Father & Daughter DanceYou have probably given some thought to your first dance, but often the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances are generally left to the week before the wedding. This is often the case if you live a little further away from your parents and they are flying in for the wedding. Don’t worry, it’s not too late! Here are some helpful tips from our Arthur Murray Wedding Professionals

1) Picking out a song- Some people prefer the slow tear-jerker song that leaves no dry eye in the house, others prefer something more upbeat. Choose what feels comfortable for you and your parent. If your parent has any physical limitations, like bad knees, a fast swing might not be the best idea. Have a song that you used to sing or dance together when you were little? If you can get through it with your mascara still on, go for it! Your guests will be touched to be a part of that intimate moment. *Word to the wise, there are a lot more songs for Father/Daughter dances than for Mother/Son, but we will be happy to help you find the perfect one in either department.

2) Song Length- Most modern songs run an average of 5 minutes long. If you dance your first dance, Father/Daughter, and the Mother/Son dances you are looking at about 20 minutes of honor dances before food is served to your guests. Another perspective: Professional dancer routines are about 2 minutes in length. For a novice dancer to learn a five minute long routine will take significant time and the pressure of remembering that much choreography is often overwhelming to many grooms and dads. A smart alternative is to let your dance professional help you cut down the music to around 3 minutes so that you feel comfortable and leave your guests wanting more.

3) Practice the Pass-off- Many couples spend time practicing their dances with their parents, but they don’t practice the staging of where everyone will be on the big day. A day or two before the wedding make sure to schedule a lesson where you run the First Dance, Father/Daughter and Mother/Song in order and your teacher will stage part of the ballroom with where everyone will be sitting so that there will be no surprises.

4) Make it special for your parent- Spend some quality time before and after the lesson getting a meal and practicing your routine. It’s been a long time since they have been able to help you with a science project or school paper, and they probably miss being a big part of your life. Let them know how much it means to you to spend this time with them. Have fun and take pictures. It will go by in a blur.