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How do you do the dollar dance?
I have a wedding coming up that requires me to do the dollar dance. I have never done it in the 3 years I have been doing weddings. This will be a new experience. I have tried to find videos on youtube to no avail.
How do you transition into the dollar dance? When do you do it? How do you announce it?
I usually ask the B&G when they want the dollar dance to happen in my questionaire. Most of my dollar dances are Jitterbug, Swing and some 70's. Sometimes the B&G request specific songs for the dollar dance, if they have me choose the songs they are always more upbeat faster songs so people will want to get up and dance.
This is what has worked for me. Remember the Dollar Dance won't just be one song, i've had it last 25 minutes before.
To announce the dollar dance I ask people to line up and pay the MOH or BM depending on who they want to dance with. It's easier to have the MOH and BM collect the money rather than waste time trying to pin it on the bride's dress. Make sure you tell the MOH and BM to limit the dance to 20-30 seconds or you will have people there for a whole song.
Here's how I do it.....
*Edit a string of slow songs together, making up about a 20 minute track. Songs all must be slow & dancable for every age.
*Always keep this track in your wedding playlist.
*Announce the upcoming dollar dance a few songs prior.
*Preplan with B&G who will be collecting the money (usually the Maid and Bestman), and where they will stand. Instruct them to keep tight intervals, and maybe suggest a balancing act to keep males and females in the line close in numbers.
*Have the B & G start the first song (they were already flagged by you prior).
*Make every effort to keep that line moving. At a typical reception with 150-200 people, should last about 15 minutes max.
*When a male goes and dances with the Groom (and one will) feel free to make a joke, like maybe ,,,,,"that looks to be at least a $10.00 dance"
* Another "banter" when trying to get people to the line would be "yes, you are more than welcome to go back for 2nds".
* End..."Ladies and Gentlemen, that concludes this dollar dance, and thank you for your participation".... fade the last song out (or invite all to the dance floor to finish the last track).
Oh and one more thing (the hardest thing to accomplish),,,,,,,,, in regards to the people who collect the money,,, make it clear to them when the end is near (music, that is). Too many times when you are already to pull the plug someone comes up (or just standing there) and creates a timing issue with you. When the line gets low start making announcements that "last call" will be coming soon. Alot of times people stand around the one's who collect the cash, making it unclear to you if they are waiting to dance or not. It may help to go out seconds before the end and clarify if that everyone standing around are just standing around. THe last thing you need is to end the dollar dance when Aunt Millie just paid. This creates a "panic" situation for you when there should not be.
I hope this helps,
Last edited by DJ-JC; 05-25-2010 at 12:55 PM.
Gino : Build a four minute audio track of your voice. Time it with a watch. Precisely at every 30 seconds saying something like, "Give the bride and groom a nice hug. Change partners now, please." 30 seconds later, another nicety like "a nice smile and thanks" but add the changing partners command. 30 seconds later, a third and different nicety but add the changing partners command. 30 seconds later, a fourth and different nicety but add the changing partners command. Repeat this until there is about 6 different niceties and all with a "Change partners now" command and there's a 30 seconds of dead air at the end of the track. Now you have a voice track of you and it can be effectively looped.
As you are getting the men to line up with the maid of honor and the ladies with the best man, remind them that you will tell them when it's time to change partners, and, "Please do not change partners until I tell you to, thank you."
With the 45 minute premixed track of "hardly ever ever played snuggle tunes" (do not encourage other folks dancing by playing really familiar tunes and wasting them on this formality) already running and you've done the change partners live until the audience has grasped the idea, kick in the voice track in loop mode.
It runs smooth as silk, everybody gets 30 seconds, it's on auto-pilot, so you can either get prepped for after the dollar dance or got to parking lot and do an oil change. Good time for a potty break as well.
By having the vocal loop at 30 seconds, it's easier to give the couple a good estimate of time. 150 people? That'll be probably 75 couples. 80% (average) will participate. 60 men and 60 women at 30 seconds each equals a 30 minute dollar dance plus 5 minutes to set up. I feel that any less than 30 seconds, you might as well just have the guests throw the money at them.
Last edited by Cap; 05-25-2010 at 02:30 PM.
I play a waltz and polka right before so the floor is usually pretty empty at the end.
Instead of romantic slow songs, try upbeat slow and sing-a-longable, like "Daydream Believer", "$1,000,000", "Sweet Caroline", My Girl, etc. I find the lively tempo moves things along.
I never use slow songs for this. This is because when you keep it uptempo, you will likely get men to pay to dance with the groom, just to be funny. Of course women are much more willing to dance with each other. This also eliminates any awkwardness if the person paying to dance is only an acquaintance of the B or G (distant relative, cousin, date of friend, etc.).
I always like to do it following a formal event, like the bouquet & Garter toss, or toasts or some time when there is no dancing going on. I prefer to do it during the second half of the evening. I start by surveying the crowd. I ask them: "Who here knows where the B&G are going on their honeymoon". When people yell out: "The Bahamas", "Hawaii", "Niagara Falls" or whatever. I'll then say that is correct, but I heard a disturbing rumor. I heard the B&G spent so much money on their wedding that they are going to have to hitchhike to get there. I then say: "We can't have that. What you say we do the Honeymoon Dance and raise some bus fair for them?" This always gets a few laughs. I then say: "In all seriousness, we are now going to give every person here a chance to dance with one or both of our VIP's." I then quickly explain about how they need to line up and in front of the B or G and have your money ready. I will then start a song and encourage people to hurry and get line before the line gets too long.
Now, I speak with my clients about this in detail long before the big day. I first ask if they want to do this. If yes, I explain that they need to get the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen involved. That they need to lead so that others will follow. I even tell them if they have to give the money to them just so they will give it right back to create the appearance of participation, then do it. Again, we all get a laugh out of that.
Last edited by DJ Wes; 05-25-2010 at 04:43 PM.
Guys, thanks for all the awesome info. I will put it to good use!
And here's a little tip from Brian Graham.
If you have 15 tables make sure to take 15 crisp $1 bills with you. Early in the night go around to each table and ask them to tell you who is the most fun person at the table.
Then give that person $1 and tell them to hold it for later.
1. Spoken to everyone and broken the ice
2. Created a little buzz by giving some instant gratification (prize)
3. Created a little curiosity about what's to come
4. Set yourself up for another event (pass the dollar)
5. Got 1 person at every table that has a dollar ready to go so when you announce the dollar dance at least 15 people have no excuse but to get up to the dance floor.
You may also want to make sure that they have some note cards (or even blank biz cards) and pens on the table. Not everyone will bring money and if you give them an option of writing a love note, you'll be able to include more people.
"The dollars that you give to the bride and groom are a symbol of future wealth and prosperity and when you add it all together, helps pay for dinner the first night of the honeymoon in... " Sometimes fun to introduce with songs like O'Jay's - For the Love of Money, Steve Miller - Take the Money and Run, Beatles - Money, etc., etc.
I always ask if they have someone who is outgoing and would be willing to cut up and announce the money dance. If yes, I will work with that person to help them get it going. If no, then I will announce.
My experience has been that couples get more money if it is someone other than me doing the announcing of the money dance. For example, we had one bride whose brother, Ben, borrowed a hat, took the mic and in his best old fashioned revival voice asked everyone to "give, give until it hurts!" Everyone enjoyed dancing with the couple and many returned for a second round because they wanted to keep Ben doing his schtick.
Take advantage of the talent you have available to you to personalize the wedding and allow everyone to participate in the celebration.
Solid Sound Entertainment
"Not everyone is your client. Learn who your client is and send the rest to your competition." - Alecia Huck, Maverick and Company.