So, you're planning a dance party - whether you're on a budget or willing to splurge, here are some top tips to plan the dance party of your dreams! Follow these simple steps, you can always get friends and family to help - and if you need some help to get this done, please feel free to contact us, we'll be glad to help!
Before You Start
You are going to collect a lot of ideas, images, links etc as you go along.. So make sure that you get yourself a good system to collect this information, budgets etc... You could use Excel, or some more fun free softwares such as Pinterest, Evernote or Moodboard for iPad.
1) Choose Your Theme
Before you choose your theme, think of who the party is for and the occasion. Is it formal? For a hen do? For children? Or maybe work colleagues? Make sure that your theme is going to have everyone getting involved, without feeling too uncomfortable.
There are lots of themes and styles you can choose from, and music eras to explore!! It's always a good idea to narrow it down to a few themes, and then ask a few people for their opinion of what they would enjoy the most. Remember that you will need to think about decorations, music and costumes.
2) Set Your Budget
Are you going to pay for this yourself or are people going to contribute to the costs? If you are paying for it yourself, think of a TOTAL budget. You will then need to decide how many people to fit into your budget - so will you have more people taking part, but spend less per person - or will you have a select few and splurge on them?
If you are asking people to contribute to your party or charging for tickets, ask yourselves how much each person will be prepared to pay, and what is the MINIMUM amount of people you need to cover your costs. Make sure you write out a budget, with a list of everything you need to plan your party - and how much it will cost.
3) Find Your Location
There are a number of things you need to think when choosing your location. One word of advice, is to always DOUBLE and TRIPLE check the availability, your requirements and the conditions with the staff, and ask them for an email confirmation. Often, there are a number of staff members working on the premises who will not be there on the day - so make sure you ALWAYS get something in written form by them to confirm your booking. If you don't specifically ask for this many places won't, and you risk being very disappointed on the day.. It's happened to the best of us!
Price: usually will be per hour, and check for any extras / hidden fees
Capacity: how many people will you have? Minimum - Maximum
Facilities: do you need a kitchen / atrium / buggy space / sound system?
Transport: people arrive by car or public transport? Make sure it's accessible
Decor: Does it suit your theme / occasion? If you can, try to visit the premises, don't always rely on pictures
4) Send Your Invites
Send a fun e-card by email, and gather everyone together using a Facebook event. Not everyone may be on Facebook but they can still view the event if you change the settings. Otherwise make sure you send all details by email. If you are getting people to pay to take part - MAKE SURE THEY DO THIS IN ADVANCE! Many people bail at the last minute if there is no commitment. You can either send them your bank details, or they could also send you money by PayPal (check T&Cs)
5) Select a Playlist
You can either buy CD / iTunes compilations or make up your own. Always check that they are not cover versions... if they are super cheap sometimes it's too good to be true! Dance relies on good music so make sure you do your research.
6) Plan Your Activities
What's going to happen at the party? Here is a list of ideas of perfect dance party activities for adults and children:
Just Dance: no games, just dancing! Make sure you have a great playlist or a good DJ - nothing kills a dance party like bad music, so make sure you're prepared and that your music is loud enough to fill the room
Follow along: Throughout the party, a dance leader can go on stage and get everyone to learn a dance. You can hire a dance teacher to do this, or get your guests involved and ask them to prepare a dance before the party!
Learn a routine: Do you want your participants to learn a full routine or a new dance skill? Look on Youtube for inspiration, but this type of party works best if you hire a dance teacher or choreographer to lad the group!
Dance games: this works great with adults as well as children, there are a number of dance games that you can play to set the mood and get the party going. Great for people with a bit of competitive spirit - offer prizes too!
7) Final Checks
It's a week before the party, and you need to make sure everything is in order. Here is a useful checklist of things to do:
Text everyone to remind them about the party and ask them to confirm
Make sure everyone knows where to go, what to bring etc..
Call the venue and make sure everything is set
Check for any transport problems that may happen on the date
Call the dance teacher / company that you have booked
Go through all the things you need on the day, and know where to get them
Make a time plan to prepare the day: remember things ALWAYS take longer than you think!! Do you think you need 2 hours to prepare - then schedule 3 just in case there is a last minute drama (there always is!)
8) On The Day
Make sure you're relaxed and you have someone to help you. If you can, have everyone's contact details at hand. Here is a list of things you will need on the day:
Music (charge your iPod..)
iPod charger (in case you still forgot to charge it!)
Backup CD (in case your iPod has a meltdown!)
Contact details (for location, teacher, etc...)
Food & drink
Table and chairs
Camera (you won't want to miss this!)
Camera charger (in case you forgot to charge that too)
Fancy dress (bring extras for those that "forget"!)
9) Make a Video
Nothing captures a dance party better than video! Sure, taking pictures will be a great visual of what you were wearing - but video will go down in time and collect the fun and the atmostphere of your party, forever. Whether you get someone to help you and film, or you hire someone to make your video - make sure you plan it in advance.
10) Have Fun!
Take a deep breath, and have fun! If you've planned it all in advance, nothing really can go wrong. And if it does - remember it's only a party!! So make sure you enjoy it too, and don't take everything too seriously. People will feed off your energy as a host, so make sure you smile, have fun, and everyone else will too. Good luck!