How To Fill a Dance Floor

The evening entertainment is beginning, and the tunes are starting to fill the room. Whether you’re planning a birthday party or a large scale event the fear of having an empty dance floor is always lingering! Brought together by Pearl & Pear’s curated suppliers this guide will deliver top tips and industry tried techniques to keep your guests dancing all night.

Location of the bar to the dance floor

The question arises as to whether the bar location can increase guest’s attention to the dance floor. How do we encourage those too scared to throw some shapes in front of their boss? Or how to ensure there’s still an invisible safety net between dancing and resting your arm on the bar.

Award-winning Event Planners at Story Events tell us that ‘the bar always needs to be in sight for those on the dancefloor to reassure them that it is just a small walk away if they are preparing to showcase their top dance moves and just need that extra confidence boost, or if they are gearing up to make a move on their office crush and need a cheeky bit of Dutch courage’

‘However, there should also be enough room around the bar for those who want to be a part of the atmosphere but don’t feel quite ready to hit the dancefloor.’

“No doubt, after a few cocktails they will find their inner Beyoncé and make the shift.”

Golborne Events, known for organising high end and luxury events, agree adding that ‘the bar should be as close to the dance floor as possible – men can always prop up the bar whilst the girls show off their moves‘.

dance floor Top Tips, How to fill a dance floor, the Expert Series, Pearl and Pear, London, UK

The right kind of lighting

Natalia Hollingsworth, Director at Golborne Events tells us that a secret to achieving dance floor lighting is timing. ‘Making the atmosphere darker after dinner using lighting and haze instantly increases the party energy’. 

‘Try not to use any moving lights or trippy lights until later on in the evening as well as avoiding the traffic lights on speakers that make you a feel a bit like a school disco’  adds Steph Eayrs, Managing Director of Story Bespoke.

“Each beat can be accentuated by lighting to really compliment the mood.”

Setting the right atmosphere for your party is a huge factor in getting your guests to the dance floor. The stage and dance floor needs to be an exciting and inviting space which is why we consider the lighting and visuals as a vital part of our show’  says Chromatic, a seriously stylish party band, when asked for their lighting tips.

The Lights Inc are known for being the best in the industry for keeping your dance floor full – in agreement with Chromatic, they describe that ‘lighting is the best way to create atmosphere. Firstly it’s essential to light the band, even simple soft lighting so you can see everyone on stage. Then the moving lights, this is what turns the dance floor into the place to party!‘.

dance floor Top Tips, How to fill a dance floor, the Expert Series, Pearl and Pear, London, UK

Keeping the energy high including guest interaction

Once guests are on the dance floor the next challenge is keeping them there, up the tempo and include some audience participation and you’re already halfway.

Dhil, Chromatic’s Guitarist, tells us all about how they keep their energy sky high.

‘We always bridge the gap between the stage and the dance floor (sometimes literally), making the show interactive where possible. We want you to have as much fun as we do. Also, we have such a good time on stage and see this energy spread across the room like wildfire! The dance floor is the platform for everyone to express themselves and we encourage all to join in. Our singer and drummer will be sure to get you chanting and singing along.’

Sophie, Founder of The Lights Inc agrees that ‘it’s all down to the front man (or woman) of the band and the energy that the band project. If the band are having a great time on stage, then undoubtedly the guests will be too. Just like Dhil has mentioned… the front man needs to not just be an amazing vocalist, but they need to be at ease commanding a crowd of party goers… that’s no easy task!’

“There is no better way to interact with the crowd that to create a dance off!”


Tips on creating the perfect floor filling playlist

When you’re given the role of creating a playlist for your friend’s birthday bash or dinner party, or even to advise the DJ at your Christmas party the pressure is on. At Pearl & Pear we’ve asked our experts for their top tips on how to create a killer collection of tunes.

‘With so many genres and rhythms, there is always something for everyone to enjoy and so many shapes to throw and moves to pull. We have certainly seen some sights –  breakdancing, dance offs, backflips, congas, human pyramids to name a few!
As well as all the moving and shaking, everyone loves a good sing-along. Its best to ensure that all the biggest, air grabbing, soaring choruses are in there.’  
– Chromatic

‘You just can’t go wrong with a bit of Justin Bieber. I would say it is key to assess the crowd before hand. Get a feel for age group and gender and play the classics in line with your audience. Generally, the power ballads always go down well later on in the night, when people have found a hidden talent for belting out the tunes, where suddenly all pitching issues are resolved.’ 

‘Other additional elements we’ve often used are request boxes, that way you know you’ll always have at least one die-hard fan on the dance floor! Finally, always include a plentiful supply of 90/00s R&B and garage’ Story Events

“Everyone stands up when they hear “my mind’s telling me noooo””

‘Trust your professionals – the events that work the best are where we have total free rein over the setlist. The band can read the crowd and the set evolves organically. Some nights the golden oldies may be the most popular however on other nights it’s all about the current chart music. It’s our job to keep the dance floor filled and perform the music that the crowd is loving the most.’ – The Lights Inc

 Adding live musicians to the DJ set…

As well as a well thought out playlist, adding percussion, saxophonists or compares alongside the DJ can give your event that extra entertainment boost.

Story Events suggest that ‘adding to the DJ set adds a really fun and dynamic element to the event. This is what is going to be spoken about months after the event. With energetic and interactive performers, guests are much more likely to get involved’.

‘Having a DJ live set up can be pretty epic either as the main entertainment of after the band’ says The Lights Inc. ‘There are lots of different line up’s you can go with, we love Vocals, Saxophone, Percussion and a Violinist.  Adding musicians and vocalists alongside the DJ increases the overall energy and allows the audience to interact with all the different performers on stage.’ 

Give it a go!


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