Choosing a Song: Parent Dances

Choosing a song to dance to with your parent can sometimes be more difficult than choosing what to dance to with your partner. Don't fret. Here are some ways you can narrow down the options.

Are there childhood memories you have connected with certain songs? If so, consider those first!

If you don’t have a specific memory or song in mind, talk with your parents to see if you can narrow it down to the top three songs that you both like. Are you both into country or pop music? Did you listen to more jazz/big band or classical music growing up? Another big question to ask is: are you looking for traditional or something a little more unique?

Check out these popular options to get started.


One song that is fairly popular with dads and daughters who like country is “I loved Her First,” a 2006 hit from Heartland. The song is just over three and a half minutes in length. Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” is also a favorite.

For moms and their sons, you can’t go wrong with Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” or The Band Perry’s “Mother Like Mine”. This emotional song will bring your mom to tears for sure but shows an appreciation for everything she did for you growing up.

Jazz/Big Band

Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole’s heartwarming duo “Unforgettable” is another popular song for those who like jazz and old classics. While one list shares that it is more popular for the mother/son dance, it could work for either! “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra is another fun jazz song that can fit for both dances and is just over three minutes in length.


Ellie Goulding released “How Long Will I Love You” in 2013 as a cover. This song is great for the mother/son dance. It’s slow temperament and quiet mood will allow the two of you to talk amongst each other while dancing without having to shout in order to be heard.

For the father/daughter dance, there are also a lot of good options. Try John Mayer’s “Daughters” or Beyonce’s “Daddy”. Each has their own take on the relationship and comes from two different points of views, but both are great pop songs for a slow dance.

Other popular dance songs for father/daughter

Other popular dance songs for mother/son

And the lists go on. It’s nearly impossible to choose a top 10 for either dance!

Combined Dance with a Unique Twist

It isn’t uncommon to see a mashup done by the bride and groom at the reception, but this couple decided to make things interesting and surprise their guests with a combined parent mashup!

Isaac and Sonja Hansen were married in the fall of 2018 and live in Rapid City. The couple decided they wanted to do something different from the traditional mother/son and father/daughter dance. “We put a lot of thought into our wedding to make the whole day special - not only for us, but for our guests as well,” Isaac shares.

Combining the dances, the four of them started off with a slow jazz piece, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and quickly broke out into “Jump on It” by Sir Mix-a-Lot. The four danced to a mashup with a total of six songs pieced together simply using GarageBand.

“Our guests were pretty shocked. We were going for the surprise factor; there were only four people (other than the four of us) that knew we were going to do this dance.”

written by Sarah Richards, communications intern