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Back to School Dance

Back to School Dance

(Grades 5-8)

Number of Attendees:

How many did you plan or set registration for? Was it a drop-in?

I plan for 50 kids every year since I'm lucky enough to use our auditorium. If you have a smaller space probably no more than 35. Registration is required, along with a permission slip from a parent since this event takes place after hours.

How many did you actually have attend?

Last September I had 45 kids attend.


How long did you need to prep for the program?

Give yourself 2-3 hours to decorate the room. I strung indoor string lights all around the auditorium and that was enough, especially since I dimmed the lights. The only other “decoration” I used was the photo booth area, and all you really need to put up is a backdrop.

How long did the actual program take start to finish?

5 and a half hours. 3 for prep, 2 for the actual dance, and a half an hour to clean up.


  • Indoor string lights
  • Backdrop for photo booth (I used plain black tablecloth and strung some lights in front of it)
  • Photo booth props
  • Popcorn
  • Juice
  • Glow sticks
  • Metallic fringe curtain for entryways
  • Balloons
  • DJ (optional)

Description of Program:

This dance is for grades 5-8 and they have so much fun every year! If your budget allows you to hire a DJ, go for it, but you can always play music via a bluetooth speaker as well. This program does require a lot of prep and set-up beforehand, but once the kids come it pretty much runs itself. Our DJ took requests, played freeze-dance songs and some of the regular organized group dance songs as well.

2018 flyer is attached.


I require a permission slip for safety purposes since this program is after hours and we have so many kids who walk home at night. I've attached the permission slip I always use as well.


Materials spent in 2018: $200
DJ: $100


Room setup?

No chairs or tables in the middle of the floor to give kids enough space to dance. We gave out popcorn and juice in one corner and left some chairs against the walls for kids who didn't want to dance but just came to hang out (after all, we all remember what it was like to be in middle school!) The photo booth and table for props were set up along another wall as well.

After thoughts…what you would have done differently or any helpful feedback for the program.

Just a tip for hiring DJs if you decide to go that route: ask around on Facebook because if you go through a company you're looking at possibly $300. I asked around and discovered that one of my coworker's husbands DJs on the side and he only charged me $100. Maybe I just got lucky but you never know!

I mentioned this before, but it was really helpful that our DJ played organized group dance songs because it got a lot of the kids involved and not just standing around in clumps. If you play via Spotify make sure you include some of those songs!

I have also attached some pictures and videos - definitely take a look!

Submitted by:

Mari Zigas, Johnson Public Library (Hackensack)

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