Dance Planning Tools To Host a Successful Event

Thursday, 12 August, 2021

Online tools can make your dance planning experience a whole lot easier. From graphic design to ticketing systems, here are five tools to help plan your dance:

Canva

Canva - Wikipedia

Canva is an easy-to-use online graphics design tool which is perfect for dance planners. This can be used to create fliers, logos, banners, etc. which can give your dance a well-designed brand. Their paid options also allow for some basic social media

Price: FREE (Paid plans available)

 

MailChimp

Mailchimp Reviews 2021: Details, Pricing, & Features | G2

Mailchimp is a way that you can keep your dance-goers informed using well designed emails. Campaigns can be easily scheduled and sent to large groups.An organizing body such as a student council can also use MailChimp to promote future dances and events using an easy to use email builder.

Price: FREE (Paid options available)

Google Forms

Why Your Business Should be Using Google Forms - Corkboard Concepts

Google Forms can be used for a lot of different uses for your dance. Do you need a survey for the theme, royalty voting, or food ideas? Google Forms is a free, easy way that integrates easily with our next tool.

Price: FREE

Google Sheets

What is Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is a free spreadsheet tool that a dance planner can use to keep track of money, attendees, survey results, and more. Google’s spreadsheet tool integrates well with other software from Google such as Google Drive.

Price: FREE

My School Dance

An online platform to manage all aspects of your school events | the Learning Counsel

My School Dance is our tool that brings the best of many tools into one easy-to-use and no upfront cost option. It can handle many features needed to plan a successful dance:

  • Ticket Sales
  • QR Code check-in
  • Parental check-in/out text notifications
  • Agreements
  • Table Assignements
  • Royalty Voting
  • and More!

Price: No Upfront Cost (Ticket Sales Include Fees)

 

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When is Prom for High School?

Friday, 6 August, 2021

discoballs

When is Prom for High School?

Prom is typically held towards the end of the school year in mid to late May.

 

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8 Homecoming Dance Theme Ideas for 2021

Thursday, 29 July, 2021

Why Dance Themes?

Homecoming is right around the corner! No dance is complete without a fun and engaging theme for dance goers. Here are some Homecoming dance theme ideas that will inspire your dance planning team and students alike.

Roaring 20s

Source: Stumps

It’s the 20s! Throw a Gatsby-style jazz age party for your Homecoming. This theme is characterized by the stylish Art Deco designs and a gold-based color scheme. Celebrate the new decade with an over-the-top century throwback.

Space

Space-themed holiday party

Explore the stars at your Homecoming! The world is looking to the stars again. Be relevant with a Homecoming dance with balloon planets, cardboard spacecrafts, and other worldly light displays.

Futuristic


Neon lights, cool sunglasses, and technology. The future is here! Inspire your students with a theme that can influence students to embrace the idea with futuristic outfits and accessories. Make it a night to remember with a unique futuristic Homecoming theme!

50s Rock and Roll

Source: Party Idea Pros

Leather jackets, milkshakes, and hot rods. Make your Homecoming a throwback with a vintage rock and roll style. Make sure to sprinkle in some retro sock hop hits in the playlist to complete the theme.

Disco

Disco Fever Complete Theme

Source: Anderson’s

Funky music and disco balls will surely get people out on the dance floor this Homecoming. This theme is characterized by the gold and purple color schemes and the retro fonts.

Western

Source: Stumps

Go out to the ranch with a western theme for your Homecoming. Decorate the venue with barns, cacti, hay, and other western décor. This theme is fun for all – coast to coast!

Rustic

Source: Stumps

A natural looking, rustic theme is one of the more fancy ones on this list. Contrasting from the western theme, the rustic theme focuses on candles, wood patterns, and stylish furniture. A rustic theme is sure to make your Homecoming a fancier and sophisticated event.

City

Source: Stumps

Bring the big city to your small town at Homecoming. Make your venue feel like a night downtown with skyscraper decorations, street food, and high energy music.

 

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Steps to plan a virtual school dance

Monday, 22 June, 2020

Now that you know the benefits of having a virtual dance for your school, where do you even start? As I mentioned in my last post, it is so important that your virtual dance be extremely engaging and fun for the students. They have an endless number of things to do on their phones, so you need to really work to keep them engaged.

