Music by Dance Style for Weddings

Congratulations on your engagement! Now comes the fun part: planning your wedding celebration. Music plays a huge role in setting the mood and keeping the dance floor packed. But with so many genres and styles, choosing the right songs can feel overwhelming.

I frequently get asked – What dance do I dance to specific songs? To put couples on the right path, I curate several playlists by dance style. Whether you want to jitterbug, Waltz, two-step, or more, see below for a shot of music inspiration by dance styles.

dance styles for weddings

You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of dance at your wedding. Very special moments are built around the first dance between the bride and groom, the dance between father and bride, and even line dances that involve everyone. It is, therefore, important to work with your wedding DJ to accommodate several wedding dance styles — including ballroom dance.

Are All Ballroom Dance Styles the Same?

The difference between ballroom dance styles is vast. Choosing the appropriate style is connected to choosing the right music where both style and music need to fit the moment. For example, waltzes work very well for spotlight dances while cha-cha and two-step styles are suitable for larger groups.

Tempo is one of the primary factors that help distinguish wedding dance styles. The lively upbeat songs that are used at a wedding reception generally involve all the guests. Slower tempos are the songs reserved for the moments when all eyes are on the bride and groom.

The other determining factor in choosing a ballroom dance is the song’s time signature. Tempo is how fast a beat is; time signatures dictate style. Most waltzes are done in ¾ time — you probably remember people counting out loud: “one, two, three, one, two, three.” If you choose a standard 4/4 song (most rock) the Walz simply won’t work. Your private dance tutor can help with this.

Appropriate Use of Wedding Dance Styles

It’s possible to structure the wedding reception by dance styles. The styles that you choose can help to create an ebb and flow. They can also lead your guests from one part of the festivities to another.

Wedding planners account for fast and slow dance styles to set up moments like celebratory toasts and cake cutting. The right DJ will work with a wedding planner to take the mood up to a high pitch and then bring it back down when the more solemn wedding reception moments occur.

You should also consider that guests need an occasional break from the fast tempo of some wedding dance styles. An endless stream of fast dance tunes is going to tire your guests, and it may cause some of them to leave early.

It’s all about the balance between the different styles. When you combine that balance with an emotional tide that is crafted by song lyrics, the result is a great time for everyone. This is where a professional DJ is your BFF.

Music Guides

See my wedding music guides to help plan your wedding playlist.

The books will save you time and help you plan all the music for the ceremony and reception.

wedding songs planner thumbnail

Wedding Songs Planner

5,000 song suggestions from 60+ wedding playlists for your big day including wedding moments, eras, and genres.

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Wedding Music Planner

Everything you need to plan your wedding day playlist including ceremony & reception guides, and song ideas.

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