What dance style should I use for "We're going to be friends"?
February 26, 2009 10:48 AM   Subscribe

When I get married, I want to dance with my wife-to-be to "We're going to be friends" by the White Stripes. The thing is, it is not really a conventional song suited for dancing. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a dancing style that would go to this song.

This is "our" song and we both really love it. If push comes to shove I suppose we could just do the standard slow-dance sway, but I feel like this song has a playful nature that just asks for a little more moving around. Me and my fiancee are both playful in nature too (hence this being our song) and would like the whole dance to have a light, energetic, and sweet feel to it.

We have around 4-5 months until the wedding, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility to learn a new dancing style, at least well enough to look presentable on the dance floor.

Neither of us has training in ballroom dancing. We both have a pretty good sense of rhythm but I have clumsy feet so anything that has the possibility of crushing toesies should be avoided.
posted by Deathalicious to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you dance to half the beat, it is about right for a big, swoopy, slow kind of ballroom dancing. (Um, not the technical terms, obviously. I'm picturing something that looks like the waltzers as they come turning by the camera on ballroom dancing shows, but not in 3/4.) But then maybe in the middle or towards the end, you could stop dancing and break into an awesome choreographed, rhythmic patty-cake style routine, something almost akin to what a step squad might do, with high fives and finger snaps and maybe some shoe slapping and whatnot, to get back to the playful side of how you two are going to be the best friends of your life. Reading that back to myself, it sounds crazy, but the image of it in my head is fantastic and romantic and funny and adorable.
posted by vytae at 11:05 AM on February 26, 2009

I'd go for interpretive dance. I could see how you could easily mime the lyrics.
posted by sacrifix at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

You could square dance to it.
posted by The World Famous at 11:14 AM on February 26, 2009

You can totally fox trot to this. I'd say 4 months is about 3 months longer than you'd need to learn it. Good luck.
posted by originalname37 at 11:15 AM on February 26, 2009

I think everyone would get a kick out of seeing you two do a cheesy choreographed dance like OK Go's A Million Ways in wedding dress and tux to the tune of We're Going to be Friends. Got a friend with some dancing chops? Have that person make up something for you.
posted by junesix at 11:16 AM on February 26, 2009

Best answer: I'm seeing a very slow lindy.

Seriously, find an awesome fun and (this is important and maybe tricky) laid-back dance instructor in your town and give her the thrill of helping you choreograph something. This is definitely doable.
posted by amtho at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2009

Seconding fox trot.
posted by neroli at 11:32 AM on February 26, 2009

Thirding fox trot, you can play the song and click on originalname's link and they're even the same tempo! I was amused.
posted by lizbunny at 11:46 AM on February 26, 2009

Best answer: Foxtrot + White Stripes (mute the first video)
posted by kidsleepy at 11:54 AM on February 26, 2009 [8 favorites]

Best answer: It's a little fast for fox trot. The link that originalname37 has up is closer to a quickstep, which is arguably a harder dance to learn. For dances of the odd dance tempo like "We're going to be friends", I'd generally dance Night Club Two-Step, or dance on the half beats and have it be a slow Rumba. You could also try single-time swing, which you should easily be able to find lessons for.
posted by RobotNinja at 12:04 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Er, that is, it's normally a little _slow_ for fox trot, since "slow" counts in fox trot last two beats. You could dance it double time, but then it'd be too fast. I'm sticking with swing or night club two step.
posted by RobotNinja at 12:08 PM on February 26, 2009

Best answer: Take the song to a ballroom studio. They're used to wedding couples, and will be glad that you did this four months ahead of time, instead of two weeks before the big day - as will you. As noted Foxtrot is an option, and they can probably suggest other options too.

As with everything wedding related, overcharging abounds. (And dance lessons aren't cheap to begin with)
So I suggest avoiding the franchise studios altogether, and look for an independent studio that attracts (or focuses on) competitive ballroom dancers (adult and child), because 1) competitive dancers are in it for the long haul and they know the scene, so they're not inclined to put up with over-priced or under-performing studios, or "deals" which commit you to a large investment up front. And 2) it suggests that there are instructors there who know their stuff, rather than just one or two experienced instructors and the rest are people found through craigslist and taught the basics by the studio.

(I suggest an instructor who competes. While there are good instructors who don't compete, if you're inexperienced you might not initially be able to tell them apart from studio trainees. Studio trainees generally aren't up to competing at the professional levels)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:20 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're going to learn something to fit the song then just hire an instructor to choreograph and teach you what they have choreographed. I can see a lot of cute move that could be done to it to match the instrumentals and the lyrics. It's better to hire someone who can put something together for you to dance to.
posted by JJ86 at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2009

If all else fails, you might consider swaying to the lovely instrumental version on The String Quartet Tribute to The White Stripes.
posted by prinado at 1:31 PM on February 26, 2009

And by interpretive dance I mean something along the lines of this
posted by sacrifix at 2:26 PM on February 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I was leaning more towards old school ballroom dancing rather than interpretive dance. Although there is going to be a performance aspect about this, this is really primarily about us dancing together so things like interpretive dance (particularly the kind that sacrifix was talking about) are out. I realize I might have given the wrong idea when I said "playful"...I guess I meant more stylistically. Much thanks to kidsleepy for the side-by-side. Using that, it looks like RobotNinja's "Night Club 2 Step" (which I had never heard of before) would be an excellent choice, judging by this side-by-side matchup.

I am really inspired to start taking dancing lessons. The lindy hop looks really fun (although my fiancee has said in no uncertain terms that I am not allowed to flip her over my shoulder while we are dancing).
posted by Deathalicious at 12:21 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

After listening to your song, I get the feeling that the traditional lindy style wouldn't work so well. Dancing at regular speed (think eight-counts) would be fast, such that it would probably not mesh well with the feel of the song as well as being difficult for beginners. Slowing it down would be too slow to realistically maintain an eight-count pattern (here's a good example of a musical speed for good slow lindy).

If you're looking for another suggestion besides the two-step, I'd probably recommend west coast swing. It's similar to lindy, but more free-form, so it's applicable to more types of music and would be easier for beginners to master (here's an example that's suitable in spirit, if not similar in music). Your profile says you're in Philly, and while I don't know much about the dance scene there, a Googling of "west coast swing" Philadelphia brings up a bunch of hits. Regardless of the style you choose, you can go a couple of ways, either pick up some basic moves from an instructor or a group class so that you can wing it on the big night, or find an instructor who will choreograph something for you and work with you to get it looking good.

And congratulations! Sounds like it's going to be a fun wedding.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 9:16 AM on February 27, 2009

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