Good morning and welcome back to my life! Things are suddenly very quiet in the world of Holly, as the past two weeks have been the chaotic culmination of 8 months of planning, crafting, and scheduling. For those of you who may not know me IRL, I got married! Wooo!
So my now-husband (that word still feels weird in my mouth) is also a dancer. We met through the ballroom dancing club at our university four years ago, when I was a Sophomore and he was a first-year grad student. We got to know each other through partner dancing, and it has remained a staple throughout our relationship.
So naturally, all of our family and friends were curious and excited to see what kind of ‘first dance’ we were going to come up with–obviously the oft-maligned slow ‘Prom Sway’ was not going to be making an appearance. Would it be Waltz? West Coast Swing? Tango? Speculation and even bets abounded.
(Side note: I had a brief moment of disappointment when I realized we couldn’t pull the stunt where the couple starts off doing the high-school shuffle and then breaks into a choreographed show. It’s not a surprise when everyone already knows you’re a semi-pro dancer. Ah well.)
We started working on the dance in May. We knew from the start that just doing one dance would not sufficiently convey all the necessary emotions–one of the things I love about ballroom social dancing is it’s ability to take two people through a variety of feelings, everything from flirty to sexy to serious to loving. Sven suggested doing a ’10-dance’, which we modified to 9 due to time and substituted West Coast Swing and Salsa for things like Samba and Paso Doble. The issue, however, was how to cut between all vastly differing songs….
I had, predictably, a crazy idea. What if, in place of artful musical transitions, we inter-cut clips from movies and TV shows that we’ve watched together and connect to? That way, we could both celebrate our love of dance and nerdy things, as well as demonstrating all the various aspects of our relationship through movement.
It took us a couple months to cut the music and choreograph the dance, which ended up a whooping 11 minutes long. Here’s the breakdown of the quotes, songs, artists, and accompanying dances in the piece:
“Tish, how long as it been since we waltzed?” “Oh Gomez–hours.” (The Addams Family, 1991) –> ‘Dark Waltz’, Haley Westenra [Waltz]
“Brainy is the new sexy” (BBC Sherlock, 2012) –> ‘I Like to Lead When I Dance’, Frank Sinatra [American Foxtrot]
“Querida!” (The Addams Family, 1964) –> ‘Abierto Puertas’, Gloria Estafan [Salsa]
“If we join together, no force can stop us.” (Star Trek: Deep Space 9, 1998) –> ‘Santa Maria’, Goten Project [American Tango]
“Come on then, Sexy!” (Doctor Who, 2011) –> ‘Sexbomb’, Tom Jones [Cha-Cha]
“As you wish.” (The Princess Bride, 1987) –> ‘The Way I Am’, Ingrid Michaelson [American Rumba]
“I’m your density!” (Back to the Future, 1985) –> ‘Wake me Up Before You Go Go’, Wham! [Jive]
“I would rather spend lifetime with you than face all the ages of the world alone.” (The Lord of the Rings, 2001) –> ‘Forever’, Chris Brown [West Coast Swing]
“Rory is the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.” (Doctor Who, 2011) –> ‘You’re My Number One’, Enrique Iglesias [Viennese Waltz]
So there you have it! It was a marvelous project that, while not a resounding artistic or technical statement, is a wonderful reflection of our relationship and the things that bring us together. We hope you enjoy, and keep dancing. I know we will.
P.S.: This video is the only one I have found so far of the performance, and it is regrettably missing the first 15 seconds of the piece, just in case anyone is confused.
P.P.S.: Header photo credit to Adam Brockway Photography, who is amazing and much appreciated!
P.P.P.S.: Also many kudos to my amazing friend Bethany for doing my hair such that all the bouncing, spinning, and lifting did disturb not but a strand!