Sometimes, cheese is good.

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Marketing Moderator
Saturday night, I had a 50th birthday party for a husband and wife. It was somewhat a formal affair. All the guys were in suits and all the women in nice outfits. There were about 50 guests and the average age was around 50. The plan was to have dinner, then the cake cutting, then into dancing for the rest of the night. Everything was going along lively, with a lot of visiting and animated conversations. Unfortunately, when the cake cutting was done, and the dance music started, the first few songs didn't produce any dancing at all. I thought, oh great, another one of these types of night.

But, I wasn't deterred. I figured, what the heck! Let's try something a bit silly, to see if I couldn't get these folks out of their seats. BTW, there really wasn't a dance floor, per se - only an open space on the carpet. Plus, the room was very small, so I just left my speakers on the floor. Anyway, I threw caution to the wind, and put on "Ice, Ice, Baby" by Vanilla Ice (one of the cheesiest songs ever, IMO). That did the trick. Followed up with "Funky Cold Medina," "Baby Got Back" and "Push It." For the rest of the night, they were mine. Don't really remember the rest of my playlist. It kinda took on a personality of its own. Even had them doing a conga line with "Hot, Hot, Hot" by Buster Poindexter. All-in-all, a kick-butt night.

I don't know how some of you can remember your entire playlist for dancing. I can usually remember the first few songs, then I just go with whatever I think will work from there, sometimes changing songs at the last minute to something I think might work better.

Mark Evans

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
Tom - pretty much every DJ program has a history you can pull up to see what was played. I usually take that and make it a nice PDF to send to the couple after the wedding.


Certifiable Member
I made a living off cheese! still do in fact! But I do not consider any of those songs cheese. They are fun songs that everybody knows and can relate to. In my opinion "cheese" is the DJ that likes to lead dances, kinda like an aerobics instructor and doesn't shut up! that's cheese.



Active Member
Rather than thinking of these songs as cheese, maybe you should think of them as hits from when that age bracket was in their 20's.

What songs did you try to start?


Active Member
I made a living off cheese! still do in fact! But I do not consider any of those songs cheese. They are fun songs that everybody knows and can relate to. In my opinion "cheese" is the DJ that likes to lead dances, kinda like an aerobics instructor and doesn't shut up! that's cheese.


Fun and cheese aren't the same, and I also tend to Paul's above description of an atypical cheesy DJ.

So, I "can" be the hippest DJ you know - and I can go toe to toe or head to head with anyone re: indie music (Yes hipster wedding client, Avett Brothers, Dirty Projectors, Freelance Whales, and tUnE-yArDs are SOOOO cool!)

But, the party I DJed that was literally the CHEESIEST party I ever did is the gift that keeps on giving.

Over 10 years ago, a friend of mine who is a catering manager joined a new church, and offered to be their social chair person. She asked me to DJ the new members dinner/dance/mixer on a Friday night. She said it would be about 50 people. The week before the party, she said she decided to theme it, and was calling it "The Tacky Party". She told me to do my thing, but not to be afraid of cheese :)

Well - let me tell you - the guests bought into it, and came wearing tacky clothes, BYOB-ing Boones Farm and PBR, and bringing some crazy stuff for the centerpiece contest.

The guests absolutely bought into every song and "bit" I did... think every bit of cheese, questionable, and overused music you can think of. What a blast!

It turns out this was a perfect group for a wedding DJ, because people join a church because they are getting married, or their "kids" are getting married. Within two years of that party, I did 5 weddings directly related to that event, and to this day, I can still trace referrals to "C & D's wedding" which I know came from "A & Bs wedding" which I know came from The Tacky Party. Most of these parties have had a moment or two of cheese-owning ... but mostly just fun parties!

By the way - my friend got transferred shortly after, and that church never again had a party like that ... I even offered to help plan it and DJ it for free (So much fun, and cheaper than a bridal show ha ha) but that was a one time right place perfect storm .......

Anyhoo - thanks for letting me share! (And good job Tom making sure your birthday party was fun!)


MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Songs are like tools. use the right one for the right job. The first lesson I learned years ago was to keep my own likes and dislikes out of the mix. If you hate the song, know it works, press play, go to the Hawaiian Islands for 4 minutes. (Repeat if neccessary until you have exhausted your guests;))


Gear and Equipment Moderator
Tom -
I don't have to remember my playlist for any given night....VDJ does it for me via the history files. Sounds like you had a fun time and they did too .... Hooray for CHEESE!


Active Member
I would have considered "Ice Ice Baby" to be a longshot as well.
But being a person who is turning 50 this Thursday....
it occurs to me that I am the PEREFCT age for that song.


The Next Generation DJ
Hell when ever I start working an old school set which is most weddings aside from a very country event. I have great response from ice ice and can't touch this. Never been cheese to me and always goes over well. Given I'm 52 and remember disco very well. Back then you were either rock or disco and mostly the gals were disco. So putting on stuff like that seems to get the 50 year olds dancing just fine. I never play for the guys any way. Getting the women to dance gets the guys out there just to be part of the fun. I had a wedding this year were alot of the relatives where from Canada. I was out on the floor leading a bunch of people singing to our bride and groom a certain song I play called the floor packer. Its a nice mix of "shook me all night long, living on a prayer and don't stop believing. I had about 5 of the brides aunts all about my age rush the dance floor and had all of them dancing with me. One even came up behind me and with both hands and grabbed my a$$ it cracked me up, I turned and looked at her and pointed to my butt and said can't touch this and had them all laughing. Like its been said one brides cheese is another brides treasure. )

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Songs are like, tools. ;) are some DJs...LOL!

I agree with pretty much all the previous... "cheese" is an affectation of the performer more than the song, unless you're playing Richard Cheese or any of the purposely cheesy remakes, (Pat Boone, et al). Fun is fun, if the crowd is into what's happening then it's not cheesy, it's proper.


Great posts here. Ice Ice Baby always works for me (even though I'm super duper tired of hearing it :p). From there I go into Jump On It, Funky Cold Medina, Bust A Move, or sometimes Billie Jean. Lots of options to play before or after it.

What I define as "cheese" would be Macarena, Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance, etc. but I've also had those rock the floor on occasion too. You just never know.
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