Professional Development, and what makes wedding guests dance.

In North America, every city and town has mobile DJs. Many DJs are what I would call “jack of all trades”. They DJ in clubs and bars, host trivia and karaoke nights, DJ the local school dances in addition to weddings and corporate events.  They have to be diverse to have enough work. But what makes a DJ, a great wedding DJ?

I feel very fortunate that in Toronto, Maximum Music has been able to specialize in weddings.  We have a wedding first focus for everything from our equipment to the DJs that I choose to work with.

To me, staying in front of wedding DJ trends is why professional development is crucial to our business and its growth.   Every year in March, around 1000 members of the mobile DJ community gather in Las Vegas for a convention. I have been able to connect with wedding DJ professionals that share our wedding first focus.

In March 2018 I had my eyes opened at a workshop by Michael Walter.  He runs a successful wedding DJ company in New Jersey that services the commuter communities to New York City.  His seminar spoke to what makes people dance; specifically at weddings where you are bringing together your friends, co-workers, and university buddies and putting them in the same room as your families.  Talk about diversity!

To summarize he identified, and I completely agree, that there are three types of people.

Dancers – These are DJs’ favourite, and they are easy to spot!  They are the first to the dance floor and are having fun during dinner with all of your games and activities.  They love music and dancing is natural.  DJs LOVE dancers!

Sitters – There are guests that are not comfortable dancing, it is not natural to them and, frankly, dancing is not fun for them.  They are there to celebrate and they are as likely to love music as much as the dancers.  They don’t dance and that is OK.

Skeptics – This is where a good reception can become a great reception.  Skeptics will dance but are not as crazy and outgoing as the dancers.  If the music is right and perhaps they have had a few drinks dancing will follow.  They will come to the floor on their own terms when they are comfortable.  They do not want to feel threatened, or feel like dancing could lead to embarrassment.

We had a staff meeting and discussed this premise and it was like the light came on for us.  We are at your wedding to facilitate you and your guests having fun, not to coax or guilt your guests to dance.  If we are attentive to the crowd and are playing good music they will come out and dance.

So, what makes wedding guests dance? Well…

A bad DJ will still get the dancers on the floor but will piss off the sitters by trying to “make them dance” by talking on the mic or trying to force them to dance.  A bad DJ will never earn the trust of the skeptics because this DJ will not make the dance floor a safe space to have fun and be judgment-free.


A great DJ will get the dancers up, will respect that the sitters are having fun, and will not play games, talk, or otherwise embarrass the skeptics so they can get up when they feel good and have fun.

This is what we do! Our best compliments are when guests who were not expecting to dance, end up on the dance floor because we let the party run its own course.  they felt comfortable coming out to the dance floor on their own terms.  This is how we have come to be known as the best wedding DJs in Toronto.

Are you a dancer, a sitter, or a skeptic!?

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