Wedding is one of those occasions where everyone gathers together to celebrate the union of two people, two families, and a new beginning.And no wedding is complete in India without the quintessential wedding dance.There is always that first dance together by the couple as husband and wife, which is often the highlight of the wedding. Even so, the dance that their friends and families put together for the couple is of no less importance.
Imagine if you and your friends were tasked with choreographing such a dance for the wedding.
That was exactly what Sharon Merlyn Pink, who is part of our administration team at the Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet, had to do.She and her friends had to choreograph a dance for her cousin’s Anglo-Indian wedding.Sure, she had a lot of things to take care of but she must have been least worried about the choice of the dance form.
One look at the crowd swaying to the music at the wedding reception and it seemed like everyone in her family– from her uncles to her niece–knew how to jive with seasoned flair.(The Jive is a dance style in ballroom dancing, that originated in the United States in the early 1930s).
“ We come from an Anglo-Indian background and it is very common to see that many of them are good at jive”, she says.
“In fact, every occasion is an excuse to put on the dancing shoes”, she is quick to add.
But the team kept the choreography simple as a few of the bridesmaids and best men were dancing for the first time. Their song selection followed one simple rule-entertainment, entertainment, and only entertainment for the crowd at the wedding. The line-up was a lot of peppy numbers.“ Even though each family may have different forms of doing the jive, the genre of songs are most often country and rock n roll”, she adds.
According to her, they are usually introduced to jive during such family functions, where some of the members are already professionals at the dance form. Soon they start surfing the internet to get ideas and practice basic steps.And when they finally need a partner to try these steps, they know they could turn to their own family.(Cajole her and she will admit it is fun when they can switch partners and dance with new ones).
So it was no big surprise that every move that Sharon and her friends made would be watched by a crowd, many of whom had actually taught them to jive in the first place.
“ We knew all eyes would be on us.So we did plan and prepare well in advance”, she adds. Well, all that practice did pay off because their dance received nothing less than loud claps and victory whistles.
But it did not stop there. Soon they were joined by a huge crowd, some of them partnering up to jive while others were casually swaying to the music.And if you were there, it wouldn’t have been long before you were also pulled into the celebration.
And you would have heard Sharon shouting “ the night is still young, let’s jive”.