To Dance or not to Dance

September 2, 2017 by Trevor West

This short article will start off being brutally honest so if you get offended easily then let me apologize now but I’m going to throw this out there. If you’re overweight or have no rhythm/2 left feet then how can you motivate others to dance (as a DJ) if you can’t/won’t join them or lead them?

Remember, we are their entertainment, not just music!! Most people are self-conscious of how they dance until they’ve had some liquid encouragement to help them along so when they see the DJ get out on the dancefloor and lead them, they will be more willing to come join you sooner rather than later.

Its kind of like when you announce that the buffet line is open and no one moves, a lot of people are afraid to be the first one in line, now myself, I come from a large family so when they say food is ready I’m one of the first ones in line cause if you didn’t, you may not always get the good stuff.

Dancing is the same way, once that first person gets out there and the rest see how much fun they are having then they are more likely to come join them. Now I’m not saying you have to have dancing skills like you see on Dancing with the Stars or anything like that, but anyone can learn to lead even the most simple of dances. The best advice is to find one you actually know and try to not only dance it but say all the moves on the microphone while doing it. Two of the best songs of course are the cha cha slide and cupid shuffle.

When I play those, I will get out on the floor and do the dance with them as well as call it out, you’d be surprised how much a lot of non-dancers will appreciate when you call out the moves and they can follow along.

One of my fellow dance instructors likes to say Practice makes Permanent!! So don’t just sit behind the booth, get out there and dance with your clients!!

But wait, I can’t leave my gear unattended you say!! Get an assistant, I’m sure there are plenty of fellow DJ friends who may not be working that weekend so give one a call and ask them if they’d be willing to come help you run an event, make sure you pay them of course. If that’s not possible, then hookup a wireless setup so that you can run your software remotely, now I don’t know about traktor or serato but Virtual DJ can be run from an Ipad and sometimes that’s how I run mine, but that’s a subject for another article.

Back to the dancing, the Wobble is another great song that doesn’t require a lot of movement on your part and yet still look like you’re dancing, don’t believe me then go check out a youtube video on it and you’ll see. Find the best moves that work for you and practice them, find what we call cheaters methods in the dances that allow people to do the dance without having to be too technical, the electric slide is a good one you can do a cheater method and just basically walk back and forth and yet still stay on beat.

To quote a movie (bonus points if you know which one): the Rhumba is a vertical expression of a horizontal wish, now I’m not saying that you’ll do the rhumba at every wedding you DJ but if you show the same passion that you put into your DJing as you do the dancing, even if its as simple as the electric slide or wobble, then people will see that you’re not afraid to dance and that will encourage them to dance as well.

Happy DJing.

Trevor West Trevor West (6 Posts)

Fell into the DJ business by accident back in early 1990 when I agreed to DJ a local dance for a friend, using CD’s and 2 cd players and the biggest dual 18” subs to ever break someone’s back.

Started country dancing right around the same time when my sister dragged me out to a local country dance club and I’ve never stopped since.

27 years later, still learning dancing and DJing and love running the photobooth at events.

My hobbies include reading Sherlock holmes books, skiing, practicing taking pictures and videos with my GoPros, and occasionally kick criminal’s butts with the Batman video games.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Performance Tips