Why Is Nobody Dancing, and What Can I Do About It?

Posted: 3/18/2015

 

Why Is Nobody Dancing, and What Can I Do About It?

 

 

If you find yourself in the middle of your wedding reception, and no one is dancing, it's likely you didn't obey one or more of the cardinal rules of successful wedding entertainment. While there's still time to do something about it, here are the rules!

  • Choose your DJ wisely. Do your homework. Read DJ reviews on sites like Wedding Wire and Yelp, to find DJs who have a track record of fun parties and fully engaged guests. Meet with the DJs who look best, and find out which ones share your tastes in music.
  • Remember, your wedding is for ALL of your guests. Don't just put together a request list for your 5 or 6 best friends. Expand your list to allow everyone to have a good time.
  • Demand a DJ who will be honest with you. A professional DJ who is committed to a great party will candidly tell you that your request list full of your favorite Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and Michael Buble songs won't fill the dance floor. That doesn't mean you can't have a few of those songs sprinkled through your list; but you should choose the bulk of your list based on what songs are danceable. An experienced DJ knows what works and what doesn't. Trust him!
  • Be sure your dance floor is big enough. People need room to stretch out and rock their best moves. While 150 guests need only a 15-by-15 dance floor, 400 guests need at least 25-by-25.
  • Encourage your guests to request their favorites. A good DJ will let you submit a "do not play" list of your least favorite music. Otherwise, giving your dancers a voice in the dance music will ensure that they are much more involved and enthusiatic.  
  • Do you hate all the familiar line dances? Your guests don't! For many people, the Electric Slide or Cha Cha Slide or YMCA are the only songs they know all the moves to, and the only songs that will coax them out of their seats. Refusing to let your DJ play those songs is like telling those guests they're not welcome at your party. You can tell your DJ that you'd prefer to avoid line dances unless somone asks for them. But please - PLEASE - be flexible if there is a lot of demand for them.
  • Rule #1 - DANCE! When the bride and groom and bridesmaids and groomsmen are rocking the dance floor, the energy is infectious, and everyone else will want to get in on it.

Remember, if you handcuff your DJ by refusing to accept guest requests, and prohibiting the most popular dance music, it'll be very tough to generate the enthusiasm that's needed to fill the dance floor. A professional DJ can keep it classy, and still make it fun. And your guests will go home with great memories of your big night. 

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© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 - Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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