Simple non-line dances for your Wedding
Updated: Apr 19
While line dances may be an easy, arguably over-played hack to get people to dance, there are other unique dances and tricks you can use to encourage participation. Here are a few tried and true traditions and special dance floor tricks that can help to get more engagement and dancing.
A great one that can help early on in the event to get people on the floor, including those who might not dance otherwise is the Anniversary Dance. There are many ways in which the Anniversary Dance can be hosted, but typically it begins when your DJ/MC invites all of the married couples to the dance floor for a slow song. After roughly 30 seconds or so, the MC announces that all couples married for less than 24 hours must please leave the dance floor. Of course, that will be you, the newlyweds. The MC then repeats this for 1, 3, 5, or 10 year increments until there is one last couple standing. The MC then finishes by thanking and honoring all of the married couples. Optionally, the MC may ask the last standing couple if they'd like to share any advice with the newlyweds. A followup faster party tune can help to keep those couples on the dance floor, and your DJ/MC can invite everyone to join.
When in doubt, never underestimate the classic dance circle. Born out of the disco era, b-boy hip hop, and dances of the 60s-90s, occasionally a dance circle will still break out naturally when someone breaks out the robot, the worm, or just some fly moves. Otherwise, the dance circle is relatively easy to get started, especially if your willing to bust your best moves first. Just push people around you gently in a circle, break it on down, then step back and welcome out the next guest.
Money Dance/Shots Dance
In some places, it's tradition to add in a Money Dance. Begin by instructing your guests to line up single file near the dance floor. A member of the Official Party, friend, family member is then stationed at the front of each line with a bag, basket, or other container. One or both of the newlyweds will postion themselves solo on the dance floor. As each participant reaches the assistant, they will provide a donation or gift for the newlyweds, then will proceed to dance with either of the newlyweds for a brief 30-45 seconds. Sometimes this assistant will also have a tray of shots, and will provide them to of age participants as a thank you for the gifts. Choose a few good tunes either fast or slow. This is a great way to get others to dance and to interact in a unique way.
The Wedding Polka is a Polish tradition, but is also popular in certain places throughout the country such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are various versions of the Wedding Polka song, but our favorite version is by the Trell Tones. Typically, guests are instructed to surround and dance in a circle around one of the newlyweds, traditionally the Bride, as they clap and wave their cloth napkins in the air. The other newlywed is typically carried out as far away from the other as possible. The idea is the second partner, traditionally the Groom, is supposed to scramble back through the circle to reach the other partner (the Bride). Once the two are reunited, everyone celebrates and the dance concludes. While this is somewhat of a niche tradition, those who know about it are usually eager to participate and will often join in as soon as they hear the Polka begin.
Limbo Sure, the Limbo can be a bit cheesy, but people of all ages know how to Limbo. Even though it typically works best with a younger crowd, it's still a great way to get guests to loosen up and get involved. You can use the classic Chubby Checker "Limbo" and "Limbo Some More", or you can try using a unique Limbo song to mix it up. You might also want to consider making a custom decorated Limbo pole instead of that old dusty broom handle.
The Train/Conga Line
Another tried and true favorite is the classic train or conga line. Guests follow one a other all around the room in a single file line, sometimes placing their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. You can choose a unique song or songs for this event, or you can go with some tried and true classics like The Quad City DJs' "Coming N' Ride It (The Train)" or Gloria Estefan's "Conga".
Soul Train There have been many TV shows over the years showcasing dancers, but none more iconic or memorable than the classic Soul Train series of the 1970s. The Soul Train begins when guest line up on either side of the dance floor, and one by one participants strut down the center of the dance floor juking and jiving. When they make it to the end of the dance floor, the hope to the end of one of the lines, and the next person in line at the head of the dance floor proceeds to make their way through. The Soul Train can be a way to help break wallflowers out of there shells and it also makes for great head on Wedding photos since there's usually space for your photographer at the end of the line. There are many different unique ways you can add some energy to the dance floor without having to bust out the line dances, but not everything works for every crowd or vibe. Try mixing it up, and most importantly, get out on the dance floor yourself as the newlyweds to maximize dance floor participation.
Do you know of some cool unique dances that work well to fill the dance floor? We'd love to hear your ideas. Comment or message us with your thoughts and ideas!