Image: Blake Ezra Photography (Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor)
What is, hands down, the most fun and exciting part of any Jewish wedding? In the immortal words of Anthony from Sex and the City, the answer is: “the hora! THE HORA!”
The hora (sometimes called Jewish Dancing or Israeli Dancing) is a highly energetic Israeli circle dance, and guests are supposed to put as much vigor and enthusiasm into it as they would on their own wedding day. Danced to klezmer music, it’s usually the part of the wedding where you’ll see the happy couple lifted on chairs (equal parts exhilarating and terrifying), or being thrown about on a sheet!
At religious, Orthodox Jewish weddings, men and women dance the hora separately, with a dividing wall, while Reform, Liberal and Jew-ish weddings tend to keep the party in one place.
It’s an amazing challenge for any photographer, to capture the mayhem, and frankly, at this point, brides can forget about their hair and makeup, because things are going to get sweaty!
So, given how integral the hora is to a real Jewish knees up, how do you make it happen? Here are some tips to getting everybody at your wedding involved in this boisterous and brilliant tradition.
Image: David Pullum Photography (Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor)
Kick off with klezmer music
If your budget can stretch to it we highly recommend a live band. Whether it’s a live band who can play some klezmer classics, or a traditional klezmer band, it’s all in the music. If live entertainment is a little out of budget, we advise putting together a klezmer playlist or asking your DJ to dedicate a special portion of the evening to it.
There are many traditional melodies to choose from. If you’re not sure where to start, YouTube is a great source of inspiration for hora songs. This video alone is a medley of some of the most popular songs to dance the hora to, to get your playlist going.
Image: York Place Studios ( Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor)
Learn some basic hora steps
Chances are, if you’re having a Jewish or Jew-ish wedding, that you’re probably already a somewhat accomplished hora dancer. However, if you’re a little unsure of what happens when you dance the hora, why not brush up before the big day?
Whether you find a local Israeli dance class or teacher to help you out, or you use one of the many YouTube tutorials available, make sure you’re confident enough to whip up enthusiasm among your guests. They will, after all, be following your lead.