How to dance at a wedding video

How to Film the 'First Dance' for Wedding Videos

A lot of skill behind the camera and video editing mastery will be required to capture the first wedding dance in the most emotional and visually-pleasing way.

This is one of the most important reception moments.

As a videographer, you’ve shot first wedding dances multiple times and you know that each one necessitates a specific approach. The nature of the wedding venue, the available space, the light and the music all determine the manner in which you’ll have to shoot the first wedding dance.

On top of paying attention to the technical and environmental essentials, you can also test out various creative techniques to get a beautiful outcome.


Have a Chat with the Bride and Groom


Coaching the bride and the groom before the beginning of the reception will enable you to capture some of the best dance shots. Tell both the bride and the groom they should hold each other without blocking the face of their partner during the dance. You should also give them a clear idea about your position and where to look.

Keep the instructions simple and limited. If you overwhelm the couple, the shots will look way too stiff and staged.

While it’s important for the bride and groom to look at the camera, they should also enjoy the first wedding dance. Tell them that it’s ok to look at each other, have fun and connect during that very special moment. This kind of connection is the one thing that will boost the emotional appeal of the shots.

There’s one final thing you’ll need to touch upon.

Many couples worry that their first wedding dance is going to be mediocre because they’re not particularly skilled on the dancefloor. Let them know that dance skills don’t really matter. The first wedding dance is about the emotion and about having fun. If the bride and groom manage to let go of the worries, chances are that the footage will look spectacular.


Ensure Quality Light


Even if you know how to use the most advanced video editing techniques, the outcome will look grim and blurry in the absence of sufficient lighting.

Most wedding receptions occur in the evening. Hence, the light will be limited to candles and lanterns. While these create a very romantic atmosphere, they could prevent a videographer from capturing all the beautiful details of the first wedding dance.

Visit the wedding venue in advance. If you know where the stage is and where the first wedding dance is going to take place, you can use external flashes to illuminate the bride and the groom. These are easy to turn off once your job is done so that the romantic atmosphere is uninterrupted.

For the best results, place your lights high and aiming down at the bride and the groom. If you have to, think about ISO adjustments, as well. When the image remains somewhat dark regardless of the additional lights, you’ll have to increase the ISO manually. Depending on the camera quality, start with an ISO of 800 to 1,000 and make additional adjustments upon necessity.


Experiment with Shooting Angles


A static camera in the beginning is a good choice because you will create some quality wide footage. You will capture the dancing couple and some of the surroundings to recreate the party atmosphere in the wedding clip. It’s also a good idea, however, to experiment with some more interesting shots.

A few face close-ups will capture the depth of emotion. Create some footage of the groom’s hand placed gently on the bride’s waist, of her shoes on the dancefloor or the floral arrangements surrounding the stage. Show the faces of the guests, the parents, the best man and the bridesmaids. Look around – don’t be focused exclusively on the couple (a tip that sounds somewhat counterintuitive but that can add great details to the shots).



You can also experiment with shooting angles and perspectives to make the footage a bit more dynamic. Take the camera low and point it up to make the first dance footage more intriguing. Alternatively, climb on a chair and point the camera down towards the dancing couple.

You can even experiment getting behind a lit candle or a table centerpiece to frame the shot and add a bit of context to it. Such experiments are best undertaken when you have a second videographer at the venue. Make your colleague capture the wedding dance in its entirety while you get a bit more creative.


Use the Right Video Editing Techniques


You have one more chance to get really creative with the first wedding dance footage. The editing process is as important as capturing those special moments during the ceremony. Using the right video editing techniques will highlight the most beautiful aspects of the shots.

It’s ok to use some special effects like slow motion or animation. The rule with special effects is that less is always more. Choose one special effect and understand the manner in which it’s going to affect the footage. If you have no reason to utilize the effect at that very moment, you should probably keep things simple.



Slow motion, for example, could be a good choice while the bride is spinning around. It will show the beauty of her gown, the fine lace that is twirling around her body.



Working with a wedding video editing team is also a good idea if you don’t know how to eliminate imperfections and make the footage extra-special. Outsourcing the post production will give you more time to focus on the things that you do best and to still get a beautiful outcome in the end.

Trust your instincts when shooting the first wedding dance. Have some fun with it. Stiff footage isn’t going to cut it, especially if you want to show just how special the moment is.

Have a plan but maintain a bit of flexibility while shooting the dance. Look around, find the cute and special details and capture those to recreate the very nature of the ceremony in your film.


Wedding Dance Videos » Dance With Brandee

Curious how other wedding couples' first dances turned out?