To start…

  1. Choose a date – If you previously had an in-person dance scheduled, I would suggest using that. If you don’t already have a date scheduled, I would choose a Saturday or Friday and pick a time in the evening. It is important that you are really simulating a dance experience and choosing a typical dance time helps. If you are just planning a virtual prom or dance for your school, I would suggest not having it be more than 2 hours. Because Virtual Prom Live was for students across the country, we were able to get engagement at different points of the night, but three hours still felt like a long time to be behind a screen.
  2. Find and acquire entertainment – What type of entertainment do you usually have at your dances, a DJ, a band? Many local DJs are struggling, COVID has had a tremendous impact on their business. By either charging a nominal amount for tickets or using already fundraised money, you can help support these DJs who for many months have been out of work. When choosing entertainment, it is CRITICAL that you find a DJ who has experience with live streaming. In-person DJing and live streaming are different animals that require technical experience and tools that not every DJ has. DJs who are experienced in live streaming also know how to engage an audience through a screen.
  3. Purchase or seek donations for giveaways – Every student loves some free stuff, so work with local or national businesses to get some cool stuff to give away. If your dance is for a specific club or for younger classmen, maybe offer some school swag. Or, if you have seniors get some gift cards to places like Target or Chipotle. Throughout each of our dances, we gave away 4-5 prizes throughout the night (ours was 3 hours). You also can get a crown or giveaway from homecoming or prom king and queen, which they can vote on throughout the night.
  4. Decide on a technology – Before deciding on a technology to stream with, you need to figure out a couple of logistics. Do you want students to be able to video chat? Do you have enough faculty to moderate the chats? Do you want to be able to delete chats, kick students out, keep it restricted? There are a lot of different technologies out there. For Virtual Prom Live we used Hopin, but you could also use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facebook. Because there are so many technologies, if you have more specific questions on organizing that piece, please reach out to us at hello@myschooldance.com.
  5. Promote your dance and sell tickets – HYPE the dance up. You want the students to want to go for many of the reasons we shared in our last post. If you are hoping to raise some funds from this dance, you definitely want people to attend. Because more than likely you are not in school, you need a way to sell your tickets online, which is where My School Dance comes in. Even if you are in school, online ticket sales is a great way to socially distance sell tickets to your dance. For the foreseeable future, your students probably won’t be gathering at lunch in lines to buy tickets and turn forms in, so My School Dance will do all of this for you. If you’re not signed up, sign up today for 50% off processing fees. My School Dance is free for your school to use, so there’s no risk!
  6. Give your students clear instructions and fun ideas – To make sure that those students who purchase tickets actually attend and have fun, it is important to be very clear with instructions. Create a ‘How-To’ guide for joining the dance, and make sure that they understand what it will be like. You can make promotional materials online for free using Canva. In order to create a true dance experience, give the students fun ideas: decoration ideas, meal ideas with dates or family, outfit/hair/makeup ideas, activity ideas for before or after, just anything to make them feel like they are doing something more than just listening to a DJ on a computer screen.
  7. Rehearse – Because more than likely you’ve never done this before, you have to rehearse with all planning members involved: DJ, chaperones, volunteers, MCs, and anyone else who will appear onscreen. We recommend doing this a few days before to work out any kinks.
  8. DANCE – When it is time for the dance, let the magic happen. Engage students with polls, questions, voting, social media contests, giveaways, dance contests, decoration contests, dinner contests, dress contests, and whatever you can think of. I promise you that even though it is sort of a weird situation, your students will be so grateful that you took to the time out to provide them with a night of different fun.

I said it before, and I will say it here, a virtual dance will never replace an in-person dance, but at least it’s something. It’s unclear when school events will happen again, so providing students with some way to engage with classmates for a carefree night keeps them out of trouble, reduces boredom, and shows that you care about their wellbeing. If you have any questions or would like us to help you plan your first virtual homecoming, virtual prom, or virtual dance, please reach out at hello@myschooldance.com.

Happy Dancing!

If you missed the first blog post in this two-part series, you can check it out here: Planning Your Virtual School Dance

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#SAVE PROM: Virtual Prom 2020

Monday, 6 April, 2020

Saturday Nights from April 18 – May 9

We are all affected by the closures and regulations in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canceled vacations, postponed weddings, and abrupt school closures are just a few of the ways our lives have been impacted.  For high school students, social distancing means no school events – including prom.  My School Dance has teamed up with Virtual Prom Live and No Kid Hungry to bring the party to your living room while raising money for a great cause.

My two high school daughters have been struggling with the fact they may not see their friends again for weeks, perhaps even months.  My high school senior had already picked out a prom dress and was eagerly awaiting the big event. Then her school closed. 

