Having a choreographed first dance was something particularly important to me. Even though I’m not a professional dancer, dance is my ultimate passion. I didn’t want to make it anything super cheesy. I wanted something that felt a bit more intimate and understated, while still showing we had some skills as a couple on the dancefloor. Above all, I didn’t want Nick to look goofy like a lot of guys do when they have their dance choreographed.
To get exactly what we wanted, we choreographed it ourselves. We’ve taken many dance classes together and Nick is very good. I taught him some basics about reading music when we first started these classes, and let me tell you, that was the best idea ever. For guys learning who just don’t get 8-counts and downbeats, showing them what music looks like on paper made it more, well, black-and-white. Nick can now hear music and tell me if it’s 4/4 or 6/8, and understands what a measure is. Just thought I’d throw this out there for anyone struggling.
Anyway! We ended up choreographing our dance just the week leading up to the big day. It was definitely stressful, but since we were keeping the moves to a minimum it was completely manageable. We really did procrastinate though, I do NOT recommend that timeline for anyone. We ended up putting the finishing touches on the dance the night before, and we went through it over and over again to get a small amount of muscle memory going. We also made quick single-syllable names for each part so I could just whisper the move under my breath and Nick would know what was coming next.
The song we selected for our first dance was Rooftops, by LostProphets. This is certainly not a traditional wedding song, not even necessarily a love song. It’s about living life. And it was the first song Nick and I ever bonded over back when we were sixteen. I was driving him to his car one night after we’d been hanging out with my friends and when this song came on my mixtape (you read that right, my car was OLD), he was so excited to hear that someone else even knew the song at all. And this was at the peak of my love for the song, so we gushed about it for the entire duration. Ever since then, it has always been our song.
The hardest part about Rooftops as our first dance is that the song is rock/alternative, and its acoustic versions still don’t manage to be romanticized the way you want a first dance to be. Luckily for us, Nick knows an individual who happens to be an excellent guitarist with a voice that could summon animals to do his chores.
This man is Andy, of Andy And The Pandy’s. Check out that ‘stache, and check out their page.
When it was finally time to dance the dance, I first changed into my flat sneakers. Because hitting Nick’s arm with my forehead during our spins was not in my grand plan.
Andy began strumming, and we began swaying. This was our moment to gather our thoughts and get comfortable. We purposely didn’t choreograph any moves for when the song started. Plus, this made our build up to the chorus even better.
Then the chorus began, and Nick picked me up in a twirl. I was a princess in heaven with a unicorn and shooting stars, it was perfect.
Later when our videographer delivered our final reel, I was so impressed to see that he remembered this one thing I mentioned from our very first meeting: I wanted him to walk around us in a circle as we were spinning. I was impressed because he didn’t know what our dance was like, and it was serendipitous that he decided to do this during our first twirl. It’s certainly my favorite moment to watch from our first dance.
For the bridge of the song, we’d “choreographed” some freestyle into it. Nick spun me around, and it had a very Swing feel to it. And it was so much fun!
As we went into the last chorus, we decided to repeat all the lifts we’d done throughout the song. Back-to-back-to-back. Nick is a champ.
When the song finished, we just held each other close and stood there for a moment, kissing and laughing and hugging. I am in love with our first dance almost as much as I am in love with him.