Here are a few examples from the hundreds of couples I've helped prepare for their wedding dance. The variety, complexity and style of each dance depends on the individual couple's vision for their dance, as well as their comfort, skill level, and the amount of time they're able to devote to lessons and practice.

Bruce & Craig's Dramatic Dance to

On My Own, Samantha Barks, Les Misérables

Bruce and Craig wanted to choreograph a funny and dramatic dance. While both are athletic, neither had any previous dance experience.

Their very busy work schedules left them little to no time to practice at home. However, their passion and positive attitude allowed them to learn this wonderfully entertaining dance in 5 lessons. As you can hear, their wedding guests loved it!

Vicky & Roger's Mash-Up:

Stay with You, John Legend plus 4 other songs

Vicky & Roger wanted to start with an intimate, traditional first dance, then go into a fun, entertaining mash-up.

Both had a little previous dance experience—Vicky with jazz and contemporary dance; Roger with break dancing. This helped them learn choreography pretty quickly. We used Foxtrot for their first song; inspiration for the mash-up came from Swing, Salsa, hip hop and line dance steps.

It took 8 lessons to put together this awesome 5-song medley. Vicky and Roger had tons of fun dancing it, and their wedding guests ate it up!

Rocio & Kreg:

Agua Bendita by Victor Manuelle

Rocio and Kreg wanted to surprise their wedding guests with an unforgettable Salsa first dance.

Rocio and Kreg had taken Salsa group classes a few years ago. So, they had a good foundation that just needed a little refreshing. We then built on what they knew, adding additional moves and choreography to match their song.

They were able to master this Salsa routine in 9 lessons—plus lots of at-home practice, of course! As you can see, they rocked their dance and had a lot of fun doing it!

Highlights from 6 Wedding Couples' First Dances

Enjoy this medley of first dance clips from 6 wedding couples. Whether slow and romantic or fun and upbeat, the unique personality of each couple shines through.

Trishna & Joey's Medley:

Imagine, John Lennon into Them, There Eyes, Ella Fitzgerald, then Acuyuye, D.L.G.

Trishna and Joey wanted to impress their wedding guests with a power-packed first dance medley. We started off with a slow, romantic Foxtrot, then transitioned into a fun swing dance. Then, after a quick dress change, they finished off with a sexy Salsa!

The couple nailed the dance on their wedding day, with one minor hiccup: the applause was so loud Trishna didn't hear the very beginning of the Salsa song. Now that’s a problem to have!

Since both Trishna and Joey had some previous dance experience—and practiced diligently at home between lessons—they were able to put together their wedding dance medley in just over 10 lessons.

Eileen & Gary:

Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran

Eileen and Gary wanted a fully choreographed first dance inspired by the Thinking Out Loud music video. We simplified moves from the music video into choreography that felt comfortable and easy for them to master in a short amount of time.

Eileen and Gary's wedding dance was a big hit with their guests. And you can see why—they look great!

Amazingly, without any previous dance experience, they were able to learn this first dance in 5 lessons—plus many hours' practice at home.

Abby & Ben:

Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra

Abby and Ben wanted a simple dance that was elegant yet relaxed. Foxtrot was the perfect fit for this and their song. We even included a little side-by-side Fred and Ginger section!

The couple said despite the smaller-than-anticipated dance space, their first dance went great and they enjoyed doing it.

Ben had some previous dance experience, so they were able to do this dance in just 4 lessons.

Andrea & Todd:

The Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky

Coming from a family of accomplished orchestra musicians, and the groom himself a member of the SF Ballet Orchestra, Todd and Andrea wanted their first dance to be a formal, ballet-inspired Waltz.

We put together a choreographed routine the couple was really happy with. Not only did they nail it, but being so well-rehearsed, they fully enjoyed the dance on their big day!

Given the speed of the song, complexity of the choreography, and having no previous dance experience (except Andrea's bit of belly dancing), their first dance took 20 lessons to learn.

Whitney & Mark's Medley:

That's How Strong My Love Is, Otis Redding into I Believe in a Thing Called Love, The Darkness

Whitney and Mark had the idea of doing a medley of a romantic song into a rockin’ one.

They wanted to keep the first song simple and casual, so we just did a few Foxtrot steps. Then they wanted to ham it up on the second song, so we did a mix of Hustle/disco steps, acting out the lyrics, and an air guitar solo for the bride! It was a huge hit at their wedding.

With their positive attitude and at-home practice, Mark & Whitney were able to do their first dance medley in 5 lessons.

Kendra & Ben:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder, cover by live band

Kendra and Ben didn't want choreography. Instead, they wanted a dance that was comfortable but still had a few exciting elements. So we started with a simple basic step, then added some spins and a dip they could mix and match spontaneously.

