While DJ’ing, theres a few things that could turn into “Show Stoppers”, literally.
One of those, a dance floor that clears out right in the middle of dancing.
We’ve all seen it at one point or another.
You think the next track is going to continue the build or energy and BOOM, people start clearing out.
This could be from a number of reasons, some within DJ’s control and some without.
In DJ’s control: Playing top 40 and you mix in an indie song, or something off beat and no one likes it.
Out of DJ’s control: Playing a power set you have played many times that the crowd always dances to (ie: Michael Jackson is included). You play the same power set at this particular wedding and no one dances to Michael Jackson.
With examples above, when the DJ’s in control, the DJ could have avoided this as programming forecasting should have been different and the DJ should at least know what to expect here by making this vast or abrupt transition.
On the example where the occurrence is out of DJ’s control, the DJ had no prior knowledge that this particular crowd did not like Michael Jackson ( unless it was stated on the Do Not Play list and the DJ missed it, which would then fall into the control of the DJ).
With either example, you’re left with an empty dance floor.
The dance floor clears out on a song. Whats next?
This can happen anywhere. It’s almost inevitable.
So instead of hoping and praying that it doesn’t happen, plan for it in advance. Then you’re ready for when it DOES happen.
Typically I will review the must plays and special requests for the client. If the must plays/special requests look like they will clear a dance floor, or may not be too relevant for the type of crowd, I will either play these up front to get them out of the way, or I will play one of them right after the dance floor clears from another song that I thought was going to keep them going.
Better yet, use this time to play a slow dance song.
Most of the time slow dance songs are good to inject periodically throughout the night anyways, especially at weddings.
This is a great time to play one of these slow dance songs so it keeps the flow of the event going, and keeps you, the DJ in control of the dance floor, when it starts to stray.
Some may not agree, however, why not flip the situation to your advantage.
Dance floor is already clearing out which is something you cannot control.
So why not play one of those oddball must plays or special requests at this time to clear it out a little more (joking, but also serious), or a slow dance song to get people back on the dance floor with a purpose?
By doing this, your tackling two problems:
- Playing the must plays/special requests as requested without disrupting a full dance floor.
- Indirectly covering the fact that the song you thought was going to keep crowd going was actually a flop.
This will make you look more confident and in control of the situation, indirectly as if you either planned this or, even better, know how to handle it when it occurs.
In review, this is just another element that plays a part in the bigger picture all around, in becoming a better, more professional DJ.