Group Dances: Your DJ’s Best Kept Secret and What You Need to Know
Group Dances: Your DJ’s Best Kept Secret and What You Need to Know Group Dances And Carolina Weddings Wedding Group Dances – The Controversy Explained Stylus Weddings DJs live and breathe music. We have our personal favorite songs and our favorite songs to play at weddings. We know how to use the beat to control a crowd and can change the tone of a wedding reception in an instant. But we also know that it’s not our wedding- it’s yours!
You always get to pick the music you can’t live without and banish the music you can’t stand. We love working with couples with a wide range of music preferences and thrive on the challenge of finding the ideal mix for you and your big day.
But no matter what your style, there is one genre out of the hundreds of genres out there that always seems to divide folks like no other, especially when it comes to weddings- group dance songs.
Go ahead, love them or hate them- we won’t judge!
But wherever you and soon-to-be-spouse stand in the debate, there are some great reasons to include at least a couple group dances at your wedding reception. Including a few you likely haven’t thought of. . . before now.
Thankfully, you have the outstanding Stylus Weddings DJs to let you in on some of the best tricks of the wedding DJ trade!
Not All Group Dances Are Created Equal
Before we get too far into how group dances can be used to make your already unforgettable wedding reception even more memorable, let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same thing.
When people hear the words “group dance,” they often have an instant mental picture.
Maybe it’s a slow-motion video of their great uncle doing the Chicken Dance that they’d rather forget.
Maybe it’s their best friend going the wrong direction during the Electric Slide leading to a very awkward interaction with a cousin that everyone still laughs about to this day.
Maybe it’s that viral video of their little niece getting down to the Twist.
Whatever the image, for nearly everyone, the words “group dance” come with a strong and specific reaction. But even though the term is well known, group dances remain one of the most varied and misunderstood tools in your DJ’s toolbox.
Yes, the Wobble, the Electric Slide, and the Twist are all group dances that are frequently found at wedding receptions. But these group dances are only a small part of the story.
Group dance songs also include call and response and sing-along songs, like Sweet Caroline or Lizzo’s Truth Hurts. If your wedding invite list includes die-hard Gleeks (fans of the show Glee, for those not in the know), admirers of the short-lived masterpiece Freaks and Geeks, OG Journey fans, or a combination of all three, a group chorus of Don’t Stop Believing can get your wedding guests on their feet and quickly connect the whole room in fun and unexpected ways.
Ballroom dances also fall into the group dance category. These dances are unparalleled in their ability to let you show off your hard-earned, impressive dance skills- and natural talent, of course. They can also be an amazing opportunity for older generations to show off and pass down the dances of their youth- from the waltz to swing to the hustle.
Group dances can include dances that hold cultural significance, as well. Dances like the hora, dabke, or kalamatiano have been performed for generations. Including group dances at your wedding reception that are tied to your or your fiance’s heritage can be a lovely way to add your union to your grand family story. Traditional group dances can also be a wonderful way for wedding reception guests from other backgrounds to learn a bit more about who you are, where you come from, and where you’re headed.
Finally, though it often gets left off the list, slow dances are a common form of group dance at wedding receptions. We understand why slow dances often get left off. They can feel so intimate. Think about it- what could be better than the chance to hold your beloved close to you on the day you both said “I do” while the rest of the world melts away? Only the chance to do this while your guests surround you feeling the same love for their beloveds or dreaming about how sweet it will be when they find a love like yours.
The Songs You Love to Hate and Hate to Love
Now that we’ve covered the breadth of what a group dance is and can be, let’s look at the most common reasons wedding couples and their guests either love or hate them.
When first working with a Stylus Weddings DJ, some soon-to-be-wed couples tell us that they love group dances and immediately put them on their playlist. However, many more couples tell us that they don’t want any group dances played at all. These couples often feel like they’ve seen too many group dance songs at other weddings. They fear that including them at their reception will take away from the uniqueness of the event and make their wedding reception a forgettable night instead of the memorable affair they have in mind.
We see why they might think that. It is certainly true that many group dances are routine elements of a large number of wedding receptions. But that doesn’t mean that including a group dance (or two or three) will ruin their wedding reception. No song or dance has the power to erase or overshadow the elements that make both the couple and their big day absolutely extraordinary. In fact, including group dances can often have a stunningly opposite effect!