Kendra and Ben took 5 lessons. As you can see, their first dance has the natural, relaxed feel they wanted—and they had a great time doing it!

Susan & Brad:

Mirrors, Justin Timberlake

Susan and Brad wanted a fun first dance that expressed their personalities, entertained their guests and got everyone on the dance floor after. We drew from a variety of dance styles and incorporated some of their favorite freestyle moves (i.e. raise the roof, cabbage patch, etc.).

Neither Susan or Brad had any formal dance experience. We planned to do 5 lessons but added 2 more since they didn't have much time to practice between lessons.

As you can see, their first dance went really well—and everyone ended up on the dance floor after, just as they wanted!

Highlights from 4 Wedding Couples' First Dances

Enjoy these sample clips from 4 additional wedding couple's first dances. There are a variety of styles, including Country, Swing and Blues.

How to stage a wedding dance yourself

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  • For those who want to take the risk and try to stage their first dance on their own, I want to give some useful tips. I hope that they will help you competently plan and stage a harmonious wedding dance!
    This article will be useful both for those who already know how to dance a little, and for those who are very enthusiastic and want to try their hand and come up with the dance of their dreams on their own.

    Your first wedding dance is in your hands!

    So, what should be assessed and considered before proceeding with the production?

    Size of the dance floor and height of the ceilings

    If your dance floor is small, then when staging the dance, you should avoid moving around the ballroom, choosing more compact dance figures for your composition.
    At the same time, if your venue is large, it is advisable to include several figures in your dance, in which you will actively move around the hall, thus filling the space visually.
    Let's take a simple example: a wedding dance set to the tempo of a fast (Viennese) waltz. For the case if you have a small dance floor, you should stop at the “figured waltz” option, performing the figures without advancing, and performing the waltz itself “in a square”.
    If you have a large area, I suggest including a big circle waltz.

    Ceiling height is important for high supports, the simplest of which is lifting the bride in her arms. Before performing such support, you need to make sure that the height of the ceilings allows it. For example, in some restaurants and on steamboats, it is problematic to perform high lifts.

    Spectator's side

    All your movements, and especially postures, should be laid out in directions and oriented to the "spectator's" side. To begin with, determine the configuration of your dance hall, the place where you will go to dance, the place where the main part of the audience will be concentrated, where the photographer and videographer will stand.
    All your poses must be performed facing the audience. To do this, you need to decompose your dance into directions, so that for the performance of certain figures you find yourself facing your audience.
    If you have 2 or more spectator sides, then you need to decompose your dance so that you alternately dance to one or the other spectator side. Preference should be given to the side where the photographer and videographer will stand.


    You can dance to any music you like. It should be borne in mind that it consists of musical phrases, which in turn are divided into measures. The main rules that I recommend to follow in order to achieve the musicality of your performance:

    a) As soon as a new musical phrase starts, you must change the movement type. The simplest example: while the singer is singing one phrase, you make one movement, when he starts singing another phrase, you start making another movement. Most often in musical compositions there are verses, choruses and losses. They usually consist of several musical phrases.

    b) Play with musical accents and puffs. Accents (beats in music) are perfectly played with rapid hand movements, a sudden stop in movement, or a sharp change in direction. Puffs are best suited for “smeared” smooth poses.

    c) Within each musical phrase there are several measures (most often the time signature for modern compositions is 4/4, for a waltz 3/4). Try to hear them, isolate and decompose your movements into strokes, achieving clarity of execution.

    Before decomposing your movements into music, I recommend doing a musical dictation: decomposing your music into phrases, measures, highlighting accents and puffs. And then to impose on them movements.


    Suggested duration of the dance: about 3 minutes including entering the platform and bowing. If your musical composition is longer, then it is worth trimming it using software tools. A longer dance rarely looks good: the audience gets tired and the effect of the first impression is lost.
    If you fundamentally do not want to shorten your melody, then I recommend inserting some pantomime scenes into it for contrast (scenes of a meeting, farewell, quarrel, reconciliation). This will advantageously set off the dance part and help make your performance more intense and interesting for the audience.

    Physiology of the bride and groom

    The appearance of the couple is very important for creating a harmonious dance.
    Couples in which both the bride and groom have an ideal athletic physique and an ideal difference in height (10-15 cm) are few. All dance figures will suit these lucky ones.
    But if your pair has features, then they must be taken into account and beaten, using 100%!

