Passionata Dance Classes – Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Tango and Bridal Dance

Bridal Dresses and Dancing

Bridal Dresses for Dance and Limitations

Article by Derek Vuong, (26th August 2014)



When Dancing in a Wedding Dress, There many need to be a few adjustments in dance instruction and choreography.

I am one to think from my experience as a Dance Instructor specialising in Bridal Choreography that many Bridal Dress designers do not take into account for the Bridal Dance when they design dresses.  Some dress designers are considerate enough to create a facility to pin up the train so it will not cause an issue. However some just go overboard with puffyness or heavy materials embellishing the dress. The bridal dance is the highlight of the night as it seals the deal as the first dance together as a married couple. So many people want to make it a special experience for their guests, not to mention a memorable one. Selection of a particular dress and dance style will require adjustments to be made to the choreography to make the style compatible with the dress.

Here are some things to consider when selecting a dress for your Bridal Dance:

Be careful of Strapless dresses – When a dress is strapless, This will limit the ability to do certain lowered back dips. The last thing the bride and groom wants is a nip slip at the pivotal point in the night. Side dips are fine as they take the whole body down without stretching the chest area out of the dress. If strapless dresses are tight and high, this should not be too much of a problem.

Heavy skirting – Heavy skirting drags across the floor and may limit the movement of the legs, This will depend on how overboard the dressmaker went with sequin and swarovski crystals , this is moreso when the dress is tight at the knees or mermaid design. Some trumpet or mermaid style dresses are known to hinder even the ankle area so smaller steps in the dance routine are required.

Hindered legs or knees – If the dress is tight in the knee area, this limits the ability for the lady to take bigger steps, This may be a problem if the groom is much taller and takes larger steps naturally. he must match her size of step and this will also limit movement around the floor. Adjustments will have to be made if the song is also very slow.

Pining up of the train, The train pinned up on the back should not affect the dancing as much, However when the bride does underarm turns the groom may have to keep some distance.

Loop train on the Wrist. This may limit certain showcase turns as having the train on the wrist needs to be practiced to mediate without major tangle ups.

Delicate tissue paper thin materials in dress construction – If material is delicate sometimes the moves such as lifts will be limited. Best to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. The groom must treat the movements delicately. If dresses are semi transparent, avoid black and red underwear, unless the dress is specifically designed with those color schemes. During a lift, a tea length or front open dress may reveal underpants during a lift. If those colors cannot be avoided, just be prepared to wear clean undergarments.

Shoes Platform on front – For ladies who are shorter, they sometimes want a high platform shoe, However this will limit smooth movement in the dance since the clop around like a horse hoof. The adjustment is to take very small steps. High stillettos may also be a problem, especially with balance. A stocky heel base will be better for dancing.

Slippery Shoes, long dress – Sometimes wedding shoes for the male or female can be quite slippery on a newly polished dance floor and require a bit of traction. When dancing on wooden floors, sprinkle a little water to get the shoes to stick to the ground if too slippery. On carpet, Lift the feet up slightly off the ground so every slide is levitated. on tile, be careful as it is more slippery than the wood. For the groom, the job is to keep distance and make the leads clearly and mark them a split second earlier so the bride can move her feet away before he kicks her in the toe. The groom should try not to lift the front of the foot, he should aim to move the dress away with his foot rather than stepping on the dress.

Victorian and puffy dresses – are not good for Tango but they suit the Waltz style. Tango dresses are different and some brides choose a different evening dress just for the purpose of Tango Dancing. If you have chose a open dress with alot of area, be aware of surroundings, especially pyrotechnics if they are arranged to be set off on the reception night.

Dress Cage not as Flexible. – Some dresses have a dress cage, Some even have a small stool sewn into the dress. Best if the stool is removable before the performance. Flexible cages are better as they allow the guy to come into the space. Also when dips are performed, it will not point the dress up into the air in the opposing direction.

Wear that Updo – Sometimes certain hairstyles will be higher, This has nothing to do with dress but minor adjustments still need to be made to the grooms lead. If the bride is slightly shorter this does not cause any problems. but if the groom is shorter he may need to lead fingertip to fingertip. the bride should avoid ducking under leads or the groom jumping to get the lead over her head. sometimes the dresses are long enough to conceal her bending from the knees. The groom should also not force leads violently. He must lead her firmly so she can move gracefully. However that constitutes a new topic altogether.

In conclusion, when choosing a dress style make sure that at least some consideration is put into the design for the bridal dance. Unless if you are not doing bridal dance lessons in which most dresses accommodate awkward on the spot swaying motions.

Article by Derek Vuong (Bridal Dance Instructor with