Awesome Teenage Dance Party Tips Part One
As a parent of a young lady, I know sometimes how out of touch we are with the young minds of a teenager. Our precious little boys and girls are growing up and right before our eyes, are becoming young adults with their own minds, culture and music. Even though we all have our challenges with our growing teenagers, they are our children and we love them dearly... so we often want to do special things for them. Sometimes that special undertaking is the celebration of a birthday, graduation, achievement, coming of age or just something from mom and dad to say "I love you" So, with that in mind, I thought this 2 part blog might be helpful.
As a Vancouver DJ, I am luckier than most parents when it comes to seeing DJ and or karaoke parties that parents put on for their teenage sons and daughters. One of the first mistakes I see is a lack of planning or, there again, out of touch planning. A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind that this party is for your teen, not for you. Don't be overbearing in your influence of what is supposed to be their event. Sure, you have to be conscious of what is being presented at the party or event and you may have to nix certain things, for example, some music choices that your child may want. After all we do want to be good role models for our children. More on music choices in part 2.
Secondly, don't be cheap. I say that in a kind way of course. If your budget is limited, split the costs and pair up with another parent or parents. Have two, or more, celebrations at once. Pay the extra for the experience and services that your DJ, or entertainer, can offer. Music consultation, nice lighting, extra equipment, MC services, party props, game planning and execution plus other extras really can raise the bar and make the celebration much more enjoyable and memorable.
Don't be adverse to having the event a little later in the evening to take advantage of the lighting from the DJ setup. In the summer you can still end at 10 PM and have an hour where the sun is setting and the lighting will be effective. In the fall, winter or spring you can end even earlier. As a DJ in Vancouver, I often see parties and events start the dancing portion of their party too early. In the summer especially, guests are not really ready to dance when the sun is high in the sky.
If you are having the party at your home or outside, always talk to your neighbors and let them know what you are planning and what hours you are planning to run your event in order to ask for their cooperation. Invite them if possible so that they can share in the fun and social aspect of the event.
Do consult with your teen or teens on what music choice they would like. Now, this is an area where you want to be fairly engaged. At the time of this writing, some of the songs young teens and even those older teens, 16 to 18, are into are rap, hip hop artists like Drake, Post Malone, Lil Pump, etc. The music of these artists have a lot of profanity and questionable blatant themes on drug usage and sexual promiscuity. You would really want to work with your DJ at finding clean or alternative suggestions, where possible, in order to keep the event positive and enjoyable for all. You also want to make sure that not just one teen makes the song list. Try to get a number of teens involved so that a variety and balance of musical tastes are represented among the teens. I might add that even though this event might be for the younger crowd, if it is an event to be enjoyed by family, throw in some mainstream music so that you can dance with your teens. I really think teens enjoy it when mom and dad, and other parents, are part of the event and not just relatives paying the bills. It will add to not only a great memory for your teenager, but yourselves also...and take a lot of pictures to share later.
Don't be afraid to put a theme together for the party. It could be an 80's / 90s theme, my 18 year old daughter loves 80's music, or an MTV award show theme, Hawaiian theme or whatever your teen is into. Get them involved in the planning and even making or going to the dollar store to buy props or decorations while you supervise. Maybe a few of their close friends can help in the planning as well. This will make the event even more exciting and your teen will be more engaged knowing that they are getting a party they helped plan.
These ideas are the early planning stages of a successful teen party for your young adults. They can hold true for any aged teen as well. I hope they energize you to think out of the box for a successful and awesome party for your teen. In Part 2, I will give you concrete party ideas and links to fun examples of what you can actually do to make your teen party amazing...so stay tuned.