The Top 10 First Dance Wedding Songs – Part 2
Orange County Wedding Songs – Part 2
Part 2 of the Top 10 First Dance Wedding Songs brings us into a deeper exploration of the tunes brides and grooms are choosing to dance to on their big day. It can be agreed that the most defining element of a first dance beyond the actual wedding couple themselves is their song! Many couples struggle to choose the song that they will dance to as newlyweds. Others know their first dance song choice from the moment of their engagement. In this series we will continue to share the top 10 most requested first dance songs and explore fantastic wedding dance ideas to go with each one! Orange County wedding dance couples have requested to learn how to move and groove to each one of the music pieces that made the national wedding dance list. Obviously there must be romantic magic in the melody of these tunes. Let’s take a look at first dance songs numbers 7, 6, and 5!
First Dance Song #7: “At Last” – Etta James
“At Last” is a true first dance classic. Etta James’s voice laying over the melodic violins make for a dreamy wedding dance song standing the test of time. “At Last” was originally written in 1941 for the musical film “Sun Valley Serenade.” Nearly 20 years later in 1960, Etta James covered the song over an arrangement made by Riley Hampton who improvised over the original melody. By 1999, the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. What most Orange County wedding couples don’t realize about this wedding dance classic is that “At Last” hosts the rhythm of a Viennese Waltz. I would argue that Viennese Waltz is one of the more difficult ballroom dance styles to learn. However, it’s not impossible for a wedding couple to learn a dance to “At Last” in true Waltz style. Those willing to put in the practice can be dancing across their wedding dance floor in no time. “At Last” invites newlyweds to dance smoothly with pivot spins, sweeping traveling patterns, and lots of romantic lifts! A quintessential dip would have to be included too!
First Dance Song #6: “You are the Best Thing” – Ray LaMontagne
“You are the Best Thing” is such a fun and soulful song that it offers a lot of options and opportunities to first dance performers-to-be! While the song feels like it was written the 60s, it was actually released in 2008 by American folk singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne. The song intermixes softer sections with highly energetic trumpet phrases. I would enjoy teaching a first dance that would be as dynamic as the song. A fun wedding dance could include the classic box. This being danced on the downbeat of the music and sprinkled with a cool rumba styling. This would give the dance a bluesy feel. East Coast Swing would be a fun addition to make the dance more upbeat. As the song progresses, power dance moves including spins, dips, and tricks would be the ultimate wedding crowd pleaser.
First Dance Song #5: “All of Me” – John Legend
“All of Me” has certainly been one of the most requested first dance songs from our Orange County wedding dance couples here at Bella Ballroom. Singer John Legend wrote the song in dedication to his then-fiancé, now wife, Chrissy Teigen in 2013. The song has since topped Billboard charts nationally and internationally. The slower tempo of the piano ballad makes it very accessible for newer dancers to move to. I would enjoy creating an intimate rumba choreography to “All of Me” for a first dance couple. A groom could spin the bride multiple times. This would highlight the piano riffs within the song. Newlyweds could twirl slowly in a locked during the softer features of the music. Sustained dips would create the perfect first dance photo moments. All of these elements would match the echo of John Legends’ soulful song.