Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee takes a look at the evolution of the First Dance

When it comes to the ‘First Dance’ things have evolved from when I first started DJing in 1986. Back then it was a given that the first dance at a wedding would be a classic love song that was popular at the time:

During the 1990s these were replaced with tracks like:

These songs represented the standard wedding first dance that I was asked to play. Occasionally there would be a request that was slightly different whilst still being a love song:

If you look up Most-Popular Wedding Songs you will find songs like these creeping in:

Since 1986 I have seen music trends change including the traditional wedding first dance. Whilst all of the above are acceptable, especially as each song is special to each couple, there are more brides & grooms using their imagination and selecting different songs that are special to them:

  • Kings Of Leon – Use Somebody
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – I Could Die For You
  • Muse – Feeling Good
  • Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight
  • Alison Krauss – Baby, Now That I’ve Found You
  • Aqualung – Brighter Than Sunshine
  • Chuck Berry – You Never Can Tell (when the couple re-enacted the dance scene from Pulp Fiction)
  • I have played at a few weddings where the first dance has been something completely random…but has worked really well:
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Julian Cope – Jellypop Perky Jean
  • AC/DC – Highway To Hell

At my own wedding my wife and I chose our favourite song for our first dance; Funny Little Frog by Belle & Sebastian. It’s an uptempo track with a quirky lyric, but it meant a lot to us and we’re not a ‘slow dance’ type of couple so it suited us perfectly!

I personally haven’t witnessed this at any of my events but I have seen YouTube footage where the first dance turns into a full-blown dance routine. Amongst the top tracks used for this are:

There was also a period where the wedding first dance would suddenly turn into the YouTube phenomenon ‘Evolution Of Dance’ where the bride & groom would emulate the dance routine. Such was the demand that Mastermix painstakingly re-produced the mix, which you can grab here, if you still have couples interested in creating this piece of viral internet history!

The first dance will continue to deliver a variety of music. From the traditional love song, the couple’s favourite tune of all time and the surprise song/dance routine that invariably ends up with several million hits on You Tube…just make sure you have it in your collection for the special day!!!

And finally, here’s the original video of the Evolution of Dance, which has now amassed over 300 million views in its 12 year history (at the time of writing).


New to the Classic Cuts Collection

Volume 161 – First Dance has been compiled to provide DJs with a bank of strong track choices for wedding first dances, that are also a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day playlist! This album features songs by Sara Bareilles, Brandon Heath, the Pogues, and Tom Odell, as well as a smash hit taken from The Greatest Showman!