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These days’ people are becoming adventurous with their wedding dance entrance, and their first dances. I have been to quite a number of weddings, and some wedding dance entrances cracked me up, while others wowed me. For Nigerian weddings, I have seen couples dance in with the weirdest songs. Who says you must dance in with the latest hit or do the latest dance move? Seriously, is “alanta” the best choice for your wedding entrance? These are little things people do not pay attention to but, trust me, you do not want to watch your wedding video a year later with your head bowed down, or having to say to yourselves: ‘what were we thinking?’ Since I have experience with dance and photography, I’d like to give some tips on the wedding dance entrance (that’s if you must dance, because I have been to weddings were the couples walked in after a grand introduction), and tips for the first dance. 1. Weddings are for the couple so, please, men try to be more involved. It looks wrong for your lady to boogie down while you walk in with a frown on your face. You are sending the wrong message to your guests, except you truly are not happy. 2. Pick a song the couple like. For a first dance you may pick a song with lyrics that relates to you both. 3. If you really want to wow your audience, you both should take Salsa classes together, or some other dance class (we offer dance lessons at Swan Lake Studios). Taking dance classes, particularly Salsa or Latin ballroom, is a good way to bond and grow in love. Don’t believe me? Try it out. 4. I know the first dance is a matter of choice, but couples who stick to close partnership dances and slow rhythm songs completely do it for me. 5. If your wedding is indoors, and has modern lighting system, the lights can be dimmed during the first dance, with a spotlight on the couple. 6. Please, dear wealthy guests, do not interfere. This may be the only time the couple will dance together. If you want to give the couple money, put it in an envelope, and hand it over later. 7. Be mindful of your partner. If he/she is the shy type, try to relax him/her and carry him/her along. 8. If you have taken classes for your first dance, do remember to instruct your photographer and cameraman to capture that moment.
Author’s Bio Ibifaka Ben-Kalio is a commercial lawyer and owner of Swan Lake Studios, a contemporary photography, dance and creative arts studio based in Lagos, Nigeria. A professionally trained ballet and Latin ballroom dancer, she currently runs daily Latin dance fitness programs at the Life Quest Gym, 37 Glover Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. Visit to read more articles like this and view her photography and dance programs.

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This article was first published on 16th April 2012

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