Are you looking to throw a killer dance party?
Are you planning a wedding for the first time, and you want to make sure it’s an unforgettably fun dance party?
Are you on the social committee at your office, trying to figure out why every year nobody dances at your company holiday party, and how you can fix it this time around?
Are you an event professional, and you feel you know most of the things I am about to share, but maybe never had the language to relay it to your clients?
If any of these descriptions match your situation, this article has the potential to drastically change the outcome of your parties.
After 20 years as one of Toronto’s Top Event DJs – and someone who pays close attention to what has made or broken decades worth of affairs – I am an authority on coaching you on how to throw the party that people positively rave about for years to come.
The 5 proven steps for dance party mastery are as follows:
- Hire An Amazing DJ (Or Band) and Give The Right Direction
- Design Your Floor Plan With Dancing In Mind
- Hype Your Party Like It’s The Party Of The Year
- Plan To Put The Cameras Away
- Dance At Your Own Party
You can read the details of each of the proven steps as follows, or click on this video of me talking through them in a TedTalk-style presentation at the Wedding Academy:
Hire An Amazing DJ (Or Band) and Give The Right Direction
You should connect with the DJ or band on a level that inspires you, the same way a band or DJ inspires you to buy tickets to see them or line up outside a club in the cold to dance to their music for a few hours. Don’t get “just a DJ”, get a great one. You can find these people by asking your venue and other vendors for suggestions, as well as friends who had amazing parties just like what you are hoping for. Don’t simply trust online reviews, these can be easily fudged by anyone. Reach out directly and see if the connection is there for you.
Once you have the right person for the job, you’ve got to give them the right direction. I’ve always equated DJing to be similar to flying a plane: like the pilot, I take a room full of people on a journey, and leave them someplace different at the end of the night. And, similar to a flight path, how I get them there is through the music selection. And since you, the host, are pulling all the elements of a party together, make sure to give your DJ the direction they need. What do you want this party to be like? What is your vision for the vibe? What artists and genres should be included or focussed on? What will make you happy and keeping you partying till the wee hours?
It’s important that the direction matches the type of function, the age range of the guests, the ethnic mix, and most importantly the hosts tastes. An experienced DJ who can read a crowd and take the direction into account at the same time is the true art. Too much direction, however, can be limiting. A list of 50 must play songs is basically the entire nights’ worth of dance music. This takes the art our of song selection. Worse is polling the guests in advance for what they want to hear on the night of the party. If you want guests requests to be taken, let’s agree to focus on the ones coming from the people in the middle of the action on the night of the party.