Party games can provide loads of fun to break the ice and get a dance party moving. These ideas contain some classics adapted to dance parties, and ideas on how you can adapt them to various popular party themes pretty easily by tweaking names, decorations, props or prizes.
Games don’t have to be just for kids – they can really liven up a bachelor/ bacelorettes, a baby shower, 30th or a 60th 60s disco! Just crank up the humour a level to suit your guests, and make the prizes appropriate to the group – adults enjoy cheeky forfeits or having to drink something interesting, teens enjoy silly dares, and almost anyone likes a small chocolate….
This is a bit like musical chairs, but with some kind of ‘island’ instead of the furniture.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- sound system – preferably with a remote or cellphone soundtrack plus blutooth
- dance lights
- islands made of paper (one fewer than the number of players and just big enough for one person’s feet. e.g. A4 sheet of paper). This is where you can tweak for your theme, e.g. neon paper for a glow in the dark party, or pictures of plants for a Plants vs Zombies party, sparkly mats for sophisticated bridal shower party fun, etc.
- Place the ‘islands’ on the floor – one fewer piece than the number of players. Everyone is instructed to stand OFF the ‘islands’.
- When the music starts, everyone has to dance – nice and actively, no bouncing bums on the spot!
- When the music stops, everyone has to rush to get onto an island. Whoever is caught without an island is out, and one more island is removed.
- This continues until you have a winner! I’ve found this works best if you have small prizes like a mini chocolates (or something theme-related) and you play the game a couple of times – it doesn’t take long, and its more fun to have a few gos than just one person winning a bigger prize.
If you are having a themed party for any age, you can have a best outfit catwalk show on your dancefloor. I’d recommend doing this simply for fun at a younger children’s party, and only having a best costume and best catwalk act winner from tweens up, as the little ones get hurt feelings, while older kids and adults enjoy vying for the top spot.
Everyone has to dances in a circle and you have a judge or panel of judges to vote on the best outfit. Each contestant has to exaggeratedly model their outfit accross the centre of the circle and spin it out a bit, so it’s not just a passive thing.
Fun songs for older adults are ‘I’m a Barbie Girl’ (there’s an updated ‘Im not a Barbie Girl’ too!) or ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt’, or ask people to whisper to the DJ what they want their entrance song to be. Mine would definitely be ‘All about that base’ by Meghan Trainor!
Knights, knaves and horses
This is an old medieval theme game which you can adapt to other themes, using your imagination, e.g. ‘moms, dads and babies’ for a baby shower, or ‘Elsa, Anna and Sven’ (with appropriate actions) for a Frozen party theme.
This was a popular dancing game with older teens when I was one, and we were divided into boy and girl pairs, where the boys had to do the ‘heavy lifting’ and be the knights, knaves or horses. We’ve played a version very successfully with tweens at a birthday party too, and didn’t make it a gender thing for our kids – I think it was actually more fun, as each pair also had to figure out who was going to do what, with much resulting hilarity.
- Basically, there is a ‘caller’ in control of the music, a bit like for musical chairs, and you need an odd number of players, e.g. – 7/ 9/ 11….
- Everyone has to dance until the music is suddenly stopped – and then the caller says either ‘Knights!’ ”Knaves!’ or ‘Horses!’
- Everyone has to quickly find a partner and perform the appropriate action.
- For ‘knights’: one partner must kneel with one knee up, so the other person can sit on their knee.
- For ‘Knaves’: the one person must piggy back on the other.
- For ‘Horses’, one person gets down on all fours, and hte other one stands over their back.
- Anyone caught without a partner, or doing the wrong action, or the last pair to hook up, is out, and you start up the music and continue until you have a winning pair.
- If you have an even number of players, you just have to speed it up and pick on whoever gets it wrong or is too slow- a bit more like musical statues.
Pass the Ball
For this you need a smallish ball, orange or balloon (or try something to do with your theme, but preferably something round and smooth and not too hard or too small). A neon balloon or tennis ball is ideal for a glow in the dark party.
You also need great music and dance lights, and someone who is the referee.
- Everyone has to dance in a circle and keep moving!
- One person is given the ball.
- Everyone has to keep passing the ball around the circle, but without using hands or feet and without dropping it, or you have to start all over again.
- Its most fun if everyone tries to carry on dancing as it goes, but the embarrassing positions people get themselves into tend to leave everyone a bit helpless with laughter…
- Kids can be offered a treat each as a reward for completing the task, and adults can be offered a drink. They may need one!
