The Reality of Dancing at Your Wedding or Event
Dancing Is A Complicated Thing, And Part Of Our Job As Wedding and Event DJs Is To Understand It’s Complexity
Some People Don’t Like To Dance
I have been a DJ for decades. I have probably made 100s of thousands of people dance during my time as a Disc Jockey. As a matter of fact, I have been a member of multiple dance crews and communities. I was always the DJ and music guy though, which is an important distinction. I love making people dance!
My wife is a dancer. That is actually how we met. I have to be honest with you though, and I hope you can forgive me. “I just do not like to dance.”
I’m not great at it, and it makes me a little uncomfortable. I would much rather sit back and watch all of my friends and family dance and enjoy. It makes me extremely happy to watch.
Remember that some of the guests at your Wedding or Event might be just like me. Sitting back and watching might be more enjoyable to them than being dragged out on the dance floor in front of everyone.
A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action!
Some people would much rather talk than dance. At many Weddings or Events there are likely people attending that haven’t seen each other in quite some time. Sometimes it is best to leave the chatter boxes to their own devices.
As an experienced Wedding & Events DJ, I can tell you that a huge part of what we do is read the room. If I slam in a whole bunch of dance music to try to force people to dance while they are trying to catch up with friends and family that is annoying. However, if I give it 10-20 minutes and let everybody catch up, and find the perfect time to drop that dance track, that is a smooth transition into the dance portion of your event. Sometimes, playing the right background music for your Wedding or Event is even more important than the dance floor fillers.
Good Wedding and Event DJs have some tricks up their sleeve to get the conversationalists and even the people that aren’t big on dancing out on the floor. By doing it for the right amount of time, and in a fun way, we can keep them all comfortable. Check out our article on our Secret Dance Floor Weapon for more on this.
Dancing Is A Physical Activity
Dancing to song after song is physically taxing. When I am training DJs I always talk about the Dance Floors Cardio. We will get deeper into what that means coming up. This is important to DJs though, because not everyone at your Wedding or Event is going to be able to dance all out, all night, to every song we play.
Often at weddings, we have to take into account that Grandma or Grandpa may not be able to dance like they used to. In fact, some of the most touching family dances I have witnessed at weddings involved a beautiful blushing bride, and grandpa wheeling around the dance floor in his wheel chair. The important part here is making the time that they are out on the floor as special as you can.
Dance Floor Energy
Even people with all their joints healthy, and an excitement to dance at your Wedding or Event will burn out if we are not careful how we cycle the dance floor. On the opposite side of this coin – if we keep the energy too low for too long, people might lose the energy or excitement to dance.
As your DJ part of our job is to control the energy and organize the special moments. If I play a song that gets all the kids and grandparents out on the dance floor together, but the bride and groom are outside or in the restroom, we may have just lost a special memory. Your guests may be a little sluggish after dinner, and toasts, and family dances are all complete. This is right where your DJ’s job kicks in. Our job is to get the energy back up and get everybody moving!
Not Every Song Can Be A Banger!
I’m sure most of you know what a Banger means when it comes to songs. If you don’t, I’ll explain. A Banger is usually a very popular, high energy, party starter kind of song. These are the songs that really get the crowd going! As much as we would love to as Wedding & Event DJ’s we can’t play all bangers all night.
I am sure that after reading about Dance Floor Energy & Cardio above you understand why. As I have mentioned several times already, one thing we train our DJ’s to do at Peaks ProEvent Services is cycle the dance floor. This doesn’t mean play a bad song, it means find a way to cycle through different time frames and types of artists and genres, to keep a steady flow of people taking breaks and dancing.
Then when it’s the right time, drop that banger that gets everybody out on the dance floor! Maybe even play a couple Bangers in a row, and then start cycling the floor again. You might not even notice your DJ is doing this. As a matter of fact you probably won’t. But when you have an experienced and skilled Wedding & Event DJ that uses this technique, trust me you will feel the difference.
