Weekday School Gigs

by Matt Ryan – “School Dance Pro”

March and April are two common months for standardized testing in schools. These tests are used to measure student achievement, and in many cases, serve as the school’s report card on the effectiveness of the education it is providing its students.

Teachers and administrators do everything they can to ensure students are prepared and ready to do their best on the tests. Many schools offer a range of incentives for their students that perform well on standardized tests, everything from final course exam exemptions to a party for students that have perfect attendance during testing week.

Our Annual Tradition

Each year, we perform several such incentive dances at schools we work with. These dances occur during the school day and typically result in several bookings in each school since the incentive dances are sometimes divided by grade level. Unlike normal school dances usually organized by student council or a parent organization, these incentive dances are sponsored by the school’s administration.

When marketing these types of events to schools, keep the following in mind:

  • Pitch the idea! This is something that many schools aren’t currently doing, so may not have a concept of how it looks or would work in their building.
  • Contact the Administration. Principals are the decision-makers for this type of event and will often be footing the bill from their fund.
  • Find out when testing occurs. Be sure your materials arrive in time for schools to plan accordingly.
  • Price accordingly. Schools are always sensitive to price, but for an event that won’t generate revenue, the money comes straight out of their pocket. Since most events occur during the weekday, be sure to consider your opportunity cost (usually nothing) before setting your rate.



  • Matt Ryan is a multi-op DJ business owner, radio personality, developer of School Dance Pros, and educator. Matt has been performing school events, along with many other types of functions, since 1996. Currently Matt Ryan Mobile DJ Entertainment performs approximately 250 events per year, with nearly half of them being school and teen events. Matt is well-known as an air personality on WNCI 97.9, a Top 40 radio station in Columbus, OH, and is a middle school teacher and coach. Matt is able to provide unprecedented insight to other DJs about how school dances are organized. To contact Matt, email Matt@SchoolDancePros.com or visit SchoolDancePros.com.

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