DJ You

Would you like to be one of our DJs? Of course you would. Who doesn’t love picking music that gets a room full of ladies shaking their groove things. Just send us an email at ddppchicago[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line “DJ” and as long as you’ve been to DDPP Chicago at least once (you know, to get the vibe, the feel, the groove) we’ll give you a date to DJ. Show up on that date with your mix (60 minutes aka 1 hour with a warm up song at the beginning and a cool down song at the end) on your iPod and dance! Don’t have an iPod? That’s alright! As you may have noticed, plenty of our DJs have started to bring their laptops to class. We’ll make every effort to ensure that they are protected from our high kicks! Or if even the mental image of that frightens you, we can upload your mix onto one of our iPods if you can burn a CD (or 2) of your songs! Bring your mix to class in CD form AT LEAST ONE DDPP BEFORE YOUR DJ DATE and we’ll get it uploaded and ready to go! We unfortunately can’t accommodate CDs the day you DJ because of the system set up. Plus – the one time we did try to use a CD, it skipped the whole time due to all of our jumping around.  Once you start djing, you can do it 4 times over the course of a year (booyah!). That ensures that allllll the lovely ladies who are interested get a chance to pound out the dancefloor, roll it up tight like a crepe, drown it in the rich creamery butter you call music, and dust it with that powdered sugary goodness they call groove.

So you want to know more and get this puppy made?

HOW TO BE A DDPP DJ

Create a DJ Name

First things first – think of a sweet DJ name you’d like to go by. This is what we’ll refer to you as on the blog. Go ahead – be creative. Drag out your drag name and throw a DJ in front. Make an anagram. Be thoroughly ridiculous. Or not! Whatever!

Create a Playlist

Next: Gather a collection of your favorite dance songs and put in an order you feel will get everyone bouncing around and keep them bouncing around. There’s no magic formula to this and every class we’re surprised at how well some songs work and others… not so much. It’s a gamble and a learning experience – but odds are if you would be moved to boogie while making breakfast at 7am on a weekday when a song is on, it’ll get you going on a Wednesday evening or Sunday afternoon.

In terms of the style of music – anything goes. We’ve observed that successful mixes are pretty eclectic. Throw on some tunes everyone can sing along to, and a few of your favorites that might not be so well known and see what happens: you might just introduce someone to their new favorite song!

Now our preferred method of getting the music from you to the dancers is via iPod or MP3 player. But we’re not Luddite haters – so don’t you worry if you don’t have an ipod and are still rocking CDs. Cassette tapes and 8 tracks we might have trouble with – but we might be able to accommodate those, too. Who knows?!

And forgive us if this is second nature to you – but here’s how to MAKE A PLAYLIST in iTUNES: (and forgive me if you are a PC user – some of these directions will be Apple specific. If you don’t know how to do anything we’re describing for a PC – just google it)

The quickest way to get started in creating a custom playlist is clicking the “+” icon in the bottom left corner of the iTunes library window. You will see a new “untitled playlist” appear in the “Source” column on the left side. The text will be highlighted already, so start typing and give it a name like DDPP Mix or something awesome like that.

Click on your playlist title, and you’ll see that there are no songs present, as you must manually add them.

To add songs to your playlist, begin by clicking on “Library” in the source column. Scroll through your library, and find a song you’d like to add. To add it to a playlist, simply drag the song title on top of the playlist name in the Source column, and let go. If you’d like to double check that the song was added, click on the playlist title.

You can arrange the order of the songs by clicking on them individually and dragging and dropping them to the appropriate spaces. Once you’ve added 60 minutes of bootylicious music in the order you’d like it in (including your WARM UP and COOL DOWN songs), plug in your iPod and drag it on there. Make sure that the upload was successful by checking your iPod after you’ve disconnected it.

HOW TO MAKE GAPLESS ALBUMS

All good DJs know that gaps can be vibe killers, so iTunes has caught on. If you want to cut out a lot of the dead time in between songs in your playlist (which we highly recommend – it keeps us den mothers from feeling the need to make expressive yips and comments in between tracks) you can do so in iTunes BEFORE you drag your playlist to your ipod. It’s with a magic little tool called “gapless album”. Ready? Check it out: (again – this is for Apples – it might vary if you have a PC)

1) Highlight/Select all of your tracks when you’re in the class playlist
2) Right click and pick “Get Info” (it will ask you if you want info for multiple tracks – click “yes”)
3) In the new menu, it should say “Gapless Album” in the lower right of the screen. Change setting from No to Yes.
4) Hit OK (then Itunes will do it’s thing for a second)
5) Then transfer the playlist to your ipod

HOW TO MAKE IT ALL REEEEEEAL LOUD

Following from a request from DDPP Winnipeg, we thought we would include directions for how to optimize the volume on your playlist. If the volume on your chapter’s stereo is somehow failing to go up to “11,” (Spinal Tap joke in the DJ section? Check!) you can adjust the volume on each track in your playlist with the following steps:
1) For EACH song, right click and select “Get Info.”
2) Under “Options,” select “Adjust Volume.”
3) Turn. It. UP!

HOW TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR PLAYLIST

Radtastical! So you’re almost done with your uber fun DJ duties! The last thing you need to do is email us a list or a screenshot of your playlist so we can post it on the site. This is great for those in class if they loved a song and want to know what it was and who sang it. We’ve been using screenshots to take photos of our iTunes – which is basically like telling the computer to take a photograph of a particular area of the screen when you have it up. Here’s how you do it: (again – on an Apple – try googling it for a PC)

To take a screenshot hold down “shift”, “apple (or command button)”, “4” at the same time. A little scope (circle with a cross through it) should appear on the screen. Drag it across the space you want to photograph and when you have it all lined up, release! Voila! It should appear as a PNG on your desktop called “picture 1”. Then you can rename it, and email it to us to put it up on the site! For examples of what they look like, check out our playlists with the little photos on them.

Also – if you have some tracks that you don’t know where they came from and you just have “Track 02” by unknown artist on your playlist – do your best to figure out what the song is. If not – no huge deal – we just want to let the ladies know what exactly the good stuff they’ve heard is so they can track it down later if they want it.

Alright – enough info? It’s not that hard to be a DJ when you get the hang of it! And it’s so indescribably rewarding to see a group of fun ladies rocking out to your tunes. What are you waiting for? Email us and schedule a class session!

ddppchicago[at]gmail[dot]com

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One thought on “DJ You

  1. Hey – need a DJ for next week (10th Oct)?
    I can do – and I’ll include many eminently danceable aussie tunes (The Cat Empire! Kylie! I know you want this….)
    Cheers,
    Natalie

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