywood film that I especially enjoyed, and I wanted to include it in the wedding.  Naturally, I expected some people to be hesitant to dance to a song that they not only had never heard but also was sung in a language they could not understand.  However, I did not anticipate that EVERYONE would be too chicken to get out there.

So Seema and I ended up dancing the entire song by ourselves.  And it is not a short song.  Now, I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to Indian dance.  I know a couple of moves, particularly for this song, that I picked up at parties, but that's all.  However, I have been dancing for 13 years, so I catch on quickly.  Seema on the other hand has done multiple types of Indian dancing professionally.  So as the song was playing, I pretty much copied everything she did.  The result was that almost everyone at the wedding thought we had choreographed the dance and planned on performing it as a duet.


This was absolutely the most pleasant surprise of the evening.  After we finished, everyone came and asked how long we had been practicing.  My response?  "Well, we started dancing five minutes ago, so...."

Daniel's aunt happened to get it on video, so you can decide for yourself whether it looks like we planned it or not.

P.S.  Doing this dance in that dress was NOT EASY!

If you're curious, this is what the official dance looks like:

It was a great moment for my best friend and me.  Plus, getting more multicultural stuff in is always fun.

And that about wraps up dancing for the evening.  I know, I know, you can't wait for more, how could I make this post so short?  Yeah, dancing is awesome.  I had SO MUCH FUN with all of the dancing we did that night.  Truly, my wedding was the best dance party I have ever been to.  I mean really, how could it not be when all of the music was tailored toward us AND everyone we love was dancing with us?

Was dancing important to your wedding?  Did you include any out of the ordinary songs?  Anyone else out there actually like the "Macarena?"

1 comment:

  1. In Daniel's defense, I think even I would do the high-school sway to "At Last."


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