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In the Bridal Forum the subject of a Dollar Dance was brought up in a recent thread at BanglesandBrides.com.

It is a wedding reception tradition where the gentlemen in attendance would pay a dollar to the bride for a dance and the ladies would pay a dollar to the groom for a dance with him.

I must admit, prior to reading the thread I’d never heard of a “Dollar Dance” but I personally think it’s a delightful custom. I am curious if the wedding reception tradition of a “Dollar Dance” is rooted in the customs of a particular ethnicity or geographic region. I would sure appreciate if anyone could enlighten me.

Dave

20 Comments

  1. rumblepup on the 02. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    SeΓ±or Dave. The Dollar Dance is an old tradition amongst Hispanics, especially Cubans like myself.

    As times change, so does the Dollar Dance change. It ain’t a Dollar anymore my brutha, but I digress.

    I think it’s a very delightful tradition as well. Amongst Cubans, traditionally, it was only the Bride who gave a dollar dance, because she now is Mrs. Groom, and no longer will keep the company of any other man. So now, for the honor of dancing with her one last time, all the gentlemen in attendance will offer money as a last gift to the happy couple. It’s kind of like the tradition of getting a kiss from the Bride with the blessing from the groom. It’s a “buen hacer” or “good action” the imparts a wish for happiness, peace and wealth.

    About the wealth part. Cubans have a saying that I think most other cultures have as well;

    “Dinero llamas dinero” or “Money calls money” and one of our “Are you having a happy life?” check is “Are you working? Are you making lots of money?” It’s not a status or wealth thing. It’s knowing that your family is well taken care of.

    An unspoken rule of Weddings is that you give your family and friends multiple chances to give you gifts. There is the bridal shower, the bachelor party (where the gifts are never spoken of in public ever, because they never happened so shut up your face), the registry, monetary gifts. The Dollar Dance is the last chance to give a gift to the couple.

    In recent years, it has been accepted that the groom as well gives a dollar dance. You know us latinos, macho till the last drop.

  2. CrankyDave on the 02. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    Thank you Rumblepup!

    I’m finding out a little more about the Dollar Dance tradition. It also seems that it is heartily embraced by those of Polish heritage as well.

    Dave

  3. Bob on the 10. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    Yes, Dave

    Polish would make sense. I did the wedding DJ thing for a number of years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The dollar dance was a staple at EVERY wedding I did. Milwaukee is predominantly german/polish and that would certianly explain your info on the polish connection. I think this is propbably a Christmas kind of adaptation…the concept of the Christmas Tree originates with the ancient Egyptians…and it’s been modified and embellished by every Christian country or group world wide. Speaking of the holidays….

    Have a great Christmas!

  4. Bob on the 10. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    PS It kills 15 minutes real easy!

  5. CrankyDave on the 10. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    LOL! Thanx Bob!

    My wife is from the Milwaukee area and couldn’t believe I’d never heard of the Dollar Dance. We got married in Las Vegas and the only “Dollar Dancing” that was being done was in front of the “One Arm Bandits” πŸ™‚

    Very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

    Dave

  6. B. Blackwell on the 03. Mar, 2008 remarked #

    For many the dollar dance is a way to gather monies for a great new start, vacation and to cover wedding expenses.

    I see them all the time in my line of work.

  7. Poland tour on the 23. May, 2008 remarked #

    There’s no “dollar tradition” in Polish culture – or I’ve never heard about it, but i was on a few weddings, and noone piad anything for a dance….

  8. dvd duplication on the 20. Jun, 2008 remarked #

    I’m wondering, how much the can get from this dollar dance tradition on a single wedding πŸ˜›

  9. coffee table on the 31. Jul, 2008 remarked #

    I must admit that I don’t like that kind of custom…
    I think it’s a bad idea. The bride shouldn’t take money for a dance with her. If you can buy yourself a dance who knows what else can you buy…

  10. CrankyDave on the 31. Jul, 2008 remarked #

    awwwwwwww coffee table. I think it’s a lovely custom. It’s a fun and symbolic way to help the new couple get started. Think of it as a kind gesture instead of “buying” something.

    Dave

  11. property management software on the 28. Aug, 2008 remarked #

    In my country there’s no such thing as ‘dollar dance’ during wedding, but we have a tradition to toss coins to newly weds after the leave the church.
    They have to collect all the coins before they go further πŸ™‚

  12. Melissa - Last Name Change on the 07. Sep, 2008 remarked #

    I think that’s interesting idea but I don’t know if I would want to do that at my wedding. Perhaps raffles would be more fun? And the winner would get to have a dance…

  13. stag weekend Krakow on the 15. Sep, 2008 remarked #

    Ho Melissa,
    Raffles? Sounds good, but believe me, dollar dance is very fun too.

  14. Debbie on the 21. Oct, 2008 remarked #

    It is a Polish/Slovak custom for all the guests to dance with the bride her mother dances with her first and her father last. The maid of honor wears an apron which the dancers toss money into to help the newlyweds start their new life they then twirl her around a couple of times then get a shot of some type of whiskey! The people who have danced with her start a circle around the bride to keep the groom out because she still belongs to the family .at the end of the dance, her father dances with her and the circle gets tighter to protect her from the groom he has to break through the circle to claim her as his own and carry her off to start their new life. It’s a great time. I am 58 and have been seeing these dances for a long time. Even people of non-polish descent here in western PA have them because it is such fun

  15. CrankyDave on the 21. Oct, 2008 remarked #

    Hi Debbie

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    I really find the different customs and traditions quite fascinating and the part about the circle and apron are very new to me, not to mention quite intriguing.

    Again, thank you. πŸ™‚

    Dave

  16. kilts on the 28. Oct, 2008 remarked #

    dollar dance? sounds good. I think, there should be a website contatining traditions from all the world. Some of them are really nice.

  17. beginner dance lessons on the 16. Nov, 2008 remarked #

    rumblepup, You gave us an extra ordinary information. I have read teh same thing on the same place i.e banglesandbrides. I think this is very cheerful and delightful act by guests. Perhaps this is another way to make wedding occasions more memorable and last longing. A few days back I was seeing an movies based on Cuba’s revolution of Fidel, I am going to love that place and shall visit at least once in my life.

  18. Marco - Egypt Property on the 27. Nov, 2008 remarked #

    HeHe, funny name, sounds very fun though, anyone know if they have a video on youtube of the dance, hold up I’ll look.

    http://uk.youtube.com/results?search_query=dollar+dance&search_type=&aq=f

    Quite a lot of videos so I posted the link, enjoy…………….

  19. kilts on the 11. Feb, 2009 remarked #

    I’m always amazed at how many old traditions there are when it comes to dance – I’ve done the Canadian Barn Dance in Scotland, England, at School, at University…but never in Canada. Never the Dollar Dance either – maybe there’s a Pound Dance for the UK or a Euro one for Europe!?

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