Summer is wedding season, which, by dint of the associative or communicative or some other property, also means it’s dancing season. People dance at weddings. It’s inevitable. And should one attend some such connubial ceremony, there’s a very good chance, like it or not, rhythmic shimmies on the dance floor will ensue, most likely to “Brick House” or “Y.M.C.A.” Possibly both. *cue shudder as glass of flat champagne smashes on the floor*
But what are those among us naturally lacking in rhythm and bravado to do? True, you could sign up for a year’s worth of salsa classes, or join a modern dance troupe under an alias, or watch dance-themed '80s movies over and over again. Rewind, fast-forward, rewind, fast-forward . . . damn, that Bacon sure was spry!
Or you could just follow these simple tips. Because we’ve broken down classic wedding dances by skill level, and made planning your dance floor debut that much easier.
Skill Level: Novice
You have the desire, the raw will to succeed, but stamina and rhythm continue to elude you. Give in? Throw in the towel? Never. Because the Funky Chicken and the Hokey Pokey are fun for the whole #$%@-ing family, with neither requiring very much experience or skill. And if all else fails, you still have holstered to your hips a pair of lethally dangerous, red-hot finger pistols aching to be used on a whole posse of groomsmen. Go get 'em, cowboy!
Skill Level: Experienced
You cut your teeth at some of the toughest destination weddings and garden receptions this side of Vegas. No, you're no amateur. But nor are you a true matrimonial Lord of the Dance. To showcase your moves without losing your cool, you may want to consider the Electric Slide or a good old-fashioned squaredance. These demand a bit of know-how, but both are dances that others can readily do with you. When the MJ comes on, however, there's only one option: drop that tequila sunrise and do the Moonwalk.
Skill Level: Expert
Your movements are as natural as the sea. Your hips are margarine-soaked ball bearings. You taught Sadie Hawkins herself how to do the Lambada, and you let young disciples snatch grasshoppers out of your hand. Face it: you're a master, and when you're out on the dance floor, you're ready for anything. Folk songs, Foghat, freestyle rap showdowns—if there's a beat, you can dance to it. Which is precisely why you can handle it all, from some good old-fashioned riverdancing, to the entire choreography of "Swan Lake" (trust us, Tchaikovsky would have wanted it this way). And to cap off the entire affair, you cut in on that creepy old guy trying to dance with the bride, and sweep her right off her feet into a full Bridal Belt Fl—wait, that guy was her dad? Uh-oh. Time to practice your Running Man . . .
Illustrations by Michael Hoeweler