Debutante Balls are exciting rites of passage for high school senior ladies and their families. The beauty of the gowns, flowers and decor of the evening matched with the exciting video show of each of the debutante's amazing accomplishments and future plans coupled with all the friends and family in attendance makes for a magical memory that the debutante will have for the rest of her life.
Since 2003, I have had the pleasure of choreographing numerous Father Daughter dances and instructing hundreds of dads and daughters in dance steps and techniques for many fine philanthropic groups in Orange County such as the National Charity League, Assistance League and Children's Home Society.
The Father Daughter Dance does not have to be a difficult dance to be beautiful and effective! From two to four rehearsals need to be at the dance studio where there is good lighting, mirrors and a large wooden dance floor.
During rehearsals, dads get used to leading and daughters to following the group dance steps to their special song ensuring everyone feels confident dancing close together on Presents.
Debutantes should wear heels about the same height as they'll be presented in and petticoats if they will be wearing them with their gowns on the big day. It is best if dad's wear leather soled shoes to simulate their formal footwear and also so they won't "stick" to the floor.
Over the years I've learned the best Debutante Presents Father Daughter dances are the dances that were choreographed since dads and daughters then know their beginning, middle and end and what they need to do to keep the dancing going smoothly and not run into other couples on the floor.
A choreographed group dance ends up looking more professional to the audience than a mix of couples just dancing independently. After all it is a big day and everything is being done to make it absolutely perfect - so why not make sure the Father Daughter Dance is just as incredible!
The St. James Bow is a must for debutantes to learn to do well at their Presents. I allow time during the rehearsals to get the daughters familiar with the bow as well as how to accomplish the "meet and greet" with their parents and "handoff" from escort to dad. All these little details can be challenging for excited debutantes on a big day already full to overflowing with fun and frenzy if they're not handled in advance.
SONGS & MUSIC
Songs for the Father Daughter Dance are usually between three and four minutes long. Some song choices I have had are: "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw, "The First Waltz" from the movie The Young Victoria, "Daughters" by John Mayer and "Moon River" by Andy Williams.
You can email me about your song ideas if you would like to know more about the dancing that would go with the song you're thinking of using. Sometimes classical music is considered but please be aware many "classical waltzes" are actually Viennese waltzes, not regular slow waltzes. These fast waltzes like "The Blue Danube" can be too fast and difficult for dads to learn figures and dances to with just a few rehearsals with their daughters.
Most of the time a song choice is actually a foxtrot with 4/4 timing not a waltz with 1,2,3 timing. I can adapt waltz figures for this timing to still retain the look of a waltz but give the dance a contemporary feel.
Click here to see a sample debutante dance by Jillian & Torin!
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