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Convenient Slow Dance

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Soon we are breathless, sweaty and laughing. After a while the style of the music changes—a crooner with a slow beat—but it doesn't matter because I am too dizzy from spinning round and laughing to continue. I hook my arms about Lochan's neck and collapse against him. I notice the damp hair sticking to his neck and inhale the smell of fresh sweat. I expect him to pull away and return to his physics now that our moment of silliness is over, but to my surprise he just puts his arms around me and we sway from side to side.

When Boy Meets Girl at a party or a club, and music (often performed by a live band) is playing, the next number that comes up will be a slow dance. Usually, it's a Contrived Coincidence, but smart characters will make sure beforehand to tell the band to make it a slow dance at the right moment.

This will also happen with two people who already know each other, and who have unspoken feelings for one another. May lead to a Dance of Romance.

There's a specific sub-trope where two characters are already dancing to a fast song, when the music abruptly switches to something slow, and there's an awkward "Do we keep dancing or not?" moment.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Soul Eater: When Maka and Soul are with the Black Blood demon, it starts a slow dance. With one scene, the animators inspired about 2,000 romantic fanfictions.

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways does this twice:
    • In the "Dead-End Kids" arc, Lillie draws power from the ambient noise of New York City (It Makes Sense in Context) to have a mid-air slow dance with Victor.
    • In "Homeschooling", Victor tries to arrange a slow dance with Nico during the fake prom that she set up in hopes of cheering up Karolina. It fails because the music he chose turns out to not actually be music, and Nico ends up having to pull Karolina off of Chase.
  • A Scooby-Doo comic has Fred tell a boy that he orchestrated one of these at his school prom. He bribed the disk jockey to switch to a slow song when he started dancing with Daphne.

    Fan Works 
  • Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived features a partial version of this when Daphne ends up dancing with Ginny at the Yule Ball, the two enjoying themselves so much that they keep dancing even when the songs shift to a slow dance. They don't acknowledge any deeper feelings towards each other at this point in the narrative, just focusing on having fun, but it marks one of their first more intimate moments together.
  • In For Good, a Buzz Lightyear of Star Command fic, Buzz and Mira end up dancing to "Just the Way You Look". The protagonist, Erin, lampshades this by calling it by name.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Always: While Pete is dancing with Dorinda, he signals to the band and they start playing "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", which is "their song".
  • Baby Boom (1987): Diane Keaton never misses a party where her plumber's band is playing...
  • Back to the Future features Hill Valley High School's Enchantment Under The Sea dance. For literal dancing, George and Lorraine once met there in the original timeline because the latter had pity on the former. When Marty goes 30 years back to 1955, accidentally causes a Grandfather Paradox and gets his then-young dad the confidence he needs, teen George is taken in by Lorraine for his bravery and confidence. The two hit it up at the floor and kiss, saving Marty's entire existence.
  • Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle in Batman Returns, while at Max Schreck's Charity Ball. Averts the normal occurrence when everything about the dance itself, from the music to the conversation, is only one part romantic but three parts sinister - at least, right up until the Penguin blows up the dance hall and drags Schreck into the sewers on his giant Duck of War. Bonus points for having the first song be reminiscent of Prince's hi-tempo music for the first Batman film, then transiting to Siouxie and the Banshee's melancholy song that accompanied Returns to emphasize the difference between the two movies, and the two relationships between Bruce and the Girl of the Week.
  • The final scene of Casper sees the temporarily-human Casper attend Kat's school Halloween party, the two sharing a slow dance in the middle of the hall and even a kiss before he returns to his ghostly state.
  • Enchanted has one, which also happened to be a convenient "dance with somebody other than your date" song.
  • Inverted in Get Over It when the generic moderate-tempo background music gets turned up to high-tempo music in a club scene the second a character asks another to dance.
  • Parodied in Disney's Hocus Pocus: While the Sanderson Sisters are in "the Master's" house, Sarah goes to "the Master" and says, "Master, wouldst thou dance with me?" She then makes a tender slow dance with him... until his wife shows up and sees them both dancing, which triggers her Berserk Button.
  • Love Actually: When Sarah and Karl dance at the Christmas party.
  • Public Enemies: When John Dillinger chats up Billie Frechette, the next dance is "Bye Bye Blackbird", which will remain a cherished memory for both of them throughout the story.
  • Of all the possible movies, The Siege has a slow dance between Hubbard and Elise Kraft at a bar while the FBI team is knocking back drinks following their takedown of the terror cell that blew up a bus. It's cut off when the bar is shaken by the distant rumbling of another terror cell bombing a Broadway theatre off Times Square.
  • In Top Hat Maude tells Dale and Jane to dance together just as a slow song starts so they can bond.

