Wedding season is upon us, and one of the things that come with weddings is receptions with first dances, father/daughter dances, mother/son dances, mother/daughter dances, and any other variation you can think of. I think it’s extra special when those dances are recognizably partner dances like Foxtrot, Rumba, or Swing. Of course, I have a bit of a bias.
If you want to find a dance that fits the song you love, here are some things that can help. In my next post, I’ll cover the other direction – finding a song to fit your dance.
First, consider visiting your local dance studio and asking a professional. The other professional that could help is your wedding DJ; sometimes, they are also dance teachers or at least know a dance teacher to connect you with.
In tandem with going to a professional, some features of music4dance.net can help. The first is to try searching for your song – you can type the title into the search box in the menu bar or on the Song Library page. If it’s a particularly popular song, you might also include the artist to see if you can get to the specific version of the song. But oftentimes, variations on a song by different artists still maintain enough of the same characteristics to be danced to the same dance. So be creative in your search and see what you come up with.
For example, try typing “Fly me to the moon” into the search bar – including the quotes to get songs with that full title rather than all the songs with those keywords. And we’re probably most interested in the Frank Sinatra version, so scroll down to that or add Sinatra (outside of the quotes) to the search.
You can already see which dances folks in the music4dance community have voted on to dance to this song. There is quite a spectrum. If you click on the song title, you will get more details. Among other things that will show you that Slow Foxtrot is the most-voted dance for this song, some folks have voted for East Coast Swing and Jive but have noted that it’s slow for those dances. That’s not necessarily bad; you could speed up the song a bit (modern technology is fantastic) and get it to something still slow for ECS but not crazy slow – which might be just the right tempo for a first dance.
But what if you can’t find the song in the music4dance catalog? There is another tool that can provide some help. Try looking at the tempo counter tool (and its help page). Counting out the song’s tempo in this tool will show you which dances can technically be danced to the song. The tempo counter result doesn’t tell you anything about if the style of the song fits the dance. But this is also pretty interesting because if you’re going to go all the way and choreograph a first dance, sometimes doing something that’s a little out of a stylistic mismatch can be pretty effective. Choreographing a dance to a song that doesn’t quite fit is frequently done with showcase dances like those you see on Dancing with the Stars and can be very effective in creating a memorable wedding dance.
I hope this helped and that you really enjoy your first dance, not to mention the rest of your wedding and reception.
If you used the second method I mentioned or the help of a professional to find a song/dance combination for any of your wedding dances, please consider becoming part of the music4dance community and adding your wedding songs to the catalog.
As always, I’m very interested in your feedback, so please share any thoughts and ideas about this post or the site by commenting below or using other feedback mechanisms listed here. In addition, if you enjoy the site or the blog (or both), please consider contributing in whatever way makes sense for you.
P.S. This is a reboot of a very early blog post I wrote in 2015. Since the site has been through a couple of significant over-hauls since I wrote the first pair of wedding music posts, I think it’s worthwhile revisiting them. I may end up doing a more systematic rewrite. In that case, I’ll try to figure out a better way to index the posts to remove duplicates and/or make the fresher content pop up ahead of the old content.