The Bride’s Dance is an ancient Betazoid tradition; one which Deanna never thought she would have to perform, when she chose to live aboard a starship traveling so far from home. But with the arrival of her betrothed, Wyatt Miller, and with her mother’s insistence that the marriage ceremony be Betazoid, she is forced to acknowledge that she will have to perform the ritual dance in front of all her peers. Terrified, and slightly ashamed of never having learned to dance, Deanna enlists the help of her good friend, Beverly Crusher. After several dance lessons and much laughter shared between friends, Deanna manages not only to learn to dance proficiently, but also to love and appreciate the art itself.
When the wedding is called off, Beverly insists that Deanna still perform what she had been practicing in front of the crew. Will Riker gathers a band together, and Deanna nervously prepares an alternative routine, since she could hardly perform the true ritual dance without her betrothed (though Beverly makes several teasing comments about how she would gladly step in to fill that role!). The night of Deanna’s performance, the butterflies in her stomach won’t stop fluttering, but Beverly takes her aside and makes sure Deanna knows just how proud she is of all that Deanna has learned. With those words of encouragement fresh in Deanna’s mind, she goes out and dances to her heart’s content. At the end, she receives a standing ovation, but when Deanna looks out into the crowd, it is only Beverly’s smile that she seeks.
You know, when somebody has a magnificent head of hair – that, honestly, when I was nineteen I would have loved to have had - and they shave it all off… I feel that somehow they’re kind of infringing on my territory. [x]
I will never be over the fact that they cut this scene. It tells so much about what it was like for Deanna growing up, and how hard it was for her to grieve for her father when no one would let her talk about it.