Thursday, 11 June 2015

Most Popular Jewish Wedding Dance

Jewish wedding dance can include a number of traditional Jewish wedding dances interspersed between contemporary and secular music. The bride and groom often decide what to include based on how traditional the Jewish wedding festivities will be.

Jewish people divide themselves into Askhenazi Jews (descended from Eastern European Jews), African Jews (Ethiopian, Nigerian, Ugandan Jews, also not of the aforemention major ethnic backgrounds) Sephardic Jews from Iberia (Spain and Portugal), Indian, Bukharan, Persian, Iraqi, Yemenite Jew, and Mizrahi (Eastern or Middle Eastern Jews [not of Spanish/Portuguese or Sephardic origin]).    

Jewish weddings are often ripe with customs passed down from generation to generation, and dances are no exception. Contemporary couples may choose to devote a portion of their Jewish wedding reception music to participating in classic dances. They may base this upon their own wishes, the desires of their parents, or the ratio of guests who will understand how to engage in these dances.

Gladdening of the Bride

The traditional Jewish dance, the "Gladdening of the Bride" is performed at the end of the Jewish wedding reception. For this dance, there is no specific song that is used. Any different traditional Jewish wedding instrumental music is played, as long as it is upbeat and lively. For this dance, the guests form a circle on the dance floor, and the bride sits in the center of the circle. The guests dance around her in a circle, singing praises about her.

Mezinke Tanz

The Mezinke Tanz is another dance performed at a Jewish wedding reception when the last son or daughter in the family is getting married. For this dance, the mother is given a crown of flowers to wear on her head, and the parents sit in chairs in the middle of the dance floor and all of the guests dance around the joyous family. The Mezinke Tanz is classic danced to the song "Di Mezinke Oysgegebn," which translates to, “Away the Youngest Daughter.” A very special occassion is a "double mezinke" when both sets of parents have married off their last child.


During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. Sitting upon chairs, they may wave handkerchiefs at each other or hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. A large circle of guests is formed around them, dancing clockwise or counterclockwise. Foot movements include kicks and grapevine-like steps. Weaving and bopping up and down may also occur. The circle of friends and family often alternate between a large loose circle and coming in close to the couple and out again.

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