Simon Says (and variations)
For a straight dance party, get your lights and music going, use a mic, and call out some disco moves to test everyone in a game of DJ Says: e.g. “DJ says, ‘Do the twist!'” or “DJ says, ‘Do the floss!'”
If you’re doing a 60th or 70th dancing – through- the decades party, you can look up major dance moves from each decade. Just be prepared to do a demonstration before the game starts, just in case memories need jogging!
Just remember the basic rules – you call out ‘Simon says’, and they must DO the action, but if you don’t say ‘Simon says’ and just call out the action, and someone does it, then they are out. Picking up the speed and switching back and forth between ones you’ve already done tends to get everyone confused in the end!
Have a few particularly tricky ones for those last older kids or adults in the game, to get them a little flustered and get to a winner.
With younger kids, play it really straight and be prepared for more than one round, to give a small prize to more than one kid (consider using the winner of each round as the caller for the next one).
Last person standing is, of course, the winner here!
Basically play like normal charades, and choose words, film or song titles, character to match your party theme.
Make a set of charades cards and print them out. You want to get people dancing, so you can have dance moves for a particular decade, dancing to mimic a particular pop star (or another character suited to your theme, eg dance like Easter bunny vs Easter chicken or do an egg roll dance, a superhero (Spiderman, Batman, Black Panther) or Disney princess (Meredtith from Brave, the Little Mermaid, Mulan, Elsa…) , and everyone has to guess who you are or the name of the dance move.
Adults and kids might enjoy dancing like a particular animal and everyone has to guess what animal. Ideas: camel, alpaca, sloth, elephant, tiger, kangaroo, duck, wolf…. (depending on the age of kids, you can get more or less exotic mixes of animals – for younger kids, it might be best to stick to common local or zoo animals. For older kids or adults, you might try some weirder challenges like the sloth or a reindeer).
You can either get the whole group guessing and each person takes a turn (recommended for younger kids, to take the competition stress away), OR, for older kids and adults who enjoy the competition, set it up like a proper charades game. Write your characters or animal names on small cards and divide your guests into two teams. You give the first volunteers from each team a card and they have to get their team to guess. Whoever guesses gets the next card… and so on until you have the first team to finish.
Ministery of Silly Dances
This would work well along with other ideas for people over 40, who will know all about the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks skit. If you like the idea and want to try it for kids, I’d either suggest watching the skit with them first, or if they are doing a ‘Mr Men and Little Miss’ book theme party, you could play with doing silly dances for Mr Silly at the Nonsense Land Disco (Which I just made up, but it ties in nicely with the Nonsese Land’s trophy for the silliest idea in the story).
The game is simple. Someone is the representative of the government Ministry of Silly Dances, and everyone has to have a turn to apply for a government grant to develop their silly dance. The silliest dance wins the grant, which is the game prize.
It helps enormously if the government representative is able to set the tone the way John Cleese does in the skit and make suggestions to improve the silly walks presented, which the ‘grant seeker’ then has to try to copy as well. Bonus points for coming up with dreadful academic names for individual moves.
I’d suggest offering a particularly juicy prize to the adults, like a bottle of wine, and giving everyone a few minutes to come up with their individual walks before the public attempt. For the Mr Men and Little Miss party, you could get creative with a trophy or offere a conventional party game prize.
For an end of year office party involving anyone in a university or other company that has to frequently deal with government grant applications, this is deeply therapeutic and gasp-for-breath fun!
Music with silly lyrics can make this even more fun. This is very easy to organise if you have a smart phone and speakers with bluetooth capability. Chat to us at Simply Sparkles if you’d like to use our equipment, and we can show you how easy breezy this is!
Interpretive Dance Pictionary
A bit like with charades and Ministry of Silly Dances, this involves lots of silly fun for adults and teenagers, where you give people standard Pictionary game cards, and ask them, instead of drawing, to try to explain the word or phrase with interpretive dance. This works well if you or a friend are prepared to demonstrate, and you have a fun group of friends who don’t mind being very strange for a laugh!
You can make this game even better if you have someone operating disco lights and party sound using bluetooth and a cellphone with Spotify or iTunes, so contestants can quickly hunt for a good backing song for their dance and use smoke machines, lasers or strobes to add to their dance’s atmosphere!
Keep in Touch!
Please let us know how your dance games went, and any variations or new ideas! We’re always looking for ways to help our party lights and sound hire clients have more fun, and share these ideas with them as part of our service.
Contact us if you would like advice for your party set up or if you’d like to hire lights, sound and other party accessories. Delivery is free in Somerset West and Strand! We’re here to help make your party Simply Sparkle!