These days, it is becoming trendy to see bridal parties investing energies in mastering unique dance moves reserved to impress wedding guests.
The dancing is best enjoyed as the bridal party makes its way into the wedding venue. Usually, young men and women dressed to kill master these unique dance moves that mesmerise wedding guests and add colour to the ceremony.
In an interview, choreographer Themba Mwenechale, who leads a group of dancers called Blantyre Finest, said these days the demand to either have professional dancers or to teach the bridal party new and unique dance moves is high.
“We are hired almost every weekend to either dance or teach bridal parties how to dance. The grand entry dance is key and couples even if they do not know how to dance, try to make sure that their bridal party impresses,” he said.
Mwenechale said Blantyre Finest comprises 10 young men and women who have mastered the art of dancing.
“We are self taught and we practise a lot. From Amapiano songs to traditional songs, we can dance to anything. There is no song we can’t dance to with unique choreography,” he said.
The dancer said they charge for their services according to the needs of the couple.
Another dancer, Lilongwe-based Lloyd Chirambo, popularly known as Ray among wedding services providers, said the trend for bridal parties to arrive at wedding venues with unique dance moves has created a market for him.
“I have been doing this since 2014, but lately the demand has skyrocketed. I am always hired to either teach the bridal party dance moves or lead it,” he said.
Chirambo said sometimes the couple asks that he comes up with a group so that they can dance and act as the bridal party to add pomp to the grand entrance.
“So, different packages have different charges. If the couple want me to dress in a certain way, I include that in my charge,” he said.
Chirambo, however, said dancing as an art still has a long way to go to be fully recognised.
He said: “I remember starting this art in 2014. My friends and I would actually go to events and beg for an opportunity to showcase our art. People would enjoy and clap hands without appreciating us with something. These days I am glad things are improving but we still have a long way to go.”
The dancer said it takes at least two weeks of rehearsals to teach a bridal party how to dance, but if the whole group has skilled dancers, one week of practice is enough.
Newly-wed Charlotte Phiri said after noticing beautiful dancing at several weddings in the run-up to her own, she decided to hire dancers.
“We paid them K50 000 for their services, but honestly they did a great job. Their dancing was so professional and on point, just like we see in Nigerian weddings,” she said.
In a separate interview, one of the country’s wedding masters of ceremonies Chris Loka said in the past two years, bridal party grand entrance dances have become more and more elaborate.
“At every wedding, we are witnessing improvements and more choreographed dances. It is not like what used to happen in the past. These days bridal parties are more or less like dance troupes,” he said.
Loka said back in time, bridal party members used to be friends of the couple, but these days the bridal parties are mainly professional dancers who are hired and paid to dance and make the event exciting.
“Dancing has changed the face of weddings in Malawi. This is true in various African countries, including Nigeria,” said Loka, who added that even activities during weddings have become more and more entertaining following world trends.