* so you thiNk you can daNce *

Scott and I were recently asked to be on the committee for a church party. The theme was "international." We chose to be in charge of the entertainment. (I'll take entertainment any day over food.) It worked out great because the food chairman is a gourmet cook and made the most delicious pasta dinner with salad and breadsticks and several kinds of pasta and toppings. I'm not talking spaghetti. It was really amazing wonderful pasta that I don't even know how to make. So the party started out great. We had the people who came bring salads and "international" desserts.

I knew that I wanted to have everyone play "So You Think You Can Dance." My sister, Merilee, created this game and played it at several family reunions, and it's really fun...plus...minimal advance preparation. We also had a warm-up game. As the guests arrived Scott had a sheet with lots of questions about international facts and trivia. It was a good way to get people talking. Meanwhile I passed out a number to each person - a number for one of the ten dances we were going to do. I tried to encourage everyone to plan on participating. I fixed some of the numbers so certain people got certain dances.

Most people were willing to join in...some preferred just watching, but I was surprised and happy at how many got up and danced. Our ward is older - we only have about 20 kids under twelve and 20 teens. We really needed the adults to join in. So I called up all the Number 1's and  had them all stand on the center circle. We started the music (it was the Twist) and they hesitantly started dancing. Then the kids caught on and got it going.
The picture above is the second dance, the Hula. 
 At that point I realized that the kids wanted to dance every dance. So each time I'd say, "All the Number 3's  (or whatever) and all the kids, come to the center circle." They loved it.

One thing I was worried about was running the music AND being in charge. Nothing messes up a party like technical problems with the music. The day before the party I was watching the Today Show and saw a report about an Academy Awards post party. They showed a DJ at the party spinning the records and rocking out to the music. Problem solved - what I needed was a DJ!!! 
I called Mike and Sierra and begged them to come and be my DJ's and run the iPad/music. They walked in with their matching shirts, sunglasses and headphones and made me so happy. Plus no glitches. They knew just when to fade the music out - dancing to the whole song is too long for both the dancers and the audience. And they rocked out to every song just like on TV. 

Dance #3 was the Boot Scootin' Boogie. We had quite a crowd doing that one.

It became quite interactive...lol.
 Our fourth dance was the Jitterbug. Not many people knew the steps - but this mom & daughter sure did. 

Then some younger teens had their 'Harlem Shake' moment. On the Sunday before the party I had told the young men that they could "instigate" the Harlem Shake. (Luckily I knew about this new You Tube trend.) They were so excited and had Mike video them doing it. I tried to explain to the audience what it is.

So here is "the instigator." She came in and for the first 15 seconds everyone just sat still and looked on acting like nothing was happening...as instructed.

Then the music changed and everyone got up and started dancing. It was kind of weak, but fun.
 Next was the Cha Cha. We even had couples get into the cha cha steps. It was cute with good music.
I got all the kids and teens out on the floor with the bishop of the ward in the center and turned on Gangnam Style.  It was fun and funny to see how the kids knew the steps to that dance. I did get nervous about the lyrics in one part. Who has ever listened to the whole song - not me. Hopefully it was 'blurry' on the church speakers.
Number 7 was Irish Step dancing. The guy in the white tee shirt is really from Ireland and he danced quite a jig. The others were good sports for trying. 
This was a favorite...the Macarena. I made the DJ's get out front and lead it. 
Dance Number 10 was The Chicken Dance. It was just silly and loud.

We had a special request for the party to continue with more music and dancing after the official ten dances were finished. The shyness was gone and lots of people got up and rocked out.  

And this was the perfect, spontaneous, finishing touch. 
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