How to Throw a Fun Community Dance Party

New Year's Eve is just one of many excuses to throw a community dance party. Going one step further, a weekly dance party can help inspire a group to come together and share ideas, along with good times. Prior to the online digital music era of the 21st century, house parties and community events were much more common. Fear in the post-911 era, however, has caused people to stay at home more often, perhaps to stay up-to-date with the fear spread by the news media that the world is going to hell. Except in the biggest major cities, night life has calmed down in many places.

One of the problems of the past has been that dances tend to go hand in hand with alcohol consumption, leading to drunk driving arrests and sometimes out of control behavior (captured on video). While booze itself is not necessarily the problem, the combination of booze, loud music and carefree dancing sometimes drives people to act a fool when that's not really why it's important for people to get together. Alcohol is heavily advertised, especially on sports programs, and is engrained in our society. I'm not calling for prohibition 2.0, although I'm no longer that much of a fan of booze. Some of the damage it potentially causes can be long-lasting. The point is that people need to interact more to remind each other that we're all on the same team.

A dance doesn't have to have a crazy DJ who yells nonsense at a crowd. It can still be fun without creating a cheeseball atmosphere. It would be nice if people got together for a community brunch of dinner, talked about issues with pleasant background music, then danced for a few hours to more vibrant music. It can end as a dance or fuse into other entertainment like comedians or magicians. There really are no rules to partying, other than be safe and responsible.

If you do choose a DJ, it doesn't hurt to meet with him or her first to discuss what your group is about and the type of music you want. At one time the purpose of hiring a DJ for a community dance was to have access to a sound system and a vast music library, along with a fun personality. But the days of the DJ being the star of a dance are fading, as there are plenty of ways to provide music for an event on your own. Some people just flip on a streaming service, others use multiple CD players, while the most savvy music people have their own software that plays back like an automated radio station.

A community party should not rely on a DJ's personality to make or break the event. One of the most fun scenarios is when a DJ brings a wireless microphone kit and passes the mic around the dance floor to let people sing along or make wild comments. Ultimately, the purpose of the party should not be to show everyone how silly you are, but how committed you are to being a part of a group that helps its members. The drawing you see on this page is called "Community Dance" and emphasizes a friendly party atmosphere that allows people to have conversations over the music.

Created by Alex Cosper