  • Forbidden: First homework, which leads to procrastinating/taking-a-break, which leads to salsa dancing, and then the song the radio plays after the salsa is a slow, crooning song. Dance of Romance ensues.
  • Phoenix and Ashes: When Reggie and Eleanor step onto the dance floor, the band not only switches to a slow waltz but wraps up the music as soon as Reggie needs to take a break from dancing. Probably justified; Reggie is still recovering from a leg injury, and can't dance fast dances or for very long. If he didn't warn the band ahead of time, his godmother (who hired them) most likely would have.
  • This was referenced in The Tomorrow Series—Lee is telling Ellie about the first time they danced together, which she doesn't even remember; they were at a school dance and he asked her to dance during a slow song, hoping that they could be close and intimate and romantic, but because of the time it takes for him to ask her, they end up dancing to "Convicted Of Love", which isn't especially intimate and romantic.
  • This happens to Face and Dia in Iron Fist; they are each dancing with another partner to more energetic music, and are then maneuvered into dancing with each other in time for a slower song.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens with Adama and Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica.
  • The second season episode "Plan B" of Veronica Mars. As Veronica just tries to save Gia from Logan's rather not-friendly honest opinion, they end up dancing to "Sway" by The Perishers.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "When She Was Bad", Buffy and Xander's slow dance at The Bronze, which very quickly turns sexually charged. Also happens with Angel in Season 3 in "The Prom"
  • House, "Known Unknowns", House and Cuddy at the conference's '80s party.
  • Subverted in Mr. Bean, which has an Inconvenient Slow Dance.
  • The X-Files ("The Rain King"). Although Scully and Mulder don't dance, they appear to be as they unconsciously sway in unison to the music, while watching another loving couple doing the slow dance.
    • The episode "Post Modern Prometheus" has this too; Mulder pulls Scully out of her chair for a dance while Cher sings "Walking in Memphis".
  • In The Mentalist episode "Rose Colored Glasses," this happens to Lisbon and Jane at a high school reunion. They take the opportunity to play the trope straight.
  • In the Bones episode "The Death of the Queen Bee," Booth and Brennan are undercover as a married couple at Brennan's high school reunion and have an awkward "Do we keep dancing?" moment when the music changes to a slow song.
  • iCarly for the Carly/Freddie Dance of Romance. Firstly, that the Groovy Smoothie was playing slow music just perfect when you'd expect pop or Top 40 music, and secondly, the fact that the other 12 customers inside all vanished within the space of the 2-minute conversation that caused both their dates to leave.
  • The pilot of Freaks and Geeks contains another mid-song tempo change subversion ("Come Sail Away" by Styx. Sam asks Cindy to dance while the song is still slow and everyone else is slow dancing to it, but once they get on the dance floor together, it picks up speed, much to Sam's frustration.
  • Played with in one episode of The Vampire Diaries. The slow dance is scheduled to happen as part of the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. However, Damon is not scheduled to be Elena's partner. Cue a three minutes long UST filled scene that brought millions of watchers to their knees.
  • There's one at the high school reunion the Leverage team crashes. Nate and Sophie dance, as do Hardison and Parker, the latter being suspended from the ceiling. (Long story.)
  • Played With and Zig-Zagged in Glee. In the Prom episode, Kurt and Blaine, boyfriends for a couple of episodes as of this point, go together and specifically avoid slow dances for fear drawing the attention of homophobic bullies. Then Kurt's crowned prom queen (Long story). So Kurt decides to accept the crown, which means dancing with his closeted former bully who has a crush on him. Sound like an opportunity for a one-sided Dance of Romance for the former bully? Nope. Can't bring himself to go through with it. So poor Kurt is alone on the dance floor with no one to slow dance with, till Blaine steps in and asks him "May I have this dance?" The soundtrack for all of this? "Dancing Queen" Because nothing says romance like disco!
  • Played with in the episode "Henderson, Nevada Adjacent, Baby!" from Raising Hope. Jimmy and Sabrina slow dance for the third time to "an upbeat song that really shouldn't be slow-danced to".
  • This is played with rather nicely in an episode of That '70s Show. Jackie and Kelso start slow dancing at their prom. When the song changes to a more lively, upbeat tune, they simply continue to slow dance.
  • On NCIS, Tony and Ziva get one in "Berlin." What starts out as a way to throw their suspect off their surveillance soon turns into a very intimate moment.
  • Not exactly "slow dance" but on Frasier, Niles and Daphne spend a whole episode learning to dance, culminating in a very UST-filled tango. Later played more straight when Niles and Daphne slow-dance together at Daphne and Donny's rehearsal dinner, and Frasier notices the difference between the UST between the two of them and the... lack thereof with each other's partners.

  • Played with by Five Iron Frenzy on their first live album. Reese Roper introduces one of the songs with a monologue, saying that he knows what it's like to be a lonely guy at a show, hoping that the band plays a slow song so he can dance with that pretty girl. "Well my friends, now is your chance! Take that girl in your arms and slow dance like there's no tomorrow!" The band then plays "Blue Comb '78", which is only a slow song for the first 30 seconds.
  • "No. 1 Party Anthem" by Arctic Monkeys (from the album AM) plays with this. The title itself indicates that the song will be a dance party record, though this is a Bait-and-Switch. It also makes fun of the fact that everything aligns properly for the narrator in the song to meet the girl, even though she's clearly egging him on to talk to her and dance with her.

  • In West Side Story (1961), Tony and Maria first see each other during the wildest part of the Mambo in the Dance at the Gym. Soon enough, though, the lights fade and the Mambo abruptly dies away to segue to the Cha-Cha. The Cha-Cha is only moderately slow, but then the dance actually halts for a few moments so Tony and Maria can exchange their first words.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VIII subverts this trope with Squall and Rinoa's dance at the See D Ball. The song, "Waltz for the Moon" is a Viennese waltz, which is twice as fast as the traditional romantic dance. (Plotwise this makes sense, as the whole point of the scene is to introduce Rinoa with her zippy Genki Girl personality.)

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom had one for Danny and Sam in Parental Bonding.
  • Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot: At the Quark Shareholders Ball, Lt. Hunter and Dr. Slate get about 2 seconds of lively dancing in before a slow song started.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The season three episode "Glove at First Sight" shows how Dexter and Dee Dee's parents first met when they were in college, Dad's helping Mom work on getting over her extreme germaphobia. At one point, they go to a dance contest where the last couple standing wins. When the slow-dance situation crops up, Dad helps Mom through it by presenting her with her trademark yellow rubber gloves.


I used to love this song.

Jane asks Lisbon to dance after their investigation is concluded.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConvenientSlowDance

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