The Symbolism of the Spotlight Dances for Same Sex Couples

Same-sex couples, not unlike heterosexual couples, are faced with the harsh reality that a wedding reception is a significant investment in many things that will only last one day but live on in your memories and photo album- with one exception – the dance lessons.  The cake will be eaten, the flowers will die, the attire will be preserved, sold or donated but learning to dance is an investment in your relationship which lives on. Dancing is a life skill useful for future special occasions or even just tender moments in your living room on a rainy night! Our students say their dancing date nights are the most fun and romantic time they have during the wedding planning process and our couples tell us that the First Dance is the most sentimental moment of the reception too.

Many same sex couples are realizing the importance of expressing their unity and growing closer through this unique learning experience. They are seizing the opportunity to proudly shine on the dance floor while personalizing their celebration through their own creative expression. For these insightful couples, the First Dance is often the highlight of the reception and the most vivid wedding memory guests recall since an image tells a thousand words. At first, there are nervous hesitations of expressing their physical affection in public or creating misperceptions about roles and gender identity but it is our job as dance professionals to guide same sex couples through the process that customizes their unique personalities and relationship dynamics so they accurately represent their signature style on their special day. The spotlight dances with the parents is also a sacred ritual to honor the parental bond and love and in return the parents are demonstrating public respect for their son/daughter, acceptance of his/her choices and pride in who their son/daughter has become.

There are lots of aspects of the wedding that can be outsourced – – the bakery, the caterer, the florist, the event planner. There are three vital components that only the couple themselves can execute in order for a wedding to demonstrate the strength of their relationships – – their vows and their First Dance and the speeches.  The public and legally binding vows verbally profess the couple’s intentions to be supportive and loyal to each other, the speeches commemorate bonds and the spotlight dances seal the deal with action. And actions speak louder than words. These public rituals are especially validating to same sex couples who have historically been denied the right to marry, felt shunned or misunderstood by family, felt stigmatized by religious organizations or marginalized by society or kept their relationships a secret from employers, colleagues, neighbors.

Now that many states have legalized same sex wedding, more same sex couples are bravely putting their best foot forward because they realize that words alone do not a relationship make.  After all, successful relationships do not involve daily verbal vow renewals and flowery speeches. Instead they require sincerity through your actions both big and small. Just as couples and their families attend a rehearsal to prepare for their ceremony, it is vital to dedicate some time in advance before making their public debut so everyone can sparkle in the spotlight. By exercising teamwork and patience during private rehearsals and ultimately for public display, the couple “moves as one” on the dance floor and a promise is sealed and delivered. For this reason, the “spotlight” dances are the most sacred ritual of any wedding reception regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple.

Since our doors opened for business in 2000 we have welcomed same sex couples to our studios because we believe everyone deserves the same chance to dance and romance! Our couples tell us with a little preparation the spotlight dances will transform the most sentimental moment into the most photogenic and memorable moment for them and their guests!

“We had a great time and learned a great deal! We recommend The Wedding Dance Specialists to other same-sex couples whether learning to dance for their wedding or just for the pure fun of dancing! We give them all top scores when it comes to professionalism, quality of instruction, availability and of course enjoyment! Dance lessons were definitely worthwhile and we did so much better than if we had tried to “wing it.” — Ken Patterson and Brian Burson

Would you like to learn some new dance steps for your wedding?  The Wedding Dance Specialists can help you learn the most popular ballroom dance styles. We offer wedding dance lessons that are fast-paced and a lot of fun.

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