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Effective talent recruitment is among the most important aspects of any DJ company — but especially for Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJ companies.

Many of them offer dance motivators as part of a package or as an a la carte add on, and while these “extras” may not be necessary to show everyone a good time, I think they’re a worthwhile investment because of how they help the MC throughout the course of an event.

How do motivators help the MC?

It’s simple: If you have a dancefloor packed with 150-250 kids and adults, and only one MC leading things, dance motivators can help create a higher level of energy on the floor by engaging guests with line dances, follow-alongs, games, contests, and great music. (I tell my clients that there should be one motivator for every 25 kids).

Read More: The changing face of the bar/bat mitzvah

Motivators should be catering to all age groups, but the right ones also have that “coolness” factor with the kids — which is great if you have a group that might need a little bit of a “friendly push,” or wants to learn the hottest new dance moves.

I tell my clients that there should be one motivator for every 25 kids.

Good motivators are charismatic, outgoing, and upbeat. A friendly face is “approachable” and being easy to talk to is important.

How to find great motivators

Many dance motivators are in their late teens to late twenties. I find them in many different ways. Some of my best motivators were past guests at my events or one of my Mitzvah/Sweet 16 girls, who contacted me when they were old enough to work.

Talent recruitment pools:

  1. Past events (Mitzvah/Sweet 16 girls)
  2. College dance teams and clubs
  3. Local dance schools
  4. Nightclubs on a Friday night 

Colleges have dance teams and dance clubs. We visit these colleges and post flyers on their job boards in the student centers. We’ve also set up a table at career fairs held in local high schools or colleges. We then hold an audition at our office and interview each talent.

Colleges have professional dance teams and dance clubs.

Within a five-mile radius of my office there are 10 dance schools. I contact and meet with the person in charge of the programs to explain what we do on the weekends.

By doing this I’ve obtained amazing talented female and male dancers — and then had the opportunity to do events for those colleges and dance schools.

At local nightclubs

If there is one person you want at an event to entertain, it’s someone who loves to have fun on a Friday or Saturday night, dancing at a nightclub.

I have found my best male break-dancers at clubs. Initially I may get a weird response when I introduce myself, but I give them a business card and say, “If you love to dance, are good with kids, and you want to make some extra money on the weekends, give me a call.”

Typically, my phone rings the next day!

Giving your motivator proper training is necessary. I ask them to:

  1. Speak to the guests in a fun, polite manner.
  2. Memorize the names of the mitzvah kid and his parents — plus the names of siblings.
  3. Come up with new trends, topics, and games to converse with guests. In other words, they should live and breathe Tik Tok.
  4. Beyond social engagement, good motivators are physically engaging during the dance segments. They dance with other people or around them and gather groups on the dancefloor to draw out participation.
  5. There should be a variety of dance moves and interactions — knowing popular line dances and trending fads will enable a motivator to connect with the crowd and lead effectively. The event should not be one follow-along Zumba workout.
  6. Plan to arrive early and respect the boundaries of the event. For example, understand the requests of the banquet facility — know if it is okay to eat from a buffet or appetizers and also respect the requests of the hosts of the event.
  7. I teach them to have an awareness of the flow of the party — most parties are divided up into sections, so being able to follow the pattern will help motivators be where they need to be during every part of the mitzvah. (We’ll get into that further in a future column). 

There’s an additional benefit to effective talent recruitment: These high-energy, enthusiastic motivators wear my company tee shirts on campus and around town, have conversations with family and friends, and are always on the lookout for new fresh talent and special events for me. They have become my biggest promoters!

Adam Hirschhorn owns AJH Entertainment in Marlboro, NJ. He has moderated Mitzvah educational sessions at DJ Expo and is a former special education teacher. |

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