Swing Discussion Boards > Send me your ideas for swing dance mixers

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by jxntwinkletoes, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. jxntwinkletoes

    jxntwinkletoes New Member

    Our new swing dance club is looking for ideas for mixers that get dancers on the floor to dance w/ people they don't already know. Also what to do to encourage guys (and girls) to ask new (unfamiliar, shy, beginner, whatever) people to dance. Thanks so much!
  2. jon

    jon Member

    Snowballs. Start with a few seed dancers and every time you call a change, remind people to look for partners sitting down, or whom they haven't danced with before.
  3. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Some sort of progressive dance? Don't know how structured you want to make it, but this gets everybody up on the floor and dancing with everybody else for a short period of time. It's then not so intimidating to get someone up if you have danced with them for 10 - 20 seconds.

    There is also a game that is played where everyone forms two circles, men on the inside and ladies on the outside. Both circles walk in opposite directions until someone calls stop. This partner is number 1. Do this a couple more times until everyone has 3 partners. Then call out to find say partner number 2 for the next dance. Can carry this on through the night (also tests people's memories!).
  4. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Snowballs already mentioned are what are generally used at swing dances for this purpose.
  5. LindyQuest

    LindyQuest New Member

    A few weeks ago we did a dancecard mixer. Each person got a simple, photocopied card with five lines, numbered one through five, and a small pencil.

    At the DJ's cue, we each found five people we had never (or rarely) danced with, and signed each other's names on our dancecards, making sure that the numbers matched (if I agreed to dance with Joe on the second dance, he'd put my name on his second line as well).

    We only had a few minutes to do this, then they announced the first dance. We found our "Number One" dancer, danced, then after that song immediately danced with our "Number Two" dancer and so on.

    When it was over, everyone had danced five dances in a row and had gotten a chance to meet lots of new people! Oh, and those who participated got their names put in a drawing for a door prize. :D

    On a side note, the pencils got in the way once we started dancing, so if you do this, you'll want to have someone collect the pencils before the dancing starts.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea, LindyQuest. I'm going to suggest it, for an upcoming USABDA dance, and see what happens.
  7. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I've done all of those suggested above, with a couple of changes:

    On the circle mixer, you march until someone says stop, then dance with that partner right away for a minute or two, then the dj tells everyone to get back in the mixer and repeat...rather than trying to remember who you had.

    For the dance card thing, you just went around and asked people to dance that you hadn't danced with before. After you dance, sign each other's card, and everyone who has five spots filled gets into a drawing for a prize. Again, removes the pressure of trying to find who you had signed up to dance with.
  8. LindyQuest

    LindyQuest New Member

    That's a good idea, too! :D
  9. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    I like that dance card idea (cf my posts on vintage dancing... we have actual dance cards that we use).

    Of course, I'm a bit more of a member/non-member or Rookie/Vet mixer sort. But considering the preferences of dance for the members of the club here, I've contemplated woman-woman (Jill-Jill) EC swing as well as man-man (Jack-Jack) WC swing. Of course, I may never DJ a dance again if the latter social becomes too... disturbing.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    It might be interesting to have Jill-Jack mixers (meaning female leads with male follows.) Hmm.
  11. alfborge

    alfborge New Member

    You could start a stealing jam. And ofcourse it's allowed to "steal" someone who isn't dancing ;)
  12. LindyQuest

    LindyQuest New Member

    This isn't exactly a "mixer," but a fun idea we did last weekend. I competed in a "Baloony Hop" contest...basically, we partnered up and each lead blew up a balloon, and each follow tied it to their lead's left leg (making sure to leave several inches between the balloon and the leg, so the balloon wasn't attached directly to the leg.)

    Then the DJ played several clips of songs, during which time, as we danced, the follows tried to break the other leads' balloons, while the leads tried to protect their balloons. The other rule was that each lead and follow had to stay connected with at least one hand at all times.

    If your balloon popped, deflated, or became unattached you were out. We continued until there was only one couple with their balloon still in place. It was fun...it basically became a free-for-all after awhile, though. :lol:
  13. blue

    blue New Member

    So, that is what a mixer is! This board is great for extending my English dance related vocabulary. :)

    Not exactly what you are asking for, but a place here uses a drop in-class before the dance for similar purposes. It is taught so that is gives something to most levels including fresh beginners. Starting with doing some kind of basic steps for a while: either 8 counts with triple step, or 8 counts without, or 6 counts with/without triples, or charleston, or jig walk... then going through like four moves. The class lasts 1 1/2 hours and actually attracts people from quite a few different levels - at least this is true for the leaders, as they always can pick up a new move and then try it during the rest of the evening. More advanced followers tend to be less interested in this kind of class. For us who are new in the crowd, these classes is a good way of getting to know people a little bit.
  14. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but a variation of the "steal" mixer is what has been termed here as "the doll game." I may have described it somewhere else, but here goes:

    Everyone finds a dance partner. Introduce a number of stuffed dolls. If a stuffed doll is placed on your chest, the person giving you the doll steals your partner, while you have to go find someone else to pawn off the doll. Those people holding dolls when the music stops are sent off/eliminated. Continue process until there is one couple left, and they each get a prize.

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