A Tribute to the Best Part of Weddings: The Father Daughter Dance 💍

Father’s Day is just around the corner - but that’s not the only thing happening this month! June is also the height of wedding season. For many of us, this means a few things: trying to figure out if you can make it to your friend’s wedding across the country, finding the most affordable gift on their registry, and a lot of Instagram photos of white dresses. And while weddings are a blast - open bar, reconnecting with friends - we can all agree that the best moments of a wedding happen on the dance floor. And out of all the people that shake a leg on the dance floor, one of the most poignant parts of a wedding is the father daughter dance. But as a dancer-turned-wedding planner, I’m not interested in those run-of-the-mill dances. Oh no. I’m here to highlight some of the most creative, outgoing and fun father daughter dances I could find!

#1 - Can't touch this!

This video has over 22 million views, and for good reason! The bride and her dad started out fairly casual and traditional, but caught everyone by surprise when the music shifted suddenly. Not only did their demeanor shift instantly, they also pulled out some sweet shades to add to the ambiance. Their performance included a variety of hit songs such as “U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer, "Apache (Jump On It)" by Sugarhill Gang (for all you Fresh Prince fans!), and concluded with “Bye Bye Bye” by N*SYNC. As this dad said: “NEVER PASS UP A CHANCE TO DANCE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER!”

#2 - Lean back, it's a wonderful world

Okay, for starters, this bride’s dress is INSANE. It’s like every little girl who ever dreamed of being a ballerina designed it (tulle for DAYS). The entire wedding itself is pretty traditional - ballroom, white tablecloths, lots of men in suits - and the dance also starts off in the same vein. The bride and her dad show off a few practiced waltz steps, and then move into some impressive Cinderella-esque spins (the dress definitely helps the choreography!). But then the pair shows off a bit of a...different side. See for yourself!

#3 - Beat It... Bye, bye, bye

This one is fun because it’s a TOTAL decoy. Dad and daughter hit the dance floor with a little bit of the basic “step, touch, step, touch.” Then they throw in a little somethin’ somethin’ to jazz it up (a turn, a little do se do). Now, looking at them, you would think that a little bit of choreo to “My Girl” by The Temptations would be all they had in store, when - oh no! - the music cuts out. The bride runs to help, dad looks worried and…”Turn Down for What” blasts through the speakers. Oh yeah - it’s on! Touching on multiple songs & genres, this duo really scorched the floor.

#4 - Single ladies, this is a sharp dressed man

We have to give this father daughter team some props...and not just because they used several during their dance! You can tell that they really planned and rehearsed ahead of time, and even recruited some guests as stagehands, handing them sunglasses and blow-up guitars. Dad really goes for it here - you can tell he’s worked really hard to memorize the choreography, and even shows off some pretty convincing Beyoncé moves (and he can really drop it low!). They even incorporate some legit swing dance partner moves, like a basic rock step and chassé. And this one even features a surprise cameo from the mother of the bride!

BONUS

So, even though this isn’t *technically* a father daughter dance, it is a speech by the father of the bride. We’re going to let it slide because it’s the wedding of the one...the only...Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Broadway composer of Hamilton & In the Heights wasn’t about to have his wedding to his wife Vanessa pass without some sort of spectacle. Miranda worked with his father, Vanessa’s father, and their bridal party to create a pretty fantastic musical number, which they performed LIVE. L’Chaim!

Did you (or will you) do a creative father/daughter dance at your own wedding? Have a video of your favorite one?

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.