Post # 1
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
Neither of us are religious, but there are some cultural traditions we’re following from both sides. One of the things he really wants to do is the chair dance. He swears it’s fun, but I am terrified. Am I going to fall? Who holds you up? Can I designate strong people to hold my chair? Is there a special kind of chair I need? Do they make seatbelts? (mostly kidding on that one) How does it start and how long does it last?
I’m excited and nervous. It looks like so much fun, but I am clumsy on a good day and am worried I’m going to make a fool of myself. Any reassurance or advice would be sooooooooo appreciated.
Post # 3
@soontobeMrsBoo: So I’m not Jewish but I’ve been to my share of Jewish weddings and I can’t imagine one without the Hora. Usually the male guests will lift you up and I’ve seen pretty hefty men get lifted up, so I wouldn’t worry about falling. You don’t need any special chairs — whatever is at the venue will be fine. It’ll be a blast — almost wish I could’ve thought of a way to do it at my own very non-jewish wedding. Enjoy and congrats!
Post # 4
@soontobeMrsBoo: Soon to be Jew here (I’m in the process of becoming a Jew)! My fiancé is Jewish and we will be having a Jewish ceremony and definitely doing the hora! First off, it is so much fun! The energy is amazing and it really gets everyone up and dancing together.
TO answer your questions: There is risk of of falling however there are things you can do to minimize the risk such as scheduling it earlier during the reception before folks have too much alcohol in their system, designate a few people 3-4 per chair who you know are strong and who you trust to lift you to be your primary lifters (other people will jump in to help, they always do!). Make sure that you cross your ankles, keep your knees together and hold on tight! Lean back rather than forward so that you don’t slid off the chair. No special chair is needed, usually a regular reception hall chair is used. Basically the way it plays out is the music starts everyone starts dancing in a circle (sometimes 2, one inner and one outer depending on how many folks are involved) and the couple get pushed/ushered into the center, someone grabs a couple of chairs, you sit in the and get hoisted up in the air. someone might throw a napkin up to you or your new spouse so that you can each grab a corner while up in the air. THe hora can be really long or really short. THe actual chair in the air portion is usually relatively short but depending on the crowd the dancing portion can go on for a while.
it is so much fun! Enjoy it!
Post # 5
It’s customary at all Jewish parties to sit the guest(s) of honor in a chair and hoist them up. At weddings, it’s the bride and groom and you hold a white napkin between you to connect you as everyone dances the hora around you. It’s fun, but yes, cross your legs, hold on to the arm of the chair (GET A CHAIR WITH ARMS!) and just enjoy the ride, literally!
Post # 6
Yay! I love the hora! Being lifted on a chair for the hora is also really common for bar and bat mitzvahs, so don’t forget that not only a lot of bride and grooms, but also a lot of 13 year olds have been there done that. Enjoy!
Post # 7
@ArtDecoLisa: +1. Couldn’t have said it better. Also, congrats on your conversion process!! 🙂
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2013 - Franklin Plaza
@soontobeMrsBoo: Ah! I’m in the exact same position as you. My fiance is also Jewish and wants to do the chair hora. My venue said that they have done it before and the have certain chairs that they use for it (easier for the people to hold). We just have to let them know we are doing it and they will provide them. I don’t really get the dance either, but I think we will be doing it. I wanted to tag this thread to get some more insight.
Post # 8
I didnt do the chair dance in my bat miztvah because i was scared. Im deeply terrified of heights and I get a lot of anxiety. Is it an “obligation” to do the chair dance on my wedding, or is there another alternative to it??????
Post # 9
Like others have said, use a chair that has arms. It’ll give you something to hold onto and make you feel more secure. I’ve had several of my couples do it at weddings and they are always so much fun to photograph!
Post # 10
Also a non-jewish bride marrying a jewish man. Is it RUDE to say you don’t want to be lifted? The thought of it terrifies me, and I don’t want his big huge family to think I am no fun…. but I know my face will betray that I am not having any fun at all while holding on for dear life!
Post # 11
soontobeMrsBoo: That was literally my favorite part of our wedding – I wanted it to go on forever! But I love being up high. The chair had no arms, but I never worried about falling out, I have a very finely tuned sense of balance lol. Just go with it!