Traditional wedding dances around the world

Traditional wedding dances around the world

Dancing brings people together. Whether you’re a professional or you have two left feet, it’s always fun. At weddings, especially the westernized ones, everyone awaits the newlyweds’ first dance and as it happens they watch in awe.

In other countries around the world, however, there are other dances that are equally – if not more – important. Wedding dance traditions are more diverse and varying than you could ever imagine.

Here are 5 wedding dance traditions from around the world:


One of the most common folk dances for Turkish weddings, halay is a dance done to a song which is a cycle of the same melody which starts off slow and increases in speed. People hold hands or are intertwined in some way, and dance (commonly in a line).

The Tsamiko, The Zeibekiko, and the Sirtaki

Traditional Greek wedding dances centre around guests holding hands and dancing in a circle.

A Sword Dance

Scottish weddings come with a few traditions around dance. At the reception the first dance is the bride and groom dancing a traditional reel. Thereafter, the bride dances with a guest who has “the highest rank among the guests”.

The very last dance is the Sword Dance. As it is performed guests form a circle and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, a traditional song.

Ceilidh dance

This is the traditional dance at Irish weddings. It is to be performed with a ceilidh band.

Some ceilidh dances are named after locations, for example “Seige of Ennis”. Many newly-weds opt for songs which pay homage to the heritage of their family or to their ancestors.

The “Horah”

This is a Middle Eastern/Israeli style of dance usually played as a second dance set.

Dancing is a big part of Jewish weddings. Often, it is the tradition that guests at the wedding entertain the newly wedded couple through dance, rather than the couple being centre stage.

The “Horah” is only one Jewish wedding dance traditions. Others include The Krenzl, The Mizinke,  and The Mitzvah tantz.

Image: Pixabay

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