Welcome to the Dance Bands blog; Here we try to reveal some of our secrets to getting the most out of your event. We have organized the music for hundreds and hundreds of events and, from our experience, there are some fool-proof ways to get even the most stubborn of crowds dancing. Whether it be a wedding, corporate event, concert, or trade show, getting people dancing is the most effective way to make your event a success. So here we go...
1.) Clear the Room:
Giving people sufficient space to dance is important, but it is a science. You need them to have enough room to dance, but not too much room, lest people get embarrassed to begin the festivities. Position the dance floor right in front of the band and speakers (obviously), and cram everyone as close to it as possible. If you have a dinner, get lots of tables surrounding the dance floor. If the space is too open, dancers will feel a little insecure that there aren't enough people dancing--even if there are plenty. Getting even a small group of dancers to bunch up makes them feel like they are participating in a large crowd of equally excited party-ers.
2.) Dim the Lights
Lighting is almost as important as the music at a party. If it is still bright in the hall, park, or convention center, people lose courage. More people can stare and recognize them amongst the crowd. Remember, for most people it's about participating, not initiating (at least not while they're still sober). It's easier for people to sneak onto the dance floor in the dark. Along that same vein, lighting on the band is also important. Most bands have a lighting option and more for additional cost. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you'd be blown away at the difference it makes on a dance crowd. If there is a lot of light on the band and very little on the floor, you'll find a flood of people crowding the stage and having a blast.
3.) Please Don't Stop the Music
Nothing kills a dance quicker than a loooooong pause between songs. You've probably experienced this if you've ever tried to DJ your own party. Even that brief, 10 seconds between ipod tracks can seem like an eternity if people are waiting around on a dance floor. People come and remember where there are and that everyone can see them. People aren't participating in anything anymore and ... awkward moments. A great band has a lot of segways built into their set so that the music is continuous. They have experience to move quickly between songs and keep people entertained. That's what they do and they are good at it. When booking a band, make sure your band has the experience (and commitment) to do this.
Now this isn't essential to have a great dance party, but if you are going to have alcohol at your party, make sure it's available BEFORE the dance begins. Some people just need a little liquid courage to get their groove thing shaking. If you wait to make the bar accessible til the dance begins, you may have an empty canvas for the first half hour. You don't want to have to explain to your guests that the reason the night feels so short is because they weren't dancing soon enough.