The Tradition of the Father-Daughter Dance

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dance_YvonneBy Yvonne M. Cimo

Weddings are a time to celebrate

Dance is a part of that celebration

Make Group Lessons ‘A Family Affair’

More Than One Traditional Dance

The Father-Daughter Dance is a long standing custom.  Traditionally, this dance came first in the celebration.  The father danced with the bride then presented her to the groom to dance to the steps of a new life.  It was a beautiful way to express the tender relationship and transitions of the bride and the two most important men in her life

These days, the traditions are reversed.  The Bride and Groom’s ‘First Dance’ opens the celebration and the Father-Daughter Dance is second.  It can be moving and emotional for the two dancing and for those watching.  Even strong guys will shed a tear at the realization of his little girl growing up and starting a new life. With a little thought, practice, and planning…you can help make this dance all that you wish it to be and a ‘moment to cherish’

Group Lesson Make Learning Fun-and a ‘Family Affair’dance_moves_1_fm13

Dance Lessons will make this tradition so much easier and, maybe even downright fun.   The very best part of my job, and I mean this, is meeting people.  This past year, I had a chance to work with some very wonderful ‘Dads’ for the ever important ‘Father-Daughter’ Dance.  They were a bit nervous, proud of their lovely daughters, and always a little bashful regarding this upcoming public display of affection and of their dance skills.  My goal is always to put them at ease, and build their confidence.  Within one lesson everyone is more self-assured and relaxed.  When a family makes the time to get together and includes the mother of the bride and the others who are in the wedding party-it offers everyone a chance to brush up on dance skills.  This pays off in many ways.  The mother of the bride gets to practice with Dad—and the groom gets a chance to dance with mom-everyone is prepared.

Music Choices & Choice Moves

Several of the brides chose songs to dance to that their fathers had sung to them as children.  Watching one dad dance and sing, ‘Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight Well I have to Go’….Priceless! So lovely, so sweet—all I did was give them the steps and techniques that made it all look elegant and effortless.    If you don’t have a favorite song memory, then make one.  Choice of music can be serious and touching, lighthearted and fun, classic or contemporary.  One father-daughter duo danced to ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and another to ‘Rainbow Connection’. ‘I loved Her First’ and ‘My Girl’ are also great choices I have seen, but there are so many more—A great instructor can help you choose music and the moves.


Yvonne, I can’t thank you enough for your expertise in teaching my dad and I how to conquer our Father/Daughter dance.  My dad and I not only learned a lot during our lessons but we had a fabulous time and enjoyed many laughs together.  I think you gave my dad a lot of confidence.  It was awesome that you took the two of us and our abilities and put together an unforgetable performance.  We had the best time dancing together and it was an event that I will never forget.  Thank you so much!

– Carrie Marquardt

Dance Moves and Manners
Social Ballroom Dance for All Ages
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