Archive for May 14th, 2008

How Big Should Your Dance Floor Be?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

In the best of all possible worlds, your dance floor should be big enough to accomodate every single guest at the same time.

Indeed – at Jewish weddings – it is customary for virtually everyone present to join in the dancing of the hora, a joyous circular folk dance. At some of the Greek events I’ve attended, even being a Scots-Irish Baptist hasn’t exempted me from being pulled out of my chair and into the “Opa!!”-shouting throng doing their Zorba routines (it’s a movie reference – ask your grandmother).

At such gatherings, unless one is physically unable to join in, failure to do so is a breach of hospitality. Consequently, dance floors at these ethnic conclaves tend to be huge. And for me – huge dance floors are a good thing. Why?

1. They basically tell your guests that you want and expect lots of dancing.

2. When placed in front of the bandstand, they provide a buffer between bands and guests. (Nobody has a PA speaker blasting away 5 feet from their seat.)

Also, Tanner’s Law Number 7 says: the more people who are dancing, the more folks will join them. A lot of shy violets would never be the first or only couple on the dance floor, but love to dance “anonymously” in the middle of the crowd. In this way, a medium crowd of 20 dancers often doubles, then doubles again (as the very “shyest” of violets finally venture into the mosh pit.)

Conversely, a dinky dance floor sends the message that very little terpsichorean activity is anticipated or desired.

Of course, not every venue (or budget) allows for “the best of all possible worlds.” Sometimes, you just have to make do with what dance space is available. Under such circumstances, all I can suggest is that – if you really do want dancers – you should make every effort to save as much room as is practical for them.

They will thank you. And they will make your event into a PARTY!