DJing on the next level

There is a point in everyone’s mobile disc jockey career where one suddenly realizes they have arrived. Maybe it’s in the form of a newfound confidence, or maybe it’s simply the point where all of the tinkering your performance has finally given way to a Flawless, polished routine. For me it happened while I was driving to a gig back in the early 90s .

Routinely, as I will try to occupy myself during those endless tracks up and down the Pennsylvania Turnpike by counting the number of drivers singing in their cars. I would inexplicably snapback to reality and realize the reason I was on this trip to begin with: in a little over an hour I would be responsible for the entertainment at what most of my clients seem to religiously drill into my head, “Was the most important day of their life”. (I guess no one told them about the birth of their first child….  I think that that may rank ahead of an expensive party.) I digress. 

For me it was the realization I was now providing the level of entertainment as good as most of my colleagues in my company and for that matter, this industry. I suddenly have the confidence to put my party up against almost everyone. Now, I thought, I’m on their level. I have arrived! Looking back, I’ve now realized I hadn’t reached “The promised land” of mobile disc jockeying, as I had first thought, and provide to my client a “nice” disc jockey service or I can move beyond this point and give my clients a party they would not soon forget. 

Most of us strive continuously, or subconsciously, to reach this imaginary point;  and for most of us, getting there is where we wind up staying for a very long period of time – maybe even forever!  for a select few, it is simply a layover until that first flight out. These are the select few who decide to see how far they can push the envelope, and take your craft to the next level. Certain DJs do this by adding props or costumes to their routine. Some  may have a special dance that they do and teach the crowd, while others  make up an entirely new dance or activity. While some may simply amazed the crowd with their outstanding ability by mixing and scratching. 

Wait!  I know what you’re thinking. Is it right to borrow these and other ideas for one’s own use? It is as “right as rain” my fellow DJs! Most of my routine boots bits and pieces of some of best DJs across the nation. I do have a few activities and routines of my own that I have to come up with but the rest of my show is borrowed material. here are some other ideas and techniques that I’ve seen used that have worked really well.

  • Before your Bridal introductions, warm up the crowd by encouraging them to stand, clap, and cheer. (Even before the parents are introduced!)
  • Perform a party dance/activity or two before dinner (Void where prohibited, like where they do the first dance after dinner.)
  • Consider the Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, and wobble as standards;  be able to perform some other special current dances were activities as well.
  •  During the Garter sequence, count the inches (over the mic) above the knee as years of good luck, “I think we’re at 5 years, now it’s 10….  Oh my, we just blew by 30 years!
  • Use a conga line or choo choo train to set up a circle. From that circle you can do the YMCA or Chicken Dance by surprise. Just ask them to reach for the sky or just to put their hands up in the air.

20 years ago, being fresh and Innovative meant teaching the chicken dance. 10 years ago being fresh and innovative meant teaching the Electric Slide. Today it means performing and teaching the Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, and Wobble.Think about how you go about reforming your party dances and see if you can add your own move or step to them to put your signature on it. If you do some of the party dances above and add your twist it can determine the difference between a good and a bad DJ.

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