Archive for April 2nd, 2008

“Priming The Pump” On The Old Dance Floor

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

You can have a huge dance floor and a terrific band or deejay, but somebody still has to get the (mirror) ball rolling by actually venturing out for a dance. And – at some parties – the evening is half-over before anybody is brave enough to take a spin around the parquet.

How can you get your dance floor hopping sooner, rather than (much) later? Here are the 2 best ways I know.

1. “Prime The Pump.” Since no one ever wants to be the first and only couple dancing, get a group of your closest friends who will – together – start things happening. If you (and your partner), plus 4 key friends (and their partners) are all dancing, that’s 10 bodies – more than enough to allow your shy and retiring guests to feel like they aren’t doing a “spotlight” dance. Pick your most outgoing friends and/or experienced dancers to lead things off. Start with songs that will be known by most of your guests.

If others don’t join you soon, Plan B is to have all 10 dancers go into the crowd and bring 10 more folks onto the dance floor. This kind of “multiplication dance” is a great way to show your guests that you expect them to participate.

2. Play The Hits. At my son’s all-boy Catholic high school, dance partners had to be imported from other schools. It often took hours for any of the girls to feel comfortable enough in these strange environs to be willing to dance. But then we started asking some of the young ladies in advance what the current top songs among their classmates were. (In all honesty, what the girls liked tended to be very different than what my son and his friends enjoyed.) But that didn’t matter, once the girls started dancing to “their” music. Our boys might never have picked these particular songs, but they enjoyed the effect those tunes had on the ladies.

“Priming The Pump” and Playing The Hits will get the dancing started. To keep it going, avoid lengthy and frequent “dead spots.” Make announcements short (and rare.) When your band needs a break, plug a CD player or i-Pod into the PA. If the music never stops, the dancing won’t either.

And isnt’ that why you have a dance floor in the first place?