Because Everyone’s Watching

The seven dances you’re sure to see this wedding season

Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Illustrations: Kobie Nieuwoudt

Weddings are seemingly happy occasions. They’re a time to celebrate, a time to laugh, a time to cry and a time to dance. Which means – regardless of the type of wedding you’re attending, from garden weddings to wine farm weddings, City Hall weddings, game park weddings and beach town weddings – you’re bound to see these seven dances (ok, maybe not the Hora). You might even notice a little bit of yourself in some of them. Ok Mr. DJ, hit it, let’s dance!

The White Boy Shuffle

This is the guy who doesn’t want to dance. Can’t dance. Usually wouldn’t be caught dead dancing. But in this case he’s just been pulled up from his chair by his significant other and after fighting her off in the same way Beyoncé fights the patriarchy, he now feels bad and so he does a few half-hearted steps with his girl. Not to be confused with the Dad Dance, which is similar in style but hugely different in enthusiasm, the steps are best described as: Leaning on the left foot and then leaning on the other left foot with shoulders slumped while pulling a Grumpy Cat face. This dancer is usually spent after half a song and will either return to his seat or transform into The Drunk Uncle.

The Drunk Uncle

Step one – get drunk. Step two – let the alcohol do its thing. A few hours ago this guy was nervously fingering his tie and making small talk with the bride’s spinster aunt. Or, he may have been the dude doing The White Boy Shuffle shortly after the bridal couple did their first dance and his partner pulled him unwillingly onto the floor. But look at our guy now! He’s got his tie around his head like Rambo, double parking triple brandy and Cokes and doing some of Mick Jagger’s most famous moves that include, but aren’t limited to: Running Man, Snake Hips, High Knees and Waxy Dance floor. Now, if the DJ could just play his request (Mandoza’s ‘Nkalakatha’) he can die happy.

The Bridal Couple’s Choreography

You’ve seen it in the movies, which means you’ll be seeing it more and more come wedding season 2016. This is the one where the music starts off nice and slow, say, Bob Carlisle’s ‘Butterfly Kisses’, as the bridal couple dance a traditional cheek-to-cheek slow number. But just when everyone is about to put their camera phones away – the DJ pulls the needle off the record and doodledoodledoop, they’re doing a slickly choreographed mashup that includes The Grease soundtrack, ‘Ice Ice Baby’ and ‘Gangnam Style’. We pray these people never breed.

The Hora

Unlike the other dances on this list you won’t see the Hora at every wedding unless you’re used to saying “Mazels!” and attending weddings on a Sunday night. When you do see it, however, jump right in, because what we like about the Hora is how it gets everyone on the dance floor and is a real team effort. We advise that you warm up beforehand with at least five to ten minutes of something subdued like the White Boy Shuffle, and don’t even dare grab a leg of the chair if you’ve already been dancing the Drunk Uncle. Then simply lift from the legs and make sure that nobody falls off of the chair. It also helps when the lifters are the same height so perhaps Rus Nerwich should stick to holding up his sax while the rest of us sing Havah Nagilah.

The Always a Bridesmaid

She’s available and she wants everyone to know it. After drinking her weight in sparkling wine, this girl kicks off her heels and does the type of moves that would usually be accompanied by a pole. Oh, the marquee has a pole? Well now she’s on it, dropping low and backing that thing up. If there’s a table she’s on it and if there’s a guy showing interest well then she’s on him, too. To be clear, this type of dance is preferable to all the others on the list and if our girlfriend is going to keep pulling us up onto the dance floor whenever her song comes on, when we were quite happy to hold up the bar, then she’s going to have to crowbar us off of Trixie, too.

The Person Who Can Actually Dance

This is pretty much every girl and that guy. You know the type, the guy who every other guy hates but secretly wants to be. Whether it was his private school education where he took ballroom dancing instead of woodwork, or a misspent youth spinning on his head at the youth centre, he’s taking all the other dudes’ dates for a spin and giving women wide-ons with his Michael Jackson meets Magic Mike-inspired moves that result in the rug getting so dusted that he literally has to dust his shoulders off.  

This Year’s/Yesteryear’s Viral Dance Sensation

Take your pick, but someone (usually Drunk Uncle, but sometimes Cool Aunt or Relevant Teen, too) is guaranteed to put in their requests with the DJ so that they can throw in moves from the following: the YMCA, the Twist, Kung Foo Fighting, the Robot, Walk like an Egyptian, the Funky Chicken, the Hammer Dance, the Macarena, the Harlem Shake, Gangnam Style, the Nae Nae, Dabbing, the Dougie, the Cat Daddy, Draking, the Shmurda Dance…