Pro DJs know exactly what makes a great party (they’ve entertained at more than we can count!), so we asked some of Atlanta’s top Mitzvah DJ/Entertainers for their best tips on choosing the right entertainer and how to make your Mitzvah celebration amazing.
Mike Walsh, Amp’d Entertainment
- Ask lots of questions of your Mitzvah kid to make sure you’re planning the party that he or she envisions. Meet with your entertainment partner early on so everyone’s on board with that vision and can come up with the ideal party plan.
- Games are not “out” as long as they’re fresh, interactive, and use new, hot music! Depending on the personality of your family and guests, we could explore parents vs. kids or boys vs. girls dance off, DJ scratch lessons or a true club-style DJ duel.
- Don’t break up the party too much with special elements like parent/child dances, montage and speeches. Put those all in one block so you can keep the dance floor moving the rest of the party!
Vlad Gorenshteyn, Party Express
- When selecting your entertainment vendor, don’t be afraid to check every reference you can, from online reviews to friend recommendations, and ask for a past client list to speak with as you narrow down your choices. A face to face gut-check meeting is also recommended.
- A great partner is going to put together the entertainment plan that’s right for YOUR party, guests and budget – whether it’s a DJ/MC, or a combo package with live band entertainment. (If your Mitzvah kid is an instrumentalist or singer, they can even perform with our band for a special presentation!)
- Music and flow is key to everyone having a great time. Trust your entertainment partner to play the songs you want, but also allow for them to take their cues from your guests and be creative to elevate the energy in the room.
Daniel Espeut, Espeute Productions
- Book your entertainer early! The date-dependent party elements are first on your to-do list: 1. Venue 2. Entertainment. Make sure your whole family meets with your DJ so you can get to know each other and establish a comfort level before the big weekend.
- Putting the hora at the beginning, right after introductions, is a great way to kick off the celebration with lots of energy and guests on the dance floor. We love to take the Mitzvah kid up in the chair twice, at the beginning and the end of the hora, so that they can have the spotlight on them and savor being surrounded by their loved ones and lifted up HIGH!
- Your entertainer is your master of ceremonies, so let the pro handle it if things start to go off your timeline or you want people to take their seats/get up and dance. If you try to control every detail, it’s going to look obvious to your guests that you’re not in the party mindset. Better still, hire a day-of event coordinator to work in tandem with your entertainer – then you won’t have a worry the entire day!
Cathy Schwartz, Atlanta Fever Entertainment
- We put great thought into the right team for each family. If the guest of honor is shy, we pick an MC and party motivators who are best able to make him/her feel comfortable. If the Mitzvah kid loves the spotlight, we’ll choose the right entertainers to play off that energy. Look for responsiveness and a good rapport with your entertainment team!
- Whether you’ve got kids attending who’ve never attended a Mitzvah celebration before, or some who’ve been to 50, our party motivators can engage all personalities by teaching them dances, giving them incentives to get into a game, and finding new ways to help them feel comfortable.
- Parents set the tone for the party. If you want your guests to dance, you need to dance! To keep the party flow going, make the parent speeches short and sweet before the Motzi. If you’re planning on a candlelighting, we think that’s a great element to add to your Shabbat dinner plans instead of during the dance party.
Ben Needle, DJ Neezy Entertainment
- All DJs provide party music, but get to the root of why your potential entertainment partner chose this job. If that jives with your vision for your celebration, then that’s who you want to work with! Share important details so that your entertainment partner can best navigate your guests. Let us know if the in-laws from Philly are amazing dancers, or if it’s cousin Jennifer’s birthday, or if Uncle Marty should never get the mic – that info helps us ensure everyone has a great time!
- We can’t fight technology use during a party, so why not embrace it? In addition to other activities, we can create a Snapchat dance contest to get kids involved – best dance video with effects wins a prize! – or have them participate in a digital party scavenger hunt.
- It’s the DJs job to find great crossover songs that’ll get the young and old out on the dance floor. But know that not every kid wants to be at the center of the action. As long as they’re doing what they want and enjoying themselves, it’ll be a success!
And here’s one more tip from me:
If you go check out a DJ as they’re entertaining at a party or are a guest at a friend’s party, don’t judge too quickly! Whatever they’re doing – playing oldies, having a quiet set during dinner, or initiating a kids’ rap battle – that’s what they were asked to do! It might not be your family’s taste, but when you meet with them, you’ll let them know what you want and they’ll plan your party as YOU requested.