Well before weddings had to be rescheduled, Noah Aberlin and PJ Simmons held theirs in a venue with an outdoor space in Coxsackie, New York.
The October 2018 event was packed with friends and family members who couldn’t wait to see them tie the knot.
But unexpectedly, the grooms went viral for a surprise they had for their guests. They had planned an elaborate first dance together, and it made the wedding even more memorable.
Noah and PJ started their dance slowly. Holding each other, they embraced to “It’s a Quiet Thing” by Morgana King. But then the music abruptly stopped. Guests feared that there was an audio problem, but no!
The whole thing was planned. The DJ went right into spinning “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, getting the crowd moving.
The two spun around as their guests smiled and applauded. The dance could have ended then and been a success — but PJ and Noah knew they could make it even more special.
After taking off their jackets, the grooms started dancing to “Gonna Make You Sweat” by C+C Music Factory. And more surprises were ahead.
The two even flossed and broke out some classic dance moves. Without a doubt, the two of them were practicing hard to make their first dance memorable. They even added “Vogue” to the mix by Madonna and made sure to dance appropriately. This dance, in general, is all about the choreography.
As you can see in the video, the dance really surprised all of their guests. Dancing isn’t something that just came naturally to the pair. They actually worked with a few professionals, including a salsa instructor. Those lessons definitely paid off in a big way.
PJ and Noah also added “Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band and “Puttin’ on the Ritz” to the medley. At one point, they popped their collars up and proved how in sync they really are. Seriously — it takes a lot of coordination to dance this well with someone, especially at a high-pressure event like a wedding.
But the true gem of the dance was the finale. They ended with “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. And yes — the famous lift was included. That in itself is a bold move that likely required a lot of practice. Nothing says wedding blunder like accidentally dropping your groom.
They ended the performance with a big kiss and hug, plus an invite to their guests to join them on the dance floor. The dance medley couldn’t have gone better, and they’ll always have this memory to share. It takes a lot of love, time, and determination to pull off something like this.
Even if it’s been some time since you’ve seen the famous scene from Dirty Dancing, you’ll immediately recognize that they nailed the choreography. The song was recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes and became a classic once the movie was released in 1987.
The movie stars Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman, and she ends up falling in love with her dance instructor, Johnny Castle — who’s played by Patrick Swayze. After it was released, it earned $214 million dollars. These days, it’s regarded as a classic — and most people have seen it, or are at least aware of the memorable dance number.
Much like the film Titanic, the song’s popularity almost overpowered the movie itself. In 1988, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” won an Academy Award for best original song, along with a Golden Globe for the same category. Whenever it’s played, people immediately associate it with the film.
PJ and Noah aren’t the only couple who chose the song to dance to at their wedding. It’s actually a pretty popular choice, especially with the impressive lift at the end. It’s also still quite daring — while it’ll definitely be a moment to remember, one false move might make it notable for the wrong reasons.
Chris and Savannah Braden also chose it for their first dance. In the notes to the video, Chris wrote that it took a lot of time to put together. “We took about 4 months of dance lessons to pull this off,” he wrote. “It was a cornerstone to the wedding and brought us even closer together during the lead up to the big day!”
But as for PJ and Noah, they didn’t necessarily expect their video to go viral. “We are so moved that our silly ‘prank’ is getting so much attention,” PJ said to Good Morning America. “The responses we have gotten from all the social media outlets [have] been really emotional for us. We are extremely moved that it is bringing so many people so much joy!”
“We were blown away,” he continued. “We hoped it would get people excited, but the energy was off the charts as soon as the Gloria Estefan song started and people realized what was happening. The most amazing part was people coming up to us afterward with tears in their eyes saying how uplifted and moved they were by it.”
The video initially went viral in 2018. But it’s making waves yet again since it’s a great reminder that there are still things worth smiling about. And since June is also Pride Month, it’s a good time to reflect on the many fantastic LGBTQ couples in the world — including PJ and Noah.
Talking to the It Gets Better Project, PJ stated that he wished he was able to see his viral wedding dance back when he was 12. Not only does it show that he’s happy and in love, but he’s got family watching from the sidelines, cheering him on. He is living proof that while it may be tough as an LGBTQ youth, things get better along the way. Hopefully, his video with his husband has inspired many.