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#287246 - 05/17/10 10:56 PM Re: What songs are you playing to fill the dance floor?
Lucky2Bhere Offline

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 533
As I thought about "What songs are you playing to fill the dance floor?" I also thought about the difference between playing music that “gets them onto the dance floor” and music that engages the listener by helping him to enter a trance state (my definition of contemporary music)...which is what most young folks do nowadays with the music. Either that or it's solitary gymnastics on the dance floor masquerading as dancing.

In the mid-90’s, I gave up trying to keep up with learning new songs. Not only were they getting more difficult to reproduce, but, to make matters worse, by the time you learned it, it was already off the charts (about 24 hours from the time it first appeared in public). So I became a DJ and did a healthy mix of either live or DJ, and sometimes together. So I’m very familiar with music from all genres.

Looking back, I can see that I played (as a DJ) the latest hits only for KIDS events (usually 16 and under). They listened well, but didn’t dance. I dragged all that new music to adult events all those years for nothing. You had to have it handy, but I never played much of it.

So what filled the dance floor?

First, the songs listed mainly by:

Scott L.
Bill /Dayton

Second, what we call “party songs” to break up the conventional dancing and move the party along. Those would be:

Electric Slide
Cha-cha slide
Jive Bunny Twist Medley
Chicken Dance
Cotton-Eyed Joe (every kid on the planet seems to know this)
Greased Lightening
Hand Jive (from Grease)
Follow the Leader (Soca Boys)

Then there are “ice breakers” like...

Thank Heaven for Little Girls (Dads dance with their daughters)
Dance contest ...everyone pick their own partner and do the following (to the music...about one minute of each):

“warm up” song to any well-known tune, then…
…and the list goes on as long as they’re still dancing

I carry 5,000 songs in my CD case on disc. Very rarely do I use more than a handful. (Easier now though‘ cause I bought an MP3 player with a hard drive that I can carry in a cigar box.)

My rule of thumb (as someone mentioned already) is “don’t play a song unless 90% of your audience recognizes it.” There’s enough music out there now so there’s no sweat digging them up.

In all fairness, my “routine” and “song selection” works because I also “work” the audience. The most important thing you can do to get them on the floor.

Diki...what is the Cuban Shuffle? It sounds interesting! play well, but you DO have one heck of an ego.

Donnie...the link you posted to those songs is right on the money. Most of those songs were resting on the charts at some point in time. Most were recognized when played.

Btweengigs...Knees Up Mother Brown. That was a great song in it’s hey-day. I’m sure Diki’s played it more than once.

Finally, this would have been a great thread that Scott posted for gaining some new ideas had it not been for the inevitable “goin’ south” routine! Thanks to those who put it back on course in between the bickering.


#287247 - 05/18/10 12:13 AM Re: What songs are you playing to fill the dance floor?
Scott Langholff Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 3163
Loc: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Hi Lucky

Very good and interesting post. Yes, we are back on track thank goodness.

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