School jocks, look out!

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Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
I still can't figure it. I can't figure why kids wouldn't go to a dance. I am sure that those of you that "do" school dances would disagree with the entire idea. I mean, even if a kid would rather sit and text, you'd think that they would still go to the dance, right?

Have any of you seen the symptoms described in YOUR areas?
 

jodi

Active Member
I still can't figure it. I can't figure why kids wouldn't go to a dance. I am sure that those of you that "do" school dances would disagree with the entire idea. I mean, even if a kid would rather sit and text, you'd think that they would still go to the dance, right?

Have any of you seen the symptoms described in YOUR areas?

School dances are very interesting to me. I was one of those kids who never missed a dance, went to dances at other schools, and organized dances at my own school and in some clubs. Also, the first time I ever DJed was for one of my own junior high dances!

So, regarding the decline of school dances - yes - I've seen it.

I can't really figure it out either - but - I have some thoughts...

1) Kid's don't know how to dance

2) 2006+ ish (?) ....Music turned so slow (bpm) and boring (imho) and dirty - that (see above) kids just started doing boy behind girl slowly back and forth "dance" Shocking? Boring? Both.

3) Parents and administrators began calling off dances, turning on lights, making front to front or "leave 6 inches rules" etc... and making everything so complicated, and NOT FUN, etc...

4) Where to put phone while dancing? #FirstWorld Problem

5) 2009+ "I Gotta Feeling" comes out, and starts the music turn towards fun and fast - but...

6) Kids still don't know how to dance, and continue boring/slutty dancing

7) Administrators are tired of watching it, and tired of parents complaining about it, and feel it's more trouble than it's worth.

8) A (big suburban) high school near us held dances (2010) with all lights on, strict dress code monitoring, and every time anyone started to "dirty dance" the DJ was made to play The Chicken Dance.

9) That's one school that now only has one dance (prom) yearly ^ ...

10) Because dances are so few and far between, each and every one is a "Big Deal" requiring new clothing, hair and makeup, photo sessions, big money outlay, and drama...

11) Are the "cool kids" going to the dance? Probably not because it's lame *see above rules, lights, etc...

12) So many more choices and opportunities in sports and extracurricular activities, and jobs, and academic pressures .... kids are busy and tired (not to mention video games and social media....)

13) Kids still don't know how to dance

I have a fairly unique voice on this because I am a busy and experienced DJ, and although I don't specifically seek out the school market, I DJ for one local middle school 4 dances a year for the past 7 years (you can see me in action in a video on our facebook page) , and I DJ football tailgates, a couple of pep rallies, and a senior picnic yearly for a local high school. (I don't do their Prom or Homecoming)

So - unique voice? I am mom of teen daughters, and I was PTO president for all of their middle school and high school years. I was a vocal champion of MORE & Shorter & Casual dances ... instead of less & longer and FANCY. Both schools I was PTO president for took my advice (see above) and we have a big fun time.

So - my opinion comes from being mom of two girls ... PTO leadership .. DJ ... AND former school dance attendee!
 
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Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
I guess I'd be dating myself, but...

A) Since when don't kids know how to dance and B) Since when did that matter?

I guess growing up in the day of "American Bandstand", "Shindig" and "Soul Train" had its advantages.

That leaves all the rest of the issues. Oh, well. Time marches on.
 

Arnoldo Offermann

Active Member
Supply and demand, folks.

If the dances suck, they're poorly attended. Most DJs will deny this fact, especially if they're the DJ in question.
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
A school dance is soooooooo much a different animal than almost all other events. If you don't keep it hot and cutting edge u might as well pack it up. Or bring a truckload of Redbull and make them drink it as they enter the room. I think A.O. is the most influential person to me (other than myself ;) ) on how I do it now. I was on the edge of buying the education until my county pulled a bogus regulatory red tape poop stain of a stunt. A.O. knows that story it's a little long winded but basically locked out all DJs except 2 or 3.

OK end of rant.
 

Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
Dating myself again...
Keep in mind that I went to school in the days when there WERE none of us. Matter of fact, (and I know I've told this story before), the first one I saw was when I was chapping a dance for my sister in HS, spinning "oldies". Most of the time we had one of the local bands, (usually-but not always- of guys our own age), or music played by a teacher on a Victrola wired into the speakers in the gym. In those days "we" BROUGHT records! One of the "hip" teachers was assigned to give them the thumbs-up, (or down), and make sure they had our names on them. There were only a very few songs disallowed. Ones that we, even today, know, (or believed), to be " risqué ". Songs like "Quarter to Three" by Gary US Bonds...Lighting? Effects? MIXING? Yes, we did have a LOAD of "chaps). And they made SURE of our "style". I had five years of ballroom under my belt by the time I went to my first one. I was told to "knock it off" using PERFECT form with a girl I knew to also be a ballroom gal. Too sexy.

