Essential Steps for Planning an Unforgettable Dance Birthday Party

Many fine details go into planning the perfect birthday party. Creating a list of essential steps can help ensure that everything gets done.

Identify your budget and guest list. This will help you hone in on a venue and menu options that best suit your group.

Gather friends for a throwback to their favorite decade with costumed party ideas and d├ęcor. Or get artistic and create a unique piece of pottery everyone can take home with one of the most fun adult parties.

Venue

Ensure a large, well-lit dance floor if your guests want to dance all night. You can also hire a professional DJ to play popular dance hits, or you could create a party playlist and ask all your guests to contribute their favorite tracks when you send out the invites. To make it more organized and successful, you can hire a DivaDance party planner professional so everything is set in your dance party, and all you need to do is participate and enjoy.

If alcoholic beverages are being served, consider hiring a professional bartender to provide top-notch service and add extra entertainment for your guests. Or, for a fun and quirky touch, try a flair bartender who can juggle, flip, and perform magic tricks with drinks in hand.

Backyards, community centers, and private studio spaces are great options for a dance party. Many of these venues have spacious dance floors that are perfect for dancing. If your party has a darker theme, you can even find dark-themed spaces on Peerspace, like this artistic studio space that’s been painted black. The best part is that you can rent these spaces by the hour! Easily browse space listings with high-def photos, detailed descriptions by the local hosts, reviews from past renters, and upfront pricing.

Music

Music is one of the most essential elements in any party. Whether it’s to set the mood or inspire guests to dance, the right songs can make or break your party.

When choosing music, try to create a mix with many different artists and tempos so that the song choices flow naturally and don’t sound repetitive. It’s also good to have a selection of slower, more relaxing music (either on a separate playlist or as a CD) for when the party starts winding down and guests are ready to head home.

A great way to tie your party’s music together is to choose songs from the decade that fit your theme, such as groovy ’60s, disco ’70s, sexy ’80s, or wild ’90s. This is a fun way to give your party a more specific feel that helps guests relate to the event. Another option is to hire a tribute band or celebrity impersonator to entertain the guests. This type of entertainment will surely be a hit with everyone, especially the birthday honoree!

Food

Once the theme and entertainment are set, it’s time to focus on food and drinks. Decide whether your party will serve a full meal, buffet, or appetizers. If it’s dinnertime, consider the birthday person’s favorite meal or something that ties into the event’s theme.

A few snacks can go a long way to keep guests happy and full between meals, especially during an evening dance party. Try pizza or a simple spread of finger foods such as chips, dips, and skewers for a quick and easy option. Breakfast or brunch is also a great option if you plan an early celebration.

Make a headcount to know how much food and drink to prepare. To avoid going over budget, opt for items that can be stored or frozen ahead of time and purchase nonperishables closer to party time. If you need help figuring out exactly how much to order, download my free printable party food guide to figure out exactly how much to serve. It’s always better to have too much food than not enough, and leftovers can easily be turned into eclectic lunches and dinners for the next few days.

Theme

When planning your party, the first step is deciding on a theme. This will set the tone for the rest of your decisions, from food to entertainment. Consider the birthday person’s interests, hobbies, favorite movies/celebrities, colors, flowers, a period or decade, etc.

For example, if your guest loves to dance, plan a dance-themed party with a DJ and plenty of glow sticks. Alternatively, you can have a game night with fun card games like Pictionary or Taboo, where guests have to guess words without using certain “taboo” words.

Another fun theme is a costume party. Whether it’s a flapper dress-inspired Great Gatsby party or a scary monster mash-up, your guests can dress up in their best costumes to get into character.

Entertainment

A dance party is a fun addition to any celebration, from a birthday or holiday party to a bachelorette party or costume-themed event. Choose a venue that can accommodate live entertainment, like an instructor/DJ pair, to make the night more fun and memorable.

If you can’t afford a professional DJ, consider asking everyone to contribute a playlist they’ll share on social media or include in the party invites. Then turn on the music and get dancing!

If you’re hosting a themed dance party, use props to help guests follow along. You can also host a contest where guests draw slips of paper with a popular dance movie or move and act it out. The first team to guess correctly wins a prize or gets a special shout-out at the end of the evening. Be sure to provide plenty of drinks, too. People will get thirsty after a long night of dancing! A buffet with finger foods is a good option, or ask guests to bring something to share.

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