Activities: Dance

Location

Small Gym

Introduction

The primary activity in the small gym is the dance. Juniors/Seniors will be responsible for playing music and DJing the dance so as to maximize the number of students dancing.

Staff

Juniors/Seniors should take the lead in developing a song list and deciding how to DJ the dance. This will require some students with strong technical skills to setup the necessary equipment, students with a wide musical background and students who are able and willing to "perform" as a DJ. Minimum staffing requirements are listed below:

  • Teacher
  • Lead Juniors/Senior
  • Juniors/Senior
  • Juniors/Senior
  • Juniors/Senior (line dance coordinator)

Duties

The primary duty here is to encourage and facilitate the middle students having fun while they dance.

  • Develop a song list that will last for at least 4 hours (about 80 songs) songs must come from all genre and be appropriate for a middle school dance (this is a significantly tougher standard than for a high school dance because some of our middle school students are only 11-12 years old). See below.
  • Setup tables and equipment before the dance. Setup for this area takes considerably more time than for other areas. Please allow at least 1.5 hours.
  • Verify that DJ equipment and cables is complete, buy cables as needed.
  • Put songs onto the DJ computers and divide them into play lists by song type.
  • Provide a way for students to request songs before the dance so that you have some songs that they specifically requested ready. You might want the supervising teacher to handout and return to you a form that they can use to request songs. You should carefully review these songs to make sure they are appropriate and can be danced to.
  • Setup the large fan to blow air into the gym.
  • Setup computers and projectors to use as decorations.
  • Setup spotlights and stands to use during line dances.
  • Line dance coordinator should get line dance songs and recruit other seniors who can help demonstrate the line dances.
  • Monitor students while dancing to make sure they are not dancing too close "leave room for Jesus" (this has never been a problem).
  • Remind juniors/seniors that they are not allowed to dance with middle school students. Juniors/Seniors should only line dance in the "dance area".
  • Read through Middle School Dance Etiquette Guidelines so that you can watch for students having trouble with that (plus it's just a good read).
  • Plan for at least 3 scheduled events to be held throughout the evening.
  • Run scheduled events.
  • Cleanup area (see list) .

Timeline

Below is a general timeline for when things need to take place to prepare the game room.

  • 2 weeks before: meet as a group to decide on special events, and go over duties begin planning play list.
  • 2 weeks before: get song requests from middle schoolers.
  • 1 week before: finalize scheduled events, make sure you have equipment/prizes.
  • 1 week before: finalize play list and provide all songs to middle school teacher.
  • 1 week before: put songs onto DJ computers and sort into iTunes playlists.
  • 1 week before: give middle school teacher list of scheduled activities.
  • 1 week before: verify that all DJ equipment is present and in working order.
  • 3 days before: bring all supplies and store in supervising teacher's room.
  • 4:00pm: bring supplies to the gym and setup for fun night. (check for practice conflicts)

Scheduled Activities

Below are suggested ideas for scheduled activities. These are events that will happen in your room periodically throughout fun night. The timing of events will be coordinated between the various activities so that students can plan which ones they wish to attend. This is not meant to serve as a complete list. Just some ideas to get you started. Don't be surprised or disappointed when at least one of your events flop.

  • Line Dancing (3 line dance songs in a row) .
  • Slow dancathon (4 slow songs in a row).
  • There are lots of other "wedding dance" type things you could do.
  • Sadie Hawkins dance

Supplies

The DJ equipment and songs are obviously your main supplies.

  • about 80 songs loaded onto 2 computers.
  • about 8 tables arranged across the middle of the gym (2 deep in front of DJ equipment)
  • DJ equipment and all cables (From Server Closet)
  • lift box
  • 3 microphone cables from AV area of closet in gym
  • 1 spot light and wooden base (on stage or in mezzanine)
  • 2 projector carts.
  • 1 iMac computers to run the carts (make sure they have video out in the back).
  • Video switchbox and cables from fun-night box in server closet
  • Video splitter
  • 3 long extension cords from Mr. Wiemer (most outlets in small gym don't work)
  • Yellow extention cords from the server closet
  • Large fan from music storage room.
  •  

Cleanup

In general, the area you are using should be ready for school to start when you leave. This will mean that the area should be in better condition than when we arrived. Remember that we will be using these areas during the custodial staff's normal cleaning time, and it is our responsibility to make sure they are ready for school on Monday or other scheduled events over the weekend.

  • Return all equipment to the correct location.
  • Sweep the gym floor.
  • Turn off lights, lock doors.
  • Help other activities cleanup until all areas are clean

Rules and Guidelines

General school rules apply during fun night. The following rules are meant to help the gym run smoothly.

  • Don't allow students to exit via the outside door.
  • Don't allow students to go behind the tables.
  • Don't allow students to simply goof off and run around in the dance.
  • Encourage students to follow "dance etiquette" as much as you are able.
  • Don't allow students to touch any of the DJ equipment.
  • Don't allow food/drink in the gym.
  • Don't let students dance too close (and watch the hands too).

Developing a Song List

All songs must be appropriate, and you have to be able to dance to them. You should have multiple songs available from many different genre of music. You should also include "classic" wedding dance type songs. Concentrate on newer songs, but you should set aside at least a third of your play list for older songs as well. fiql.com and iTunes music store play lists are a good spot for song ideas. fiql.com lets you preview the songs and print lyrics too, which can be helpful when deciding if the song is okay for 6th graders.

There are lots of links like this that you can use for ideas too. Or just google for Dance Mix or Wedding Dance Playlist or anything like that. Mr. Sommerer keeps a complete Middle School Dance on his iPhone just in case.

As of 2009, we have an iTunes account with a pretty good selection of dance songs. Ask Mr. Sommerer to buy a $25.00 iTunes gift cart and use $10.00 for any new songs that you need. Save the other $15.00 to buy songs that are requested at the dance. DO NOT play any songs at the dance if you have not listened to them before to determine if the are okay for 10-11 year olds.

DJing, some advice..

  • As Djs, you'll have to decide when to wait and see if a song catches on and when to cut your loses and move on.
  • Practice with the equipment. You'll want to be able to do cross fades without thinking about it, and be able to cue up songs in a hurry.
  • Don't be afraid of the microphone. Talk up the crowd (but don't talk down to them).
  • If they are not dancing, it might be that you are doing something wrong.
  • Mixing up different types of songs is great, but play a few slow songs in a row, because it takes middle schools a while to get up the nerve to ask someone to dance.
  • Specialty songs: As a DJ you MUST explain what is going on. Otherwise you will confuse (and potentially embarrass) the students.
  • Snowball Dance: where you start with just two people and every 30 seconds they breakup and go get a new partner from the people who are not dancing.
  • Ladies Choice: where the gals have to ask the guys.
  • Silly Dances: YMCA, Chicken Dance, Hokie Pokie...