Group Dances for Your Reception

It’s a moment in the wedding reception that everyone looks forward to, when all your guests can jump up and get their groove on regardless of age, relation or dancing skill. Yes…it’s the time-honored tradition of the group dance! Also known as line dances, these are great energizers for your party, providing the more reluctant dancers a chance to lose themselves in the crowd while reliving popular moves they’re all familiar with – or learning some new ones with the help of everyone on the floor. With such a wide tradition of group dances, it can be hard choosing which to include. We’ve thrown our favorites together on a list to give you some ideas.

  1. Chicken Dance—Beloved by young and old and easy to learn as shaking a tailfeather, the Chicken Dance has been enjoyed at weddings for generations. It’s a perfect opportunity for children to dance with their grandparents in a fun, silly way that gets the whole room squawking and rocking! 
  1. Macarena— Just try to keep your head from bobbing when you hear the bouncing rhythm of this 90s classic. The lyrics issue a friendly warning that, while Macarena is showing you how to dance, her interest is fully innocent. Once you’ve learned the moves, it’s hard not to bust them out anytime you hear a snippet of the song—or any song with a similar beat!
  1. Electric Slide — There’s nothing quite like seeing a room filled with partygoers dancing in unison, and few dances get everyone in sync like the Electric Slide! Just try to stop them all from chanting the “IT’S ELECTRIC…boogie-woogie-woogie” refrain every time it crops up. Interesting facts: the 22-step dance was created in 1976, though it gained popularity as a wedding dance in the 1990s.
  1. Cha Cha Slide— It’s practically impossible to get this one wrong, since the song literally spells out the dance moves for you—in order! It’s an easy and fun dance for parents of young children to do alongside one another, listening for their instruction of “Two hops one time – two hops two times!” And the freestyling that happens at the break is a spectacle not to be missed.
  1. Conga Line—The whole room becomes a single snaking chain of celebration, kicking and shuffling around the dance floor when the DJ calls for a conga line! It’s such a doable dance that no one needs to be left out of the good times. Try a classic version of a conga tune to get things rolling, or opt for a more contemporary take, such as —you guessed it—“Conga” by Gloria Estevan and Miami Sound Machine!

There’s no reason not to include a few group dances in your special evening sprinkled among the slow dances and the all-out thumpers. It’s a great way to encourage friends, family and strangers to come together all at once to celebrate your special occasion. And with so many possibilities available, you can make sure everyone gets a chance to hit the floor dancing with a group dance that suits their abilities. In fact, you might have trouble getting them all to stop when it’s time to cut the cake!

Songs For Your First Dance

The traditional first dance of a bride and groom is a guaranteed focal point of your wedding reception. All eyes turn to the happy couple for their inaugural spin around the dance floor, and the music chosen symbolizes their bond and the promise of the next chapter of their fairy tale. There’s a whole trove of legendary first dance songs, romantic tunes that set the tone for such a meaningful and emotional moment, each with personal meaning for the couple who chooses them. With so much promise held by this peak moment of your celebration, we’ve gathered a list of potential tunes to suit the occasion perfectly.  

  1. Time and Tide – Basia

A breezy mid-tempo groove from the 80s, this jazzy tune lends a happy, hopeful energy to your romantic spin along the dancefloor. And the lyric “nothing and no one can stop us now, for better or worse…” reflect the strength of your union in no uncertain terms. 

  1. At Last —Etta James

This timeless showstopper resonates with love and gratitude from the first striking note. A classic slow-burner that fills the room with Etta’s pitch-perfect delivery of an arrangement that’s never gone out of style, you’ll feel the power of your total commitment to your truest love as you take your first musical steps as a married couple.

  1. Honeybee – The Head and The Heart

An unexpected song about belief and how love can change your heart, this minimalist pop ballad gives a modern twist to your first dance, and the lyrics state without any doubt that “we made a garden of the love we found” no matter what it took to get there. A stirring tune to set you spinning into your happy ever after!

  1. Like A Star — Corrine Bailey Rae

The overwhelming romance of finding your once-in-a-lifetime love comes through in Corrine’s hushed tones and plaintive, shimmering guitar and electric piano, creating a jazzy vibe that brings equal parts mood and sunshine to your first dance. It’s a captivating blend that presents love as a complex magic, a fantastic start to the celebration yet to come. 

  1. Fidelity—Regina Spektor

This quirky tune expresses the wonderment of discovering the perfect someone and how things could have easily gone another direction but didn’t, and how that reality inspires “music…and it breaks my heart”, but in the best possible way. You’ll be dancing your way into forever to the happy sounds of plucky violins, bouncy piano chords and the happy promise of being inspired by such a powerful phenomenon as true love.

  1. Like Real People Do—Hozier

This almost-choral folk song speaks of acceptance and holding onto the moment with its chorus of “we should just kiss like real people do” will give you the feeling of being the only two people in the whole world despite being watched by a roomful of friends and family members celebrating your most auspicious occasion. And isn’t that what true love is all about? 

  1. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles

Sara gives us a song custom-crafted for first dances. From the proclamation of its title to its “tell the world that we finally got it all right” chorus to its gentle pop-samba guitar-and-handclap delivery, you’ll be swaying joyfully in the glow of true love, and your guests will be bopping along in their seats as they watch your happiness unfold.

  1. Blessed – Thomas Rhett

This country/R&B throwback tune lends a waltzy bounce to your first dance, the descriptions of deep dedication and the idea that being “lucky just ain’t enough” when describing a love so powerful. It’s a honey-sweet introduction to your reception and a glowing invitation for your guests to celebrate your union with some happy dancing of their own.

  1. Overjoyed—Stevie Wonder

There may be no more perfect lyrical summation of commitment than this R&B classic from a musical genius like none other. “Over time, I’ve been building my castle of love, just for two…” It reads like a romantic ode from another era, but it plays like a swelling ballad of ultimate commitment to love that allows for a gentle slow dance beginning and a triumphant call to total jubilation by the end.

  1. Endless Love – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

“My love…you’re every breath that I take…” This classic emotional duet will bring happy tears to everyone in the hall as it begins tenuously and tremulously like every true love does and slowly builds to that wondrous pinnacle of commitment. As a song for your first dance as man and wife, you can’t do any better.

What are your favorite choices for first dance songs? We’d love to hear what’s on your list. Connect with us on social media, on Instagram @allegrostl and Facebook as Allegro Entertainment and tells what tunes you’ve got cued up for your first wedding dance!