Top 7 Ways to have the Ultimate Dance Party of your Dreams!
I have DJed countless weddings and one question that often comes up when I meet with brides & grooms for our pre-wedding consultation is “What if my guests don't dance?” or as client Katie Beth Avrit asked: “What do you do to keep the crowd engaged? We kinda have a tough crowd and we would really like someone who will encourage people to get out on the dance floor.”
There are several tricks to get party goers out on the dance floor and here are some of mine:
1. The Soundtrack to Your Wedding!
When meeting with my clients I provide them with a document I like to call The Soundtrack to Your Wedding. This 4 page document provides you with choices for for every song during your Pre-Ceremony, Ceremony, Cocktail/Dinner Hour and Reception. Questions include song choices for the Bride & Groom’s First Dance, the Mother/Son Dance, Father/Daughter Dance, Wedding Party Entrance Songs & more.
The Genres of music that you think would most likely appeal to the dancers in your crowd are also available for you to rank (i.e. Pop, Country, 70s, 80s, 90s, Salsa, Jazz, Rap, etc). This ends with the most important MUST PLAY LIST. The more you provide me the better - as I will find times throughout your wedding to play your favorite songs - if you have a favorite slow tempo song it may fit perfect during the cocktail hour and your favorite upbeat jam may fit perfect for the party!
A great DJ should be able to build the music for your wedding around your selections to provide you with a customized and unforgettable soundtrack to your wedding!
2. Let Your Guests Do the Picking:
A fun and creative way that I have seen clients create their MUST PLAY LIST is to ask their guests to include in their RSVP which song would get them out on the dance floor! As your invitations come in your MUST PLAY LIST creates itself and ensures a fun time for your guests when their songs come on! (Note: feel free to veto any songs you don't want played - it is your wedding after all!)
3. Participation Dances!
Certain songs guarantee that your guests will get out of their seats and come out onto the dance floor.
These songs are “The Cha Cha Slide,” “The Cupid Shuffle,” “Wobble,” “Y.M.C.A.,” “Electric Slide” “Whip/Nae Nae” and more! A section of The Soundtrack to Your Wedding! asks for you to check off which Participation Dances you want played.
To get the Dance Party started during your wedding (after the First Dance, Father/Daughter etc) I like to drop one of these group dance songs to get everyone out onto the floor and it always works! Most people will know the moves but those who don't can follow a leader and learn on the spot. This is also a great time for your wedding photographer to capture the fun!
4. The Hits!
Sometimes starting off the reception with an upbeat hit song is a great way to set the mood for the party about to start OR sometimes following those Participation Dances with a big Hit will keep everyone on the dance floor now that they are warmed up. Songs like Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk,” Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” (we are in Nashville after all), Pitbull & Ke$ha’s “Timber,” Outkast “Hey Ya” The Isley Brothers “Shout” and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up & Dance With Me” are great songs to get people moving! I have a playlist called “Wedding Party” with over 900 songs with one thing in common - they are fun upbeat dance hits! I carefully select songs from this playlist (as well as constantly add to it) to build out the set for each wedding & party catering to the crowd and reference the MUST PLAY LIST.
I never shy from a request on the spot because when people hear their song it creates a sense of enjoyment for them and those around them. There are some DJs who are adamant about “No Requests” but I find taking people’s requests is a great a way to ensure the crowd is having the best time singing along and dancing to their favorite jam while also saving me a bit of the guess work as to what song would go over best next.
A fun addition to the Dance portion of the night is to bring some props. Several weddings recently have included glow sticks & glow-in-the-dark bracelets to create a fun club-like environment towards the later part of the party. It’s not for every wedding, but it will definitely turn up the party if you want it to. I usually tie in revealing glow in the dark items with a big EDM song like “Sandstorm”or the latest by David Guetta, Diplo, Calvin Harris or Chainsmokers.
7. Lead the Way!
A final note - your guests are going to be where you are - all eyes are on you on your wedding day - so if you want to have a fun dance party at your wedding then get out on the dance floor and take part in the Cha Cha Slide and do the Macarena with the best of them! It’s your special day - so live it up, live your best life and create the Ultimate Party Dance Party of your dreams on your wedding day!
You can find out more information about me and my company on www.DJDavisDoes.com where you can read reviews, and watch videos from past events.
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