The Danceless Reception

Dance-less Reception

By Robert Riley, “DJ Mastermind”

First of all let me welcome you to Arkansas, my home state, where we have more churches than Wal-Marts, and that’s saying something as we are the home state of Wal-mart. Now why do I make mention of how many churches we have here? The reason is  because of the denominations, in the state of Arkansas there are as many way to have a wedding as there are Harry Potter™ Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

With that being said I want to focus on just one of those styles of reception that, we seem to see more here lately: The Danceless Reception

The Danceless Reception:

The newest trend on the horizon in our area, seems to come from brides who feel  that they are normally the first to leave when the lights go down low and the music is turned way up high, Unlike most wedding guests they aren’t looking for music and dancing at the end of their wedding. They want more of a  a laid-back rustic style wedding, and would prefer light conversation with guests over a conga round the dance floor, for these clients the danceless dance is perfect.

As entertainers, we have the very special job of helping provide the atmosphere, and keeping the guests entertained… Even more emphasis falls on the MC potion of the show as well as helping your clients design the perfect night as planners. Here are just a few way you can help them design the perfect night.

 1. Location, Location, Location

Beautiful surroundings create the perfect backdrop for good conversation. Ideally the reception space will be away from other busy restaurants, or bars, as you won’t have any loud music to drown out background noise. Light music, such as light jazz can be the perfect background for these locations, as an entertainer remember the job here is to make a perfect atmosphere for guest communications, the emphasis is more focused on guest interaction than on music choice.

2. Timing

An afternoon wedding, with an early evening wedding dinner, creates the expectation of an evening full of dancing. in the case of a danceless reception having you client choose a brunch or breakfast wedding will allow them to enjoy high tea on the lawn with their guests, before the reception ends at dusk.

3. Conversation starters

The Wedding favors can prove to be an excellent conversation starter. Helping your clients choose gifts that are variations on a theme will encourage guests to wander around the room to discover what other people were given. For example,  beautiful pictures featuring the bride and groom on each table are a perfect gift and their guests may want to swap with each other, so everyone can have their favorite picture. Other fun ideas include favorite football teams, or favorite hobbies. Some small, little gift that gets the guests moving, This also will help the MC with an icebreaker at each table.

4. Guest Agendas
Anytime we do a danceless reception I encourage my clients to include a note in your wedding invite that lays out the plans for the day, including what the  entertainment will be. Simply telling your guests that you will be ‘retiring to the garden for sparkling conversation, lawn games, and with any luck a beautiful sunset’ makes it clear enough that dancing until midnight is not on the agenda.

5. Provide Entertainment

Our job as entertainers, is to make sure that each and every guest is having a good time, in this case our job is more subdued, to the point that we are playing more of a host role instead of entertainers role, The MC must be more layed back, and encouraging your clients to provide a mixture of lawn games and giant sized board games, will make this job much easier, or providing them yourself as an entertainment company makes sure that the guests stay entertained.  Many guests will be so absorbed in conversation, the time will fly by, but others will appreciate a little more entertainment. Vintage copies of classic board games left on tables makes a nice invitation to play, and helps continue the danceless rception feel.


  • “Purveyor of music across decades and styles in a perfect mix .”

    That’s how Robert describes himself as a entertainer. Never afraid to have fun, his wedding receptions are a perfect mix of Broadway style blocking and transitions and good old southern charm. Having grown up on his families eclectic combination of Outlaw country, (Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson), 70's -80's Hard Rock, (Kiss, Iron Maiden), and synth-infused pop 80s (Prince, Alan Parsons Project)… all which became infused with his own love for both early hip-hop and southern rock music, Robert ended up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence. Today, this translates into sets that will take you back into yesteryear and send you flying into today's hottest hits without ever missing a groove,
    A very active member of his local community, Robert is no stranger to the ups-and-downs of a small-town music scene. Though he loves playing in nightclubs, patios and special events, his love for music goes beyond the spectrum of mixing tunes. As a wedding entertainer he found a love for making the perfect show seamless, from those very first introductions till the final dance is played, every moment is like a beautifully choreographed Broadway show, where the stars are the Wedding Party.
    “For me, it’s all about making that day seamless, to let the wedding party and their guests relax and enjoy the day, knowing that everything is handled"

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