Instead of making your wedding reception feel like “just another wedding reception,” group dances can actually highlight the special bonds and one-of-a-kind shared history of your wedding party, friends, and family. Sparking old memories and stories and creating new ones. It’s amazing how uncommon a common group dance can feel when you’re surrounded by your people on a day that is all about celebrating you!
Unlike many soon-to-be-married couples, many wedding guests are quick to tell us that they love group dances! In fact, group dances are often the songs wedding guests request the most during receptions.
While the wedding couple may be looking for an experience unlike any other, many guests like having a bit of familiarity or the ability to request a song that gets everyone on the dance floor. We’ve also found that guests sometimes feel angry, disappointed, or left out if the DJ has to let them know that the wedding couple has their favorite group dance on the do not play list.
It’s important to remember that at least a few of your wedding guests are likely shy or insecure about their dancing skills. Other guests may not have been on a dance floor since their own wedding reception a few decades earlier. Group dances allow all of these guests to participate in the party without the pressure of needing to be a great dancer or be up-to-date on the latest dance trends.
Sometimes there is a specific group dance song that a wedding couple simply despises. By all means, if this is you, put that song on your do not play list!
We never want you to suffer through any song or group dance at your wedding!
It is your day!
But if you’re on the fence about a group dance or don’t mind the idea of certain styles of group dance songs at your wedding reception, consider letting your DJ make the call or giving your guests the option of requesting a song that will help them feel comfortable and welcome at your reception.
Your Wedding DJ’s Take on Group Dances
From the very beginning of your wedding planning journey with Stylus Weddings, your DJ will work with you and your fiance to make sure you are building the wedding you envision. Your DJ will go out of their way to understand your likes, dislikes, and the style and tone you want for your wedding ceremony and reception. You’ll also be able to use the Stylus Weddings client portal 24/7 to make lists of your favorite songs and to make sure songs you don’t like are on your do not play list.
It’s extremely important to us to listen to and honor your preferences and requests, including avoiding every song on your do not play list.
No matter what songs end up on your definitely play or do not play list, one of the best things about having a Stylus Weddings DJ is that you’ll be working with one of the top DJs in the area. Every Stylus Weddings DJ has the skills to quickly read the energy in the room and choose the songs that will both set the right tone for your reception and keep your big day on schedule.
While your wedding DJ concentrates on the music, they are also keeping an eye on countless details around them- from the ages of the people on and off the dance floor to how your wedding guests are moving (or not moving) around the room to the clock on the wall, and more!
Paying attention to all of these tiny details lets them know when it’s time to pick up the pace, slow things down, change the mood entirely, or get people dancing in the first place. These details also give them clues to find the exact right song to keep your wedding reception on track from the minute your wedding party enters the room until the last wedding guest says goodnight.
Giving your DJ the option of choosing a group dance song on the fly could save the day if wedding guests are slow to move to the dance floor, the schedule of the event gets a little off track, or your dance floor starts to clear out too soon.
Wedding receptions typically include guests from all stages of life, including many who haven’t been on a dance floor in years and some younger guests who may be experiencing a dance floor for the very first time. These wedding guests often lag behind their 20-something counterparts when moving toward the dance floor. Your reception will likely also include many guests who know and love each other but haven’t been able to spend much time together over the past couple of years. These guests may want to spend a lot of time chatting and mingling rather than rushing to dance.
It can take 15 to 20 minutes of music to build up the energy to the point where these guests can’t help but get out of their seats or pull away from their conversations. But a group dance played early on in the reception can fill the dance floor in a matter of seconds.
Once all of your wedding guests are up and dancing, they are much more likely to keep dancing. Plus, having a good mix of guests of all ages on the dance floor encourages intergenerational connection and allows the young and old to learn from and enjoy each others’ company. It’s also an excellent way to party after having to be away from each other for so long!
No matter how great the wedding reception is, there will come a moment that calls for a change in mood to keep things interesting or to give tired wedding guests a second wind. A group dance can be just the thing to keep the party going. It may even create an opportunity for a few more fantastic candid photos to remember your day or to share with invited guests who weren’t able to celebrate with you in person.
Have a great group dance story? Tell us about it! What made it amazing?