How to Do a Circle Dance in a Wedding

Circle Dancing is an ancient tradition and has been around probably since the very first campfire. Although most every country has their own version of a circle dance handed down through the generations to celebrate unity, there is a particular circle dance performed at weddings that signifies the unity of the celebrated couple and the support and esteem their weddings guests hold them in. Here is one way of organizing a circle dance at a wedding:


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    Plan the wedding reception in an area where a circle dance can be performed with no obstacles in the way. A large room with lots of open floor space or an outside venue would work well. Guests must feel comfortable dancing without obstructions in the way.
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    Plan ahead for appropriate music to be played or performed at your wedding reception. A circle dance should be performed to lively and exuberant music.
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    Call all the wedding guests to the floor. You might have to coax the shy ones, but make sure everyone understands that they don't have to be great dancers in order to participate.
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    Call up the Bride and Groom and place them in the middle of the room as they are the honored guests. Have all the other guests form a wide circle around the couple.
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    Start the music and begin the dance simply. Have everyone sway to the left and then sway to the right at first. Allow everyone to get comfortable and begin to move in rhythm to the music.
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    Instruct the Bride and Groom to begin the first dance together in the center of the circle while the guests continue to move with the music around them. In some circle dances the guests hold hands or clap in time with the music as they dance around the Bride and Groom.
    • The honored couple should then begin to dance with a significant family member such as a parent or sibling inside the circle as the guests continue to loosely dance around them in the outside circle.
    • After the significant couples have all danced in the middle, the outer circle of guests take their turns in the center dancing, clapping, or sometimes acting out different aspects of married life, such as holding a baby, or building a house. Some guests may choose to shout out short versus or cheers when they enter the circle, in honor of the married couple, while the rest of the group clap in time.
    • To bring the dance to a close, separate the guests evenly on either side of the room and then bring them all together 1 last time as a united group. As the music ends the crowd congratulates the new couple for the last time.
    • The Jewish Hora dance is often performed to the music of Hava Nagila. During this dance the bride and groom hold onto either end of a handkerchief and they are lifted into the air on chairs by their guests who proceed to dance around them in clockwise and counterclockwise circles, lifting the couple up and down in a bobbing motion, then dancing in toward the couple and dancing back out again. Usually in the Hora the taller carriers hold the front of the chairs to keep them from falling backward.
    • In a Greek wedding party the circle dance performed by both the guests and the marrying couple is called the Kalamatiano. Traditionally the guests form 2 circles around the bride and groom and either pin or tape money onto the bride and groom or throw money at the musicians during the dance. This is to symbolize future prosperity they wish for the couple.

Things You'll Need

  • Wedding
  • Open space to conduct the circle dance
  • Source of music

Article Info

Categories: Ceremony & Reception