If you want to be sure your guests bust a move (or simply sing along!), you will want to make sure you include fabulous dance party songs on your playlist.
Picking the Perfect Dance Party Song
The first thing you should take into consideration when choosing songs for your party is who your guests will be. While teenagers may enjoy pop or hip-hop tunes, a middle-aged audience may be more geared towards country or contemporary party music. A retirement crowd may enjoy golden oldies or big band favorites.
Having a generational mix of people at your party will require more deft song planning. You want to be sure to mix up the playlist. Include a little bit of each genre, using crossover hits to segue into the next.
Most people enjoy a mix of slow and fast songs, with the majority at a moderate beat, to keep them dancing longer. Follow up several upbeat tunes with a slow dance to allow time for your dancers to revitalize.
If you are not sure where to begin your dance party song playlist, consider the following suggestions. They have been grouped according to the main age group of the party you are throwing.
Planning a teen party dance song list may be the easiest. You can watch MTV, VH1, or listen to the local hip-hip/pop radio station for clues to the top songs of the moment. The younger generation often likes classic rock tunes from the seventies and eighties as well. Add these songs to your playlist to get your teen party started:
- Hey Ya by OutKast
- In da Club by 50 Cent
- Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake
- Crazy in Love by Beyonce
- Gold Digger by Kanye West
- Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leopard
Twenty or Thirty-Something Party
A playlist for a dance party geared towards those in their twenties and thirties will run similar to your teen party list. This age group would appreciate a good mix of popular music, classic rock, 1980's hits, and early rap/hip-hop from the '90's. In addition to popular tunes, consider adding:
- Billie Jean or Beat It by Michael Jackson
- Paradise City by Guns 'n' Roses
- Shoop by Salt 'n' Peppa
- You Got the Look by Prince
- This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
Forties and Up Party
If you are hosting a dance party for persons in their forties or older, you want to have a nice mix of contemporary rock, classics from the seventies and eighties, and a large selection of golden oldies. Crossover country hits may be a big success with this age group, depending on the area of the country/tastes of your guests. You could include some big-band music as well, to get them swinging.
The following songs make a good mix of dance party songs for the adult party crowd:
- It's Your Love by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
- Fantasy by Mariah Carey
- Jump, Jive an' Wail by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
- Dancing Queen by Abba
- The Twist by Chubby Checker
- The Locomotion by Grand Funk Railroad
Great Party Themed Songs
If you want to get your dance party rocking, add in a few songs that are meant for partying. These can include:
- Where the Party At by Jagged Edge
- Freak Out by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
- Everybody Dance Now by C&C Music Factory
- Celebration by Kool & the Gang
With any songs you choose, test them out on a few friends before adding them to your playlist. This can eliminate any songs that may not be a good fit for your crowd. Use mix CDs, a multi-CD changer programmable stereo, upload them to your computer, or even use your iPod for projecting the sound.
To get more ideas for popular and historical hits to add to your dance party song list, visit the "charts" section of Billboard. As always, LoveToKnow is interactive, so feel free to add your own favorite dance party songs!