Making the Kids the Star

August 18, 2015 by Rob Ferre

When I do events, I love to interact with the kids. Like every live performer, I feed off the energy of my audience. The more the kids give me, the more I can give them. Instead of making myself the main attraction, I keep the focus on the kids and make them the star. Let’s be real: parents are taking pictures of their kids doing the limbo, participating in games, and their dance moves. How often are the parents taking pictures of DJ Rob? I would say parents are entertained when they see their child being entertained. Let’s go over three ways we can create kid stars at our events.

Contests and Games: I love doing a variety of games that highlight the talents and skills of the participants. One example is limbo. I never eliminate kids from this game. I just keep going and let kids do their best going under the stick. At the end I sometimes just reward the kid with the best “style.” Parents are taking pictures throughout the contest. Another great game is a hula hoop contest. I don’t do just one contest, but I divide it into different rounds like boys only, girls only, and everyone under age eight.  When kids get “out,” I still reward them with a silly band when they return their hula hoop to me. That way I don’t have to pick up my hula hoops, and the kids have won a prize. When my winners receive their grand prize, I use my second method of making kids the star.

Interview: When I have my finalist for any game like hula hoop or pass the prize (a.k.a. hot potato) I interview them. Kids love hearing their names over the sound system and being addressed by their name. I always take a moment to highlight the finalists by asking them their name, and if time allows, where they are from, who they came with, or who their boyfriend/girlfriend is (which always has a funny answer). Once we get a winner, I call out their name as well as the names of the runner-ups. I ask people to applaud and recognize all our participants. Getting to know the kids and other participants at your event connects you to your audience. My third method of making kids the star fosters even more involvement.

Dancing: I have two primary dances that I love to use to highlight kids. The first is Follow the Leader. I have a specific track which I use for this but any song will work. I tell them that I am the leader, and later I will I need helpers to lead some dance moves. I often tell them to keep their dance moves in a standing position and easy to follow. Otherwise, you’ll have a kid get down on the ground and start spinning around, which is a mess for everyone. Once I give a kid the spotlight they will show off their best dance moves. I sometimes learn  new moves from kids. It’s great! The second dance I use to spotlight kids is a little game I learned from Howard Walstein. Kids love to create a circle and do “dance offs,” but this can be hard to conduct and regulate. With our circle I ask “if you are wearing green, come out and dance,” or “if you are wearing glasses, come out and dance,” or “if you have seen Frozen more than ten times, come out and dance.” Then I will start transitioning to cool moves which highlight kids. For example, “if you know the worm,” “if you can do a cartwheel,” or “if you can do a flip.” That way the kids get to really show their talents.

Using these three methods will give everyone a moment in the spotlight by making kids the star. This kids and their parents will leave your event entertained and happy.

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Rob Ferre Rob Ferre (5 Posts)


Filed Under: Performing, School Dances