Keeping the dancefloor full – Story of a mind reader:
I had just gotten through several consultations this past week for everything from weddings, to sweet 16’s, proms, etc… You get the idea. The one question that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was… “How do you get people dancing and keep them dancing?”
I’ll give you a few guesses as to how a DJ does this. It’s not mind reading or ESP. It’s not a roll of the dice or a lucky guess. Being able to read an audience takes many years of practice and execution in addition to some good music programming. Let me put you into the eyes of a disc jockey for a moment…
Lets say we’re at a wedding. A wedding with about 150 people in attendance. All of the age groups are represented. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, children… You get the idea. Now you may ask yourself, how is the DJ going to get all of these folks to get up and dance?
One way is to screen the crowd. By going around and introducing yourself to all of the tables during dinner, you break the barrier between you and your audience. Ask the guests what do they want to hear. Start by making genre suggestions and see if anyone bites. Once you have collected your information, you now have a general idea of what you are going to do.
Now, because you want to keep your floor packed all night and maybe even go into overtime, you don’t start off with your best set. If you do that, you will run out of high energy material for the rest of the evening really quickly. Instead, by using a series of peaks and valleys in your music selection.
Start cocktail hour slow and play some neutral music like light jazz or what I like to call, “The Weather Channel Soundtrack” Move to dinner and pick it up a notch. Throw a few in for grandparents in between courses so they can enjoy cuttin’ a rug with their partner like it was 1940 all over again. Build the party atmosphere little by little during dinner to get the audience’s gears turning. By the end of dinner service, they are ready to go. Play a B-Side track to disengage the audience and then hit the lights.