Hi hive! Mrs. Penguin here! I’ve heard from many brides how delighted they’ve been to have a roomful of dancing guests, and how sad others have been that no one took the dance floor. I’ve heard many DJs say that a lot goes into fostering a comfortable environment for guests to dance—it doesn’t always just depend on the crowd itself. So, we’ve asked Hey Mister DJ Lee Dyson out of LA to give us some tips on how he makes sure dance floors are always packed at events he spins!
One of the most overlooked areas in the floor plan of an event is how to setup the dance floor so it is an inviting and comfortable place to be. Size, location in relation to the room, and proper lighting all can dramatically affect how busy the dance floor becomes after dinner. Every event has some (if not many) guests that are uncomfortable being watched or dancing in public, so it’s important to create an environment that helps ease this anxiety and loosen people up.
The aesthetics of the room can have a large impact on the DJ’s ability to do their job.
If a room isn’t comfortable, then sometimes it doesn’t matter how perfect the DJ is at selecting songs. People can be far less likely to dance, as room layout, room temperature, and lighting levels can all affect the emotional and physical comfort level of your guests.
Many times the size and location of the dance floor is restricted by the venue layout, so lighting can be the easiest way to achieve your goal and to keep the floor from looking like a black hole or a much-too-brightly lit stage in the center of the room.
Lighting can work like a blanket and a tractor beam simultaneously. By dimming the room lights after dinner and having lighting, color, or patterns on the dance floor, it focuses people’s attention and draws them in that direction. It’s like a big stamp that creates some energy and says, “It’s GO time, so come over here!!” The color, patterns and movement also work like camouflage, covering up the guests that are uncomfortable dancing in front of other people and also works especially well to add extra feeling & emotion to the first dance.
If you have 100 people you do not need a 90-person-sized dance floor! At any given time you should plan (ideally) on maybe a quarter to a half of your guests dancing simultaneously. Others may be at the bar, or at the tables engaged in conversation, etc.
Brides sometimes overestimate the size of the floor needed, and sometimes the venue will increase the size of the floor to fill in dead space after laying out the tables and floor plan. Remember: it’s always better to have a smaller floor that is packed then a large floor that is difficult to fill or perceived to be slow.
Where the dance floor is located in relation to the tables and guests can also have an impact. Typically a dance floor that is smack in the center of the room surrounded by tables can be an intimidating thing to guests, therefore making it harder to start the night because nobody wants to be the first person out there on display. Moving the dance floor off to one side of the room can help alleviate this perception from the guests.
Venues that have dancing in one room and all the tables in another can be a challenge.
Guests establish a comfort zone during dinner, so breaking them out of that and luring them to a new room can sometimes be difficult. Adding some lounge furniture, dessert table or other elements in this area near the dance floor can help and give people more reason to feel comfortable hanging out if they aren’t ready to dance just yet.
NOTE: Always plan out where the DJ’s speakers will be and make sure you don’t have older guests placed at any tables near there. (This is often overlooked and always creates a problem!)
Next up, Lee will share additional tips for a successful dance floor and an example timeline of a wedding that will help foster a high-energy dance floor all night long!
Hey Mister DJ Lee Dyson’s career began 15 years ago in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota when he began looking for a way to express his own creativity and passion for music and found his way to a pair of turntables. His company, Hey Mister DJ, is based out of Los Angeles and is frequently booked to spin private events, weddings and even wrap parties for some of Hollywood’s most elite clientele. Lee’s recent events include Seal & Heidi Klum’s renewal ceremony and the wedding of Molly & Jason on ABC’s The Bachelor. His ability to read a crowd and program his sets accordingly is second to none and has quickly made him one of Southern California’s most in-demand Jocks.