AND WE COULDN'T WAIT TO GO!
 
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djtunes

Checking Reality
Dating myself again...
Keep in mind that I went to school in the days when there WERE none of us. Matter of fact, (and I know I've told this story before), the first one I saw was when I was chapping a dance for my sister in HS, spinning "oldies". Most of the time we had one of the local bands, (usually-but not always- of guys our own age), or music played by a teacher on a Victrola wired into the speakers in the gym. In those days "we" BROUGHT records! One of the "hip" teachers was assigned to give them the thumbs-up, (or down), and make sure they had our names on them. There were only a very few songs disallowed. Ones that we, even today, know, (or believed), to be " risqué ". Songs like "Quarter to Three" by Gary US Bonds...Lighting? Effects? MIXING? Yes, we did have a LOAD of "chaps). And they made SURE of our "style". I had five years of ballroom under my belt by the time I went to my first one. I was told to "knock it off" using PERFECT form with a girl I knew to also be a ballroom gal. Too sexy.




AND WE COULDN'T WAIT TO GO!
I bet she was just about as hot as it gets dancing like that... really!
 

jodi

Active Member
Listen, I love fun school dances, and with the right DJ, kids, etc... they can be a blast, and the kids will always figure out a way to dance.

But, things are different then ( _____ fill in the blank _____) years ago for a number of reasons. Here's a few more of my thoughts on the subject:

Dating myself again...
Keep in mind that I went to school in the days when there WERE none of us. Matter of fact, (and I know I've told this story before), the first one I saw was when I was chapping a dance for my sister in HS, spinning "oldies". Most of the time we had one of the local bands, (usually-but not always- of guys our own age), or music played by a teacher on a Victrola wired into the speakers in the gym. In those days "we" BROUGHT records! One of the "hip" teachers was assigned to give them the thumbs-up, (or down), and make sure they had our names on them. There were only a very few songs disallowed. Ones that we, even today, know, (or believed), to be " risqué ". Songs like "Quarter to Three" by Gary US Bonds...Lighting? Effects? MIXING? Yes, we did have a LOAD of "chaps). And they made SURE of our "style". I had five years of ballroom under my belt by the time I went to my first one. I was told to "knock it off" using PERFECT form with a girl I knew to also be a ballroom gal. Too sexy.

AND WE COULDN'T WAIT TO GO!

Ha HA - I'm still laughing that Quarter to Three is risque.

So,I grew up in a smallish town, that to this day continues to offer a VERY popular Social Dance series for the young people in the community. I started in 5th grade, and by high school also had 5 solid years of Cha Cha, Fox Trot and Swing under my belt, and also had danced for 5 years with guys who I knew could dance ... and I gained oodles of confidence. Although, we never felt it was sexy dancing. :)

A) Since when don't kids know how to dance and B) Since when did that matter?

I guess growing up in the day of "American Bandstand", "Shindig" and "Soul Train" had its advantages.

Well - it matters only because this generation is super aware of "how they look". Let's call it Text, Email, Camera Phones, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter ... and more. So ... if you don't know how to do it, you can be caught for all time in an "Epic Fail".

*Exception to above is binge drinking (and then of course, no one cares) When I was that age, we didn't have Cotton Candy and Cake flavored vodka...

And yes, - Shindig, American Bandstand, Soul Train, Movie Musicals, and local TV dance shows all had their place in modeling to kids dance moves and the dance behavior that now is modeled by music videos and drinking fueled reality shows. Push front and back dancing, and ankle grabbing is "not dancing", and is scary to parents. So, what I meant by "they don't know how to dance" is that they don't know how to dance in a way where they have fun, are not embarrassed that they aren't cool, and a way that doesn't make parents and chaperones gasp in fear there will be a dance reunion at the maternity ward in 9 months.
 

Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
Well then. I hope that you all do a magnificent job. MAKE them irresistibly fun. The degree of "social retardation" I see these days is quite disheartening.
 

KennyZail

Caffiend
Yes - I think Jodi nailed it.
Kids don't know how to dance because there are no dances, at least no couple dances. Just line dances and form a circle and show off some moves. It has made it to weddings - many brides and grooms just put their arms on each others shoulders and rock back and forth.
I've been told "one or no slow dances" at middle and high school dances because of the antics.

There are so many cooler things to do - video games, YouTube, texting, the mall, Facebook, etc. Showing up to a dance is now becoming so lame in many areas. Its getting harder to impress kids when all you're playing they can hear on their phone at any time.
School dances used to be big money makers - you would get a local band for next to free and collect at the door. Now many DJs are big bucks, with lighting, video, etc. Its a gamble for schools or the PTA.

