Just like all other wedding ceremonies, Jewish weddings also follow a number of customs and traditions. These customs form an integral part of the cultural legacy passed down from one generation to another. Jewish wedding dances are no exception and are a vital part of the wedding, without which the ceremony is considered incomplete. Therefore, even in the modern day Jewish weddings, couples do include traditional dances to pay homage to their age old customs and traditions.
The discretion with regard to the conduct of traditional dance lies in the hand of the wedding couple, which decides the dances that will be performed and for how long. For this purpose, couples usually prefer hiring a Jewish band rather than a wedding DJ, as the former would be familiar with both the contemporary as well as traditional Jewish music. After the music arrangements are done, couples invite the guests to participate in the Jewish festivity. The popular Jewish wedding dances are as follows.
The Hora is a popular dance form, which is conducted practically on every Jewish wedding. During this dance, the bride and the groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. While sitting on chairs, the couple may wave handkerchief to each other or hold ends of a single handkerchief. A wide circle of guests is formed around the couple, dancing clockwise and anticlockwise.
The foot movement includes kicks and other grapevine like steps, which can be accompanied by bopping up and weaving as well. The circle moves in and out, closing and then moving away from the couple. The dance can be performed in various other ways. It is usually performed on the song Hava Nagila or a compilation of energetic traditional music.
Mezinke Tanz (Krenzl)
This is yet another Jewish dance form, which is performed at the wedding reception. The Mezinke Tanz dance is derived from the traditional Krenzl dance. Krenzl refers to a crown, which was conducted, when the last daughter in the family is married. The mother of the bride was seated in the center of a circle and crowned with flowers while her daughters or guests danced around her. Mezinke Tanz takes place for both the parents, whose last son or daughter is married. They are seated in the center of a large circle, with crowns atop their head, while others dance around them in a circular fashion.