Since we are all craving going out right now, some friends invited us to a Zoom dance party last night. Honestly, it was one of the most fun things we have done since lockdown started. But, since several of us are tech-minded and we still had some glitches to overcome, I thought I would write out how we did it – to make it easier for you to get right to the music and dancing!
How To Throw A Virtual Zoom Dance Party
Pick Your Guest List
With the kind of party I will describe below, you don’t need to keep the numbers low like a normal Zoom chat (where more than 9-12 gets a little hard to hear people). But you still want people who will have fun with the idea and are your friends, right? Gather them via the best way to reach them all, whether it be a group text, email or a Facebook event.
Set the Date, Time and Theme
Our Zoom Dance Party was to celebrate a friend’s birthday, so she asked us to wear dance/festival/rave style gear – whatever that means. For my goofy husband, that meant pulling out costumes. For me, it meant a concert t-shirt. For most of us, it meant as many disco and fairy lights as we could get in the background as possible.
Tip: For people to feel more comfortable dancing (especially alone), set the start time near or after sundown and/or have people come into the party with room lights dimmed.
Find Someone to Host Who Has A Pro Zoom Account
That was me, so I could have 100 people joining us for up to 24 hours (that would be one hell of a rave). Otherwise, the basic Zoom account limits you to 40 minutes.
Start The Zoom Dance Party!
Before the prearranged time, send out the Zoom link to attendees. You can adjust settings to your group – like making everyone enter muted, or you have to approve them to enter. Also, be sure people have set themselves to gallery view in Zoom, which definitely feels like the Brady Bunch! – but that way you can see everyone (up to 49 people) on one screen.
Choose/Play The Music
We found the best way to handle this (with it sounding the best for everyone) was to find a livestream DJ on Twitch. We all muted ourselves, and opened the same Twitch stream in a web browser. So, the music was playing directly on our computers and we could make it as loud as we each wanted.
You could use a livestream from anywhere (another example: Facebook Live) – you just want something that is playing live online somewhere so you are all synched up.
Tip: We listened to Insomniac on Twitch most of the night!
Have Someone Be the DJ
The host can always share their screen with the group or allow others to do so too. If you/they click “Advanced” after you click “Share Screen,” there is an option to share “Music or Computer Sound Only.” Once you do that, you can play a Spotify playlist, or any music the group wants – and the sound from that computer will be sent to everyone in the Zoom meeting. This means that someone has to pay attention, but it also means they could take requests!
Make sure you have room to groove! Also, pets appearing on screen get major bonus points. We really liked that we could dance around, be silly, take a break, get a drink, and come back to the party so easily. My husband Bryan said it was the best rave he had ever been to, with the cleanest bathroom.
Chat With Each Other
You often have to click open the chat panel when you first open Zoom; it’s is in the bottom line of buttons (you have to hover over the bottom of the Zoom screen to see them). In that right panel, you can see who is there and the host can mute/unmute all or individuals if needed.
The point of this party is connection with friends – so the chat is a fun way to talk while dancing!
We were taking screencaps (above) and adding to Instagram stories all night too. I mean, sure, we can’t actually get together right now, but I still want to remember how we made the best of it!
Do This After Lockdown
One thing I have found nice about this whole situation is I am chatting more “face-to-face” with friends who don’t live near me. There is no reason these Zoom parties can’t continue after life returns to normal – whatever and whenever that will be.
I hope these tips help you tackle the tech challenges of a new way to connect with friends. Good luck! ❤️
P.S. Check our my free Zoom backgrounds. I may need to add some concerts ones now!