‍Does Size Matter? Thats an age-old question and the more people you ask, the more answers you’ll receive. When it comes to dance floors though, “the BIGGER the BETTER”, is not necessarily the way to go, thus in regard to your party, when you ask, “does size matter”, my response is ABSOLUTELY!

The prevailing industry thought is there are a couple of basic rules of thumb to keep in mind when considering which dance floor dimensions to choose. The first is typically 60%-70% of your guest will be on the floor at any give time (this number can increase with the right DJ) and secondly, you should allot between 4 and 5 square feet of the floor for each of those persons (personal space, anyone?).

To do the math, let’s say you play to have 150 total guest in attendance, meaning approximately 90-105 of your loved ones, kids and closest friends will be rockin’ out on the floor at the same time. If you multiply that number by 4, it would equate to you needing between 360 and 420 sq ft. According to these common beliefs that would have you reserving a venue with a 21x21ft dance floor and, regardless of any common thoughts or beliefs, I can tell you from experience, that’d be a tremendous mistake!

I’m certain these “common beliefs” and “rules of thumb” worked for somebody at some point, but if you’re looking to throw a high-energy dance party, that someone is not you!

The reason this equation allows for 4 square feet of space per person on the dance floor is so that everyone can feel not at all crowded and comfortable at all times. This is a tremendous thought process for a tea party, but not so much for a Mitzvah.

If you will, I’ll ask that for just a moment you close your eyes and think back to the best parties you’ve been to over the span of your life. Mentally, relive those moments: dancing face-to-face with the man of your dreams, fist-pumping side-by-side with your buddies and singing your heart out to your favorite old-school songs with both arms around the shoulders of your best friends in the whole world… Think of the feeling you felt. The smile on your face. The synergy that passed from person to person on that floor. At those “once in a lifetime” parties, those nights you’ll never forget, you rarely felt singular. There was a oneness about the entire affair. You felt like a part of something bigger than yourself. It was a celebration of life and you were all dancing to the same drum.

And one of the reasons you felt so connected, is because you were constantly in contact with the people you loved. They were all around you. It was a shared experience.

Conversely, what a large dance floor does (4 sq ft per person), is it takes away from that connection and lends to attendees feeling merely like “couples”, tiny cliques, or even singular individuals. Everyone may be listening to the same music, but they aren’t partying “together”.

For perspective, I once threw what could have been an EPIC party with a wonderful family who had upwards of 180 guests (approx 120 on the floor all night) on a 21x21ft floor. The music was great, the guests were dancing, but the floor was so large that it felt consistently felt empty. There was a disconnect amongst those on it. So no matter how much fun the crowd was having, we were never able to reach that “next level”.

Many of the best mitzvahs take place at venues where the floor appears to be too small for the number of guests. Lakewood Country Club, in Rockville, Md. is perhaps the best example of this. What often ends up ensuing in this scenario is a fun-filled night where kids and adults party together and the dancing seemingly never stops. The energy and emotion is transferred from person-to-person. The passion passes from one to the next. Everyone is touched by the same feeling, because they’re in it together and ultimately, it ends up being a night to remember.

Again, there are basic “rules of thumb” and countless equations to quantify these things, but you shouldn’t use any singular chart or metric in determining the size of your dance floor– there are mitigating factors: the average age of your adults, if you have a “dancing crowd” and do you have an overwhelming number of teenage boys (who may or may not be prone to wrestling on the dance floor…in which case, “BIGGER may BE BETTER”), but in my estimation, as opposed to 4 sq ft alotted, I’d consider 2 sq ft per person on the dance floor.

(And you should also anticipate approx 90% of your crowd partying at the same time…ya know, if I’m your MC!)

😉

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