I was trying to come up with a way she could still have some kind of “prom” event with her friends online, but organizing something like this was all new to me.  That’s why I was so excited to learn that people far wiser than I had already planned just such an event. 

My School Dance, partnering with Virtual Prom Live, have joined forces to create not just one but a series of online prom events for students across the country.  Not only are these events free, but money being raised through donations is going towards feeding hungry families.  

Free For All

Every Saturday night from April 18 – May 9, students can participate in a virtual prom experience along with 1,000’s of students across the country.  A live DJ will play music, sponsors will provide contests and prizes, and kids can dance in their living room while interacting with friends digitally.  

In addition to free registration, an online clothing boutique is also lending party attire to young ladies who may not have lined up their dress for the evening yet.  Dresses are limited, and more information can be found by contacting help@charlottes-closet.com.  

A Party For A Good Cause

Although the virtual prom events are completely free, it’s a great opportunity to give to a good cause.  Donations to an organization called  No Kid Hungry are being raised to help feed people who are having difficulty during this challenging time.  What a great way to give back. I was going to suggest to my daughter that she donate some of the money she would have spent on hair, makeup and a prom ticket to  No Kid Hungry.  Thinking of the needs of others is always a great lesson for my kiddos!

How To Join The Party

Getting signed up is easy – all you need to do is visit Virtual Prom Live and choose a date that you would like to attend.  Regional events are planned each Saturday evening from April 18 – May 9.  Students can sign up for any date and time, no matter where they live. 

Each virtual prom event will feature a different DJ and start time.  For example, the virtual prom on April 18 is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm Mountain Time.  DJ Joune, the official DJ of the Utah Jazz will be spinning tunes throughout the evening! No matter which night your student “attends,” it is designed to be entertaining, interactive and memorable.

Kids can share the link and encourage their friends to register as well.  They can then interact online during the event, making it even more unforgettable.  What a great way to have fun and make a difference for others, while celebrating prom in a unique way.  It is sure to be a story our kids tell for years to come!

Check out Virtual Prom Live on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok (@VirtualPromLive)!

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Contact:

hello@myschooldance.com

833-336-8656

Written by: Angela O’Brien

St. Patrick’s Day – A Golden Opportunity for Festive Learning

Monday, 9 March, 2020

March 9, 2020

Thinking about how to bring St. Patrick’s Day into the classroom for your high schoolers this year?  There are a variety of ways to use this holiday as a teaching opportunity, while also enjoying the whimsy and charm of rainbows and leprechauns.  

St. Patrick’s Day is a special day for me – as my name suggests, I come from Irish stock and have the freckles to prove it.   My three children are now in high school, but they still enjoy decorating the house with lots of gold, green and shamrocks.

Something our high schoolers may not realize is that St. Patrick’s Day is more than four-leaf clovers and rivers dyed green (shout-out to Chicago where My School Dance is based!)  Our students can definitely benefit from learning more about the holiday and how it is celebrated – on both sides of the pond.

St. Patrick’s Day Customs and Traditions  

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as Ireland’s National Holiday, and banks, schools and some businesses close for the day.  There are parades throughout the country, and some people observe the day by going to church or spending the day with family.   

Here are some lessons and information you can share with your students about this day:

  • Visit History.com to find information on who St. Patrick was, the history of the holiday, and other facts and traditions.  You can even assign the link on Google Classroom and let students explore, then report back with their findings.
  • The NEA (National Education Association) has put together a wonderful list with ideas for free lessons, activities, videos and books to read about St. Patrick’s Day.

Fact vs. Fiction

Debunk the myths about St. Patrick’s day by exploring some sites that delve into the facts and fiction about the holiday.  Did you know, for example, that the original color of St. Patrick’s Day was blue? Ask your students to research this, and other interesting tidbits and in teams and report back.  Incorporating technology by sharing what they have learned via Google Slides or other digital platforms can be an added bonus.

Irish Literature & Folktales 

St. Patrick’s Day is a great reason to explore Irish literature and folktales with your students.  Of course, English teachers likely have more than a few of these authors in their repertoire. Just in case, here are some lists and free links to Irish literature that may help round out your St. Patrick’s Day instruction:

School Spirit and Whimsical Celebrations

Now for the rainbows, leprechauns, and pots of gold I promised.  St. Patrick’s Day is a self-designated spirit day, as students are most likely going to wear green anyways to avoid the dreaded St. Patrick’s Day pinch.  As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  

  • Enlist the ASB, Activities, or student leadership/culture organizations you may have on campus to promote the day with posters, announcements, and social media messages.  Give out prizes in various categories: most original and most school spirit, for example.
  • Do a door decorating contest, again using your student leaders to spread the word.  Prizes encourage participation!
  • Food – while fish and chips in your math class may not be feasible, what about another classic: Irish soda bread.  Many grocery stores sell it around this time of year. Or, give out a recipe like this one and have students work in teams to bake a loaf at home and bring it in to share.  Offer lucky Irish extra credit for participation.