    For example, for couples in which the groom is much taller than the bride (the difference in height is 20 cm or more), elements in which the groom goes down (visually becomes lower) and the bride remains standing will look very good. Also, for such a couple, support with rotation on the hands will look great, in which the bride is taken in her arms facing the groom (see photo above).

    If there is a small difference in height between partners in a couple or the bride is taller than the groom, then supports are perfect for you, in which the bride deviates, and the groom remains standing straight. Elements in which the girl sits down on bent knees facing the groom will also look good. Rotation on the hands for such a pair is best done in a position when the girl is picked up sideways.

    In couples where the bride has a more dense physique than the groom, we recommend avoiding elements with the bride lifting on her hands, the main emphasis in this case is better to place on the partner's plastic movements and masculine lines in the partner's positions.

    Video work

    If you are staging your own wedding dance, you will most likely be using video footage. It would be a big mistake to simply copy the movements from someone else's dance.
    When watching the video, be sure to select those movements that you understand how beautiful and correct to perform and avoid complex and incomprehensible elements.
    You should also be aware that what looks easy and beautiful in a professional performance, for beginners, it may not look advantageous at all.
    Think about whether the movements you like are right for your couple, whether you perform them well. Take a video of yourself and compare the resulting picture with the original. Leave only those movements that you are good at.

    Advice for girls

    Girls, think about the features of your wedding dress when staging a dance. If the dress is tight, then you should wear a tight skirt at the rehearsal in order to immediately avoid movements that you basically cannot do in this dress.
    If you have a crinoline dress, then wear a crinoline at rehearsal so that you and your fiancé get used to its size. Remember that the crinoline creates some distance between you in the dance, as well as inertia in the rotations.
    If you have a train - then you need to either stab it or support it with your hand. Accordingly, during rehearsals, always keep something in the hand that will be occupied by the train. Often the choice of movements for a wedding dance is largely dictated by the bride's wedding dress!


    When working on the wedding dance on your own, you need to start staging about 2 months before the wedding. Chances are you won't have much time right before the wedding, and a good staging is time-consuming (especially if you don't have any dance experience), so it's best to start working on the dance early. With the rehearsal mode 1-2 times a week for one hour, you will have time to put on and learn the dance, film yourself on video and work on your mistakes.
    It is a good idea to start doing any pair dance (in a regular dance group), this will allow you to master the principles of pair movement and teach you simple movements that you can use in your production.

    Staging a wedding dance by yourself is an interesting, creative, but not an easy task. I recommend that after the end of the production, if possible, come to professional teachers for at least one lesson and show them your dance. I wish all the newlyweds happiness, love, joy and good luck in staging the wedding dance!

    Author — Lydia Salop.
    Copyright reserved. For republishing, please contact the PR department.

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    Groomsmen trendy toe dance hit social media: August 24, 2022, 09:35

    Groomsmen trendy toe dance hit social media

    August 24, 2022, 09:35


    In early summer, a social media bombshell caused a video in which the groom's friends masterfully dance to an Indian song at a Norwegian wedding, garnering tens of millions of views. The other day, at one of the toys, Kazakhstanis - the groom and his friends - repeated the trendy superdance and also got into all the possible recommendations of social networks. The editors of Tengri LifeStyle found out all the details of this story.

    In the original video, a dance group from Norway put on a real performance as a gift to newlywed friends. The dance of the guys in sunglasses to the Indian song Kala Chashma brought a special delight to social media users.

    The video of their performance not only went viral on social networks, but was also actively discussed in major foreign media.

    No wonder that at one of the Kazakh weddings, friends decided to repeat this dance. In the video, which was uploaded to TikTok, the four guys dance just as brightly and energetically to the popular Indian song.

    @jugger_sfr It was a soulful wedding 😌 #dance training #hiphop #afrodance #moderndance #river #almaty ♬ original sound - Zhiger

    In a couple of days, the video got more than a million views and 174,000 likes.

    "If your wedding is not like this one, then don't try to call me", "Every kid's dream is to have friends light up his wedding", "Now it's a traditional wedding dance", "What wonderful men" , - they write in comments below the video.

    As it turned out, the characters in the video are professional dancers and the groom himself used to dance as well. Choreographer Zhiger Safargaliev told Tengri Lifestyle about this. It was in his account that the video was posted. Zhiger teaches modern dance in Almaty.

    "Our dance team is on the video. Here you can see one of the country's top choreographers Vitaly Markov-Tsoi, dancer Alan Diyarov. In the center, the groom himself, Abdurasul, danced. For some time he danced with us. The girl who got married, her name is Madina was also in our team. They are our friends," he said.

    The groom invited the guys to the wedding and offered to dance with him at the event for the bride.

    "It was a surprise.

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