It’s called the dance floor of death.
Entertainers for decades have shaken their heads in disapproval when an event planner says, “You can set up here for your show as we are keeping the dance floor open for dancing later in the evening.”
The void or buffer between audience and entertainer has always been an issue with entertainers. Entertainers will opt-out using the school stage for this reason, as the stage is three feet high and prevents the audience from getting that up close personal interaction.
2020 Mandates Social Distancing
No longer are event producers encouraging people to pack together, to watch the show. I now stand twenty feet from my front-row fans. The back row is twice as far, and I look out at my audience, and the realization hits me, this gym that would hold 200 to 300 kids is now at full compacity with fifty kids.
Making the Adjustment
I found that I was so happy to have an in-person show that the audience’s distance didn’t matter at all. What once I would have considered a hindrance is now a very acceptable option.
The show format, which was heavily focused on physical audience interaction, is now nonexistent. What I once felt was a definite audience experience, is now deemed unsafe, and violates social distance rules.
1. Routines that required physical assistance have been reworked, and it’s only me now.
2. Music has been added that allows audience interaction of clapping and hand movements.
3. Props have become larger as the audience is sitting farther back.
The adjustments I made are minor, but every professional has dealt with the dance floor of death. Ironically, that’s the least of our problems. Finding events with a budget, audience, and event space that can provide social distancing is the challenge in today’s entertainment market.
The challenge I see coming forward this fall with in-person events is limited space for events. Spacing the audience out six-feet part in their little pods or sections and having a thirty-foot span between groups makes it difficult to impossible for an in-person show as the room can not accommodate the distancing. The solution might be multiple shows with a shorten show duration. That’s if the venue has in-person events.
The dance floor of death is now the safety zone that will be part of every in-person show.
What do you see social distancing looking like in the next year?