A question I frequently hear is “How will you get our guests dancing?” My answer? With music of course! Next question…
Just kidding :)
This is actually a wonderful topic. You spend a lot of time and money planning your event. Your guests are taking valuable time out of their busy lives to celebrate with you. You need to make sure they have FUN, maybe even remember it as the party of the year!
Every event that I DJ has its own personality. No two parties are ever the same. Whether it’s a wedding, prom, or corporate holiday party the guest dynamic will always be different. That’s one of the reasons I love what I do. It keeps my job exciting. On the flip side, it can pose some challenges. For example, all it took was a simple Top 40 hit to pack the dance floor on Friday night, yet the group on Saturday was a little more reserved. They needed a little encouragement, which is totally fine. So, how do I get those guests dancing you ask? It’s not cookie cutter, but here are three of my strategies:
First and foremost, to get your guests dancing I need to plan ahead by asking a lot of questions. I love learning about my clients and their guests. This information will give me a good idea of how you want your party to be. I ask questions like:
– “What do you think the guest dynamic will be like? For example, is your family reserved and your partner’s super outgoing?” (If we’re discussing a wedding.)
– “Will there be a lot of friends, or are your guests mostly family?”
– “What kind of music do they like?”
– “Are they the dancing type or will some of them just want to hang out and drink?”
– “What is your vision for your party?”
Like a pro athlete envisions the win before the game, I want to envision the party as a success before it even starts. Learning about the guest dynamic and their interests will help me know what to expect and how to plan for it.
Along with that, I offer an online planning account where you can make song requests. It’s a searchable database of music that allows you to add songs to “Must Play,” “Play if Possible” and “Do Not Play” playlists. I recommend adding 10-20 songs that you really want played in the “Must Play” list. Then, fill up the “Play if Possible” list with songs your guests might like. This gives me an arsenal of music to choose from when it’s time to dance.
Line Dances & “Floor Filler” Songs
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, line dances like the Cupid Shuffle work. I don’t rely on them, but if we have an empty dance floor I can almost always count on my guys DJ Casper or Silento to get people on the floor.
Also, based on the songs that you and your guests like there are “floor filler” tracks in every genre that typically get your guests dancing. Throwback songs like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” or “Cotton Eye Joe” tend to work. Relatively newer hits like “Uptown Funk” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” do the trick as well. Once they’re out I don’t usually have a problem keeping them there.
Line dance and certain “floor filler” songs aren’t appropriate for every crowd. I understand this, so I make a judgment call based on the event and type of people attending. You can also let me know in the “Do Not Play” playlist if certain songs don’t fit your style.
The majority of people at the events I DJ at are couples. Playing a slow song is a sure fire way to get people out of their seats and on the dance floor. Once I have them on the dance floor I can mix in an upbeat, danceable song that will keep at least a few couples out there. From then on, I can build momentum and before you know it the rest of your guests are joining them on the dance floor.
These are just a few easy ways to make sure your guests are dancing. Throughout the planning process we can discuss other strategies to ensure your guest have a great time. My ultimate goal is to make sure your event is remembered as the party of the year. I’ll do everything in my power to make that happen!
Interested in learning more? Tell me about your event so we can set up a time to chat.
~DJ Eric Rhodes