by Betsy Fischer, M.Ed.
In my last post I discussed the topic of children’s events and how so many DJs are missing out on the opportunities that entertaining at these events can provide. So, have you taken the plunge and begun hokey-pokeying and chicken dancing with the wee ones?
If your answer is, “Yes,” then good for you!! I hope you are having a great time, and reaping the benefits of partying with children.
Today’s tiny tots are tomorrow’s ambassadors to hire you for:
- Communion Parties
- Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
- Sweet 16s
- Middle School Dances
- High School Graduation Parties
- Sophomore Dances
- Junior and Senior Proms
In addition, these kids most likely have parents who host parties, or work in businesses that host holiday parties…I’m sure you get the idea.
If your answer is “No,” then what are you waiting for? Perhaps you are nervous, unsure, or wondering exactly what it takes to entertain at a kids’ party. Well, I am going to tell you, and assure you that you’ve got what it takes!
Nerves of Steel
Not really necessary if you are already an interactive DJ Entertainer. If you currently possess the talent and energy to get up in front of a large group of people, make announcements and lead line dances, games and contests, then you are all set.
If you already do this with adults, you most certainly can do this with kids. People often talk about the difficulty of dealing with kids, especially bratty on misbehaving ones. Well, if you already have experience dealing with drunken, disorderly, sometimes badly behaved adults, it’s really not so much of a leap, is it?
Having entertained at adult parties in my Groove Lounge, I can honestly say that a room full of drunk grown-ups is just as challenging (if not more so) than a room full of kids.
Eyes in the Back of Your Head
OK, so maybe not exactly, but you definitely always need to BE AWARE of what’s going on in the room, especially if you have lots of toddlers at your event.
Most parents are concerned about the safety and whereabouts of their child, but sometimes, in a party environment, while they are busy eating, drinking, or chatting with their friends and family, many parents lose track of their child, or adopt that “it takes a village” approach and assume that other guests or the DJ are looking out for their kid.
I have definitely had to stop a limbo contest or relay race because some little one toddled across the dance floor and was about to get run over. I’ve made announcements on the mic like,” Who belongs to this child?” I really don’t want any child getting hurt at an affair, and, just as importantly, I don’t want to get hurt myself!
I was once entertaining at a large family event, doing the Cha-Cha-Slide, and just when it came to “Take it back y’all,” there was a toddler behind me and I actually fell over this kid. Thank goodness the child wasn’t hurt, but I fell hard on my butt and certainly didn’t appreciate that some parent allowed their kid to crawl around on the dance floor during a large group line dance.
So, as an interactive DJ entertainer, you must always watch the dance floor and make sure EVERYONE is safe!
The Patience of a Saint
It goes without saying that you absolutely need to have patience to deal with a room full of excited children who want to be entertained; however, if you go into your event organized and well-prepared for several hours of interactive games, dances, contests and activities — and you are able to keep the kids occupied and happy, then you really reduce the need to tap into that reservoir of patience you have deep inside.
I personally LOVE to dance with and entertain kids. I find their energy and enthusiasm so uplifting and exciting, and when everyone is up and participating, singing at the top of their lungs and dancing with abandon, there really is nothing better.
Of course, I’m no saint myself, and do occasionally have my patience tested. Once in a while there is a guest at an event who questions or complains about everything –- what team he/she is on, who answered the trivia question the fastest, who got there first in Coke and Pepsi, why’d you play her request before mine, or, he wants a blue tambourine, not a red one, etc., etc., etc.
When faced with a child like this, I find it best to just smile and not pay too much attention to him or her. I prefer to lavish my attention on the kids who ARE doing what you want them to do. After being ignored for a while, the difficult youngster will usually “get with the program.” And, sometimes with a little bit of positive attention, a child will become your biggest fan!
What are your biggest joys and challenges with entertaining people under three-feet tall?
Betsy Fischer, M.Ed. – “Girls with Gigs”
|Betsy Fischer, M.Ed. is a DJ, Event Planner, Dance and Zumba Instructor, Choreographer and Entrepreneur. She is the 2010 winner of the “Best New Dance” and runner up “Entertainer of the Year” at the “DJ of the Year” competition held at the International DJ Expo. She is the proud owner/operator of Betsy Fischer’s Groove Lounge, a dance and party venue located in southern NJ. Her mobile DJ business, Party Dancing with Betsy Fischer, LLC, entertains at a variety of events throughout NJ and PA. Betsy is a member of NJDJN and NAME. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and is a NJ State Certified Elementary Teacher and a Teacher of the Handicapped. Betsy received her Master’s Degree from Temple University, where her studies focused on including handicapped children in the performing arts. Betsy’s website is GrooveLounge.net and you can email her at Betsy@GrooveLounge.net. View posts by Betsy|