How To Choose Music That Will Get Guests on the Dance Floor

How To Choose Music That Will Get Guests on the Dance Floor

I know I’m not the only person who is very glad that 2020 has come and gone. The world is ready to party—it’s time to have some fun! We all remember what that’s like, right? What better way to throw your hat (or, in this case, garter) into the ring than with a wedding? Wedding receptions make for amazing parties. After all, what could be better than love, family, friends, and food? Gyrate to bold music while knocking down something good. A wedding reception has all the makings of a good time.

And speaking of music, a party isn’t a party until the downbeat of a resounding drum, some good guitar riffs, and dulcet voices round out the sound. Everybody will be on their feet. While I love the first strain of those infectious notes, there’s one thing we all need to know—how to keep those drumbeats and notes popping and how to choose music that will get guests on the dance floor. Here’s some advice from someone who comes from a long line of dance instructors, dance enthusiasts, and those with the spirit of dance pouring from their pores. If this is your wedding and you want your party to trip the light fantastic, put the following tasks on your to-do list before the wedding.

Make a Song List

Trust us—your DJ will appreciate it, your guests will love it, and you’ll love that your guests love it. If you are going all out for live music, sit down with the leader of the band and ask them what selections they offer. Work with them to come up with tunes that will keep the dancers moving until the clock strikes. Check with your wedding party and ask questions about what sort of music they like. As the old saying goes, you can’t please everyone. But you can try! When in doubt, weave in songs from multiple genres. Incorporate some rock, some country, some crossover pop-rock, country pop, and the ever-loyal R&B.

One genre where you can never go wrong is my personal fave—Motown. Unlike other styles of music, everyone (unless they’ve been living in a cave for 75 years) will recognize the sweet strains of the marvelous Marvin Gaye, the fabulous falsetto of Smokey Robinson, and the tremendous Temptations. I could go on. That said, don’t run the risk of being told your music choices were stuck in a time warp. There are plenty of great contemporary choices, too.

Keep weaving with some solid country tunes. I like Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, even a little Garth Brooks when it’s time to slow things down. From grammys to tweens, women of all ages will love you forever if you play some BTS and One Direction. Don’t forget to give a nod to any Latinos in the house. There are some incredible and recognizable bands to choose from, such as Santana, Maná, Enrique Iglesias, and Ricky Martin. This genre produces very electric songs that will get you off your butt and moving.

Song Recognition Is Key

Humans are, by nature, creatures of habit. Some of these habits are so deeply ingrained that we don’t even see them coming or notice when they happen to us. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on the dance floor. Think of it strictly from your own point of view. Wouldn’t you much rather dance to something that you can also sing along to? Don’t you prefer songs where the anticipation of that big note gets you pumped up to make that turn or shake your backside with a wee bit more generosity? Sure, you would! Case in point, “Girls hit your hallelujah-Whoo!” If you know the music, you can feel the music. It will emerge from you without you ever having to plan or think about it. Dancing is like a sport, but unlike a double-header, everybody wins.

Now, I know we all have different tastes in music genres, so it would be fruitless for me to make impossible suggestions. But if you do want song list suggestions, let me know. I have plenty of lists! Music is personal, but by way of entertainment, you are in charge of literally making things rock and roll.

So, remember to pick danceable, fun tunes, sing-along while spinning, and play to the age-appropriate majority. People often say that love makes the world go around. In today’s world, this has never been truer. Weddings are a time when love begins, grows, and prospers, and that feeling touches everyone involves in the celebration. And if there’s one thing that spreads that love as surely as it touches hearts, it’s the consummate power of glorious music. This advice on how to choose music that will get guests on the dance floor will ensure everyone has a fantastic time at your wedding. Feel the love, be the rhythm, and dance the night away!

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Malissa Sanfilippo

Malissa Rosa Sanfilippo was born in Southern California and was raised in the ethnic Point Loma Portuguese Community of San Diego. From the time she was a little girl, Malissa always excelled in art, winning awards both at school and in local competitions. In 2000, Malissa graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, an all-girls private preparatory high school where she was named Best Artist and Most Likely To Succeed. In 2001, Malissa entered college in Los Angeles. She spent one year abroad studying art in Italy and graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in Fine Art and Italian. The next chapter in her life saw Malissa marrying the love of her life, a professional soccer player and fellow San Diegan, Frankie Sanfilippo. As they traveled the southern United States to the various cities for which he played, Malissa worked in many well-established bakeries, refining her talent and honing her skills. Upon Frankie’s retirement from professional soccer in 2017, they returned to San Diego, where she soon began making cakes for family and friends. In 2020, Malissa decided to combine her passion for art with her love of baking, and Violet Cake Co. was born. Throughout the pandemic and well into 2021, Violet Cake Co. has prospered and remains vital to the greater San Diego community that it serves. Violet Cake Co. was named one of 10 Most Outstanding Bakeries in San Diego by Weddingsrule.com. Malissa has studied under Ron-Ben Israel, Jacqueline Butler, and Tortik Annushka. For Malissa, craftsmanship, customer service, and quality are the keys to a successful business. Her husband Frankie is now Assistant Coach of the University of San Diego’s Division I Soccer team, and Malissa continues to captivate people everywhere with her amazing cake artistry. Malissa and Frankie reside in San Diego with their sons Frankie Jr. and Dominic and their beloved goldendoodle, Pepper.
September 28, 2021

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