Music is now more of an issue in schools than its worth to regulate. Blatant references to sex, alcohol, smoking, gangs, drugs, and violence is the normal. There was no "radio edit" when I started and "radio edit" just means we took the "dirty words" out - not the references to... [all of which is illegal to most of the crowd]

I just don't see school dances gaining strength...some areas will do fine but overall I think we will see further decline. :(
 

robertbenda

Active Member
Anyone consider that the school they are writing about hiring a crappy DJ a few years ago, so kids stopped showing up?

Without actual statistics showing a large scale of information, this is an anecdote. I don't trust anecdotes to tell me what's going on nationwide. We all know some DJs who would be the antithesis of this story - they show up and revitalize a school's dances.

Anecdotes aren't news.
 

jodi

Active Member
Anyone consider that the school they are writing about hiring a crappy DJ a few years ago, so kids stopped showing up?

Without actual statistics showing a large scale of information, this is an anecdote. I don't trust anecdotes to tell me what's going on nationwide. We all know some DJs who would be the antithesis of this story - they show up and revitalize a school's dances.

Anecdotes aren't news.

Yea - the school could've hired a crappy DJ .... that's one possibility. Or, the week before the dance, all of the coaches for all of the teams could have forbid their athletes from going .... or, the fun band and theater kids had a joint production that night .... or, word got out (true? false? who knows?) that the principal was only going to allow oldies, so "no one's going" .... or for this particular school at this particular time, apathy and do nothingness took over for a season ....

See - you're right - it's anecdotal, for sure. We weren't there so we don't know ... and there is a chance the best DJ ever was hired but the publicity, promotion, buzz, excitement and all or any of the of the above scenarios played out, and Mr. Awesome DJ played to a pretty empty room.

Anecdotes aren't news ... but they can be a tool in understanding pop culture. And yes, if the right DJ showed up when those other things aligned (publicity, at least some cool kids buying in, ticket prices right, etc...) the dances could be reborn and get bigger and better and more fun. I agree, and have seen it.

But, things are different - for better or worse..... and that is a fact.
 

robertbenda

Active Member
Yea - the school could've hired a crappy DJ .... that's one possibility. Or, the week before the dance, all of the coaches for all of the teams could have forbid their athletes from going .... or, the fun band and theater kids had a joint production that night .... or, word got out (true? false? who knows?) that the principal was only going to allow oldies, so "no one's going" .... or for this particular school at this particular time, apathy and do nothingness took over for a season ....

See - you're right - it's anecdotal, for sure. We weren't there so we don't know ... and there is a chance the best DJ ever was hired but the publicity, promotion, buzz, excitement and all or any of the of the above scenarios played out, and Mr. Awesome DJ played to a pretty empty room.

Anecdotes aren't news ... but they can be a tool in understanding pop culture. And yes, if the right DJ showed up when those other things aligned (publicity, at least some cool kids buying in, ticket prices right, etc...) the dances could be reborn and get bigger and better and more fun. I agree, and have seen it.

But, things are different - for better or worse..... and that is a fact.

My point was that an anecdote about a school reducing dances does not, a national trend, make. I'd be curious to know if the story is actually repeating, or if it really is just a lazy article with a sensationalist headline.
 

Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
Well, I guess there's only one way to tell!

Let's see what we can do to lure all of you that "DO" schools. As a fully invested part of your biz model. IOW: Covering your daughter's pre-k grad ceremony isn't really what this is about...

Issues such as attendance break out to more than just numbers. It has to do with the demo of the numbers. Participation by admin / PTA counts, as well. issues including, (but in no way limited to), playlist issues, sound issues, lighting, effects, interactivity and of course. $$$.

Put the "shoulda-woulda-coulda" and egos aside, (hahaha! Among DJs! HAHAHA)...straight up numbers. Bookings up? Down? Tighter controls? Looser? Ticket prices? All of the issues that you can base it all on, especially as they affect YOUR show and/or YOUR market. As facts. In a row. Editorialize later.

This venerable forum has been turning raw news into information we can use for a long time, after all, hasn't it?
 

KennyZail

Caffiend
[Yea - the school could've hired a crappy DJ .... that's one possibility. Or, the week before the dance, all of the coaches for all of the teams could have forbid their athletes from going .... or, the fun band and theater kids had a joint production that night .... or, word got out (true? false? who knows?) that the principal was only going to allow oldies, so "no one's going" .... or for this particular school at this particular time, apathy and do nothingness took over for a season .... ]

I've seen that the parents and teachers attending can have a major affect on dances too. Some teachers can't wait to end the dance. Some parents don't care what the kids do. The local culture can have an affect as well. I played a #1 hit song and was told to take it off because it was a gang anthem - what's a DJ to do.
Crappy DJ or good DJ - can the school justify an expensive DJ with the hopes of good attendance? If they pay for a good DJ and have low attendance - heads will roll...
 
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