So I’m a part-time DJ from Belgium. I used play at parties, weddings, and so on. My mother moved to a nursing home when she turned 82. She had worked hard all her life and the last couple of years, she didn’t get out much any more. Groceries, the hairdresser, that’s about it. So she decided to move to a “zorgcentrum” where old people who are still able to take care of themselves can rent a small apartment.
Now, despite the fact that she just turned 84, she’s been going to dance evenings, she even went on a week trip to the seaside -it’s like she’s starting all over again. So when then wanted to organise another event, I decided to volunteer to DJ for them. They took me up on my offer and one afternoon, I got to play in front of more than 80 people over the age of 80. So here’s what happened…
The first part was singalong. I handed out the lyrics and I used a beamer to project the words on a big screen. People could even come over to sing into the microphone (and some did, while afterwards I heard a lot of them wanted to but were to shy).
After the coffee break, it was dancing time. Of course, “them old folk” aren’t as nimble on their feet as they were in their youth, but it gave me a very warm feeling when I saw couples who’ve been together for more than 50 years come to the dancefloor for a slow waltz or a romantic slow. And I was thrilled when a couple of 90-year-old ladies came on to the dancefloor to waltz to their favorite song “Mexicali Rose”.
I did not get paid for the gig, but it was one of the most rewarding sets I ever played. So If you can give old people a good time, even when you’re not paid for it… do it. And if you actually do get paid, I promise you, it’ll be even more fulfilling as some extra cash in your wallet, because your heart will be warmed too.
What’s the oldest crowd you’ve ever played for? Any more tips for DJing to octogenarians? Please share your experiences below…