Many People Won’t Dance To Songs They Don’t Know
Some people will only dance to songs they know. Other people don’t care if they know the song or not. As long as it has a good beat they will get down to it. Often times at Weddings, this is a reality of dancing for us DJs, because Grandma isn’t necessarily going to come out and dance to todays greatest rap hits, but the bridal party isn’t excited about dancing to songs from the 60’s-90’s. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it’s just a reality.
To counteract this, a good Wedding & Event DJ will need to skillfully beat match and mix between songs of all types and time frames. This way he can get Grandma dancing with your bridal party, and hopefully have them all out on the floor at the same time.
This is important to think about when you are planning music for your Wedding or Event. In many cases, a majority of your guests are not going to dance to music they don’t know. If you want an EDM Themed wedding with all of todays greatest hits – that is awesome! Your DJ will probably love it. So will many of your friends and guests your age with the same taste in music. I mean it is your wedding right!!!???
However, in the case that you have a specifically themed night of music for your wedding, it may be very hard for your DJ to get everyone out on the dance floor. By this part you understand why – they don’t want to dance to it, because they just don’t know it. This is why many Wedding & Event DJ’s lean towards Top 40 songs, because they can be almost sure everyone at your Wedding or Event will know the songs. The skill comes in how you mix in more obscure songs, and different time frames and genres of music.
Diversity Is Key
We just learned how many people will only like a DJ if he plays songs they know, and the kind of music they like. This is a very important reality of dancing to keep in mind. At Peaks ProEvent Services we offer 100% Customizable Entertainment. This means that you can pick every song and artist that plays at your Wedding or Event. Or, you can pick the songs you know you really want played, and leave the rest of the details up to your DJ.
Any well trained and experience DJ will tell you that for a diverse crowd, diversity is key. This means diversity of music. If I don’t play any music they know or any of the music they like, your guests will not enjoy themselves.
However, as your DJ, if I read your crowd and mix in multiple time frames and generations of music I can keep your guests happy. This is because I am able to play some songs they know, and some songs that are in the genre and type of music they like.
Let’s look at an example event.We will use a corporate event or company party.
Many times for a company or corporate party I will get a list from one of the events staff or executives before the night of the party. Depending on their age and musical taste, this list will usually be a great look into what they would think a great party would consist of musically. When I get to the event, and look around, I notice that maybe there is quite a few younger employees. A majority of these younger employees are latino. The person that sent the list is in their 50’s and not latino. Many of the employees attending are in their 20’s.
In this case if I was given freedom to use my skillset and read the crowd, I am going to sprinkle in the tracks I received on the list. I am going to throw out a few teaser tracks in the Top40 and Latino vibe and see how the younger employees react. Based on throwing out these hooks, I am going to mix in a good amount of the appropriate hits that I know will get the younger latino employees going as well. The reality here is that as a Wedding & Event DJ I should know how to meld what everyone attending wants to hear.
If I am asked to play only what is on the list, I will do that happily. However, I can not guaranty the same dancing reaction because I am not able to read the crowd and react on the fly.
Playing The Right Songs Isn’t Enough
You hear it all the time as a DJ. Why not just put together a Spotify Playlist? Here is a very honest answer. Playing the right songs just isn’t enough. Any good Wedding & Event DJ is never going to have his or her set list planned out in order. This isn’t a concert or festival. Your guests didn’t come to see the DJ. For this reason, your DJ is going to have a crate with song ideas they think will work. They will probably have a couple crates with your song requests or suggestions.
On top of these crates or folders of music a good DJ is going to have countless other crates filled with extra music. This way they can read the crowd, and not only play the right songs, but play them the right way. They can react in the moment.
What does “Play the songs the right way” mean?
Playing the right songs the right way comes down to two basic ideas.
- You need to play the right song at the right time.
- You need to play the right songs in the right order.
You can try to guess the best order before your Wedding or Event. You can also try to guess the right songs and time. However, you will never get it right guaranteed. This is because you have to be live in the moment to read the energy, dance floor cardio, diverse music tastes, and vibe. This is the specialty of a good DJ, even more than just pushing buttons or knowing music. People won’t dance all night unless you bring together the whole picture.