Having a St. Patrick’s Day dance or event?! Manage it for free with My School Dance!

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Contact:

hello@myschooldance.com

833-336-8656

Written by: Angela O’Brien

Prom, the 2020s meet the Roaring 1920s!

Monday, 2 March, 2020

March 2, 2020

The first Prom Committee meeting is underway and you’re looking for the best prom ideas- epic prom ideas.  The year is 2020 and someone suggests, The Roaring 20s!  I mean it’s perfect, right? Now what?  Where do you go from here?    Take one this suggestion one step further with the ideal theme.  There are some great iconic 1920s songs, phrases, and cultural images that come to mind that would make the perfect prom theme.  This was the age of Jazz, the Charleston dance craze, the Great Gatsby, Swing music and dancing, New York jazz clubs, Chicago gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies.

Our top ten roaring 20s theme suggestions:  All That Jazz – The Great Gatsby – Dixieland Ballroom – Swing City Blues – Rhapsody in Blue – Puttin’ on the Ritz – The Cotton Club – Ragtime Ball – Southside Swing – Windy City Speakeasy or Chicago Speakeasy or even better look up some of the names of your hometown historic speakeasies!

You’ve picked your theme now choose the colors you’re going to use for everything from the invitations to the decorations.  The classic style for the 1920s era was Art Deco and a great color scheme for any of these prom themes is black, gold, and white.  If you choose Swing City Blues, replace the black with blue.  If you use Rhapsody in Blue, try using blue, black and white/gold.

Depending on your chosen theme, add to your list of decorations jazz musician silhouettes, a Rolls Royce cut out, art deco columns, or a backroom speakeasy backdrop.  Table decorations of white plumed feathers or an art deco style light with each table named for a 20s dance, slang phrase, or person: The Bees Knees, The Cat’s Pajamas, The Lindy Hop, Bugsy’s, or Capone’s.  Placemats made to look like newspaper headlines captured from the 1920s would make a great keepsake to use for scrapbooks with pictures.

Get a photo frame or photo album keepsake engraved with the prom theme name and your class year using an art deco font.  Each printing service offers its own selection of fonts and most likely will have an  “art deco” font.  Some other common fonts would be: Bernhard Fashion, Blakely, Broadway, Metropolis, Mona Lisa Recut, Mostra, and one of our favorites, Silvermoon.  Be sure to pick up props with headbands, gangster fedoras, beads, feathers, and lace fans for great keepsake photos. Check out our favorite decor and favor retailer Anderson’s!

Now, to make prom not just a dance, but an EPIC experience.  What’s great about having a theme based around the Roaring 20s are not just the amazing decoration ideas, but activities you can have leading up to prom to get your classmates excited and involved in prom.

Here are just a few ideas to get everyone ramped up for the big day.  Host a silent movie night in the school auditorium, you could even talk to the band director and get the school orchestra to play music for the films!  Contact the local historical society and host a 1920s fashion show to get your classmates in the mood for dressing the part.  Announce that there will be ribbons or prizes to the best-dressed couple, the best ‘Zoot Suit’, and the best ‘Flapper’.  Have Roaring 20s trivia during lunch periods at school during prom week and have Charleston and Swing Dance lessons during the week.

When prom night arrives, have the DJ or band play the top songs of the era and stage great photo opps as they enter with the jazz musicians, Rolls Royce, and art deco columns.  Get one of the teachers (even better the principal and vice-principal!) to dress as maître ds to escort couples to their tables.  At various locations, have the prop tables set up for additional pictures throughout the night to make for some great memories.  Since you’ve had the Charleston and Swing Dance lessons that week, hold a dance contest!

No matter what theme you choose, get ready to have a Roaring Good Time! Sell your tickets online for free with My School Dance! Half off processing fees for prom!

Written by Midge Brody

If you want more activities or tips for your school, check out these blog posts next: The Ultimate Prom Planning Timeline, 3 Ways To Effective Classroom Management.

 

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Contact:

hello@myschooldance.com

833-336-8656