“Priming The Pump” On Your Dance Floor

Posted by Dave

When you go to the trouble of having a dance floor and band or deejay at your party, you naturally hope that your guests will dance. But hoping alone won’t make it so. A few extra steps may be required.

1. Set the mood. A big dance floor effectively tells your guests that you expect them to dance. Keeping the lighting lower in that area adds to the comfort of those who would like to dance, but don’t want to feel like they are on display.

2. Provide “social lubrication.” Alcohol relaxes inhibitions. Typical guests who have had a glass or two of wine are more likely to venture onto the dance floor than those who are stone cold sober.

3. Play the right tunes. Older guests tend to dance first. Starting out the evening with some of their favorite songs (played at a comfortable volume) will help get things going. Don’t panic if your youngest guests won’t dance until the last hour of the party. They need lots of lubrication.

4. “Prime the pump.” Guests tend to run the spectrum. At one end are those who don’t mind being first on the dance floor, and at the opposite – those who will never in a million years set foot out there. Most of your guests lie somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, and are categorized simply by how many others must be dancing before they will take part. Arranging in advance to have a few couples made up of your key friends dance early and often will lead – in turn – to additional dancers who only need a few other bodies on the floor joining in. Their presence will provide enough cover for the moderately shy to feel safe. And ultimately, a full dance floor will encourage even the most severely inhibited to hide out in the middle of the pack.

5. Play “Follow The Leader.” All parties follow the example of the hosts and guests of honor. If the host and hostess are dancing, friends and family naturally join in. (Conversely – when their hosts sit – guests do too.)

To recap, create a mood that encourages dancing, play what your guests what to hear, and – especially early in the evening – lead by example. And you’ll have a full dance floor all night long!


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