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Top five tips for killer live entertainment

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Betty Dargie

Third generation entertainment royalty Betty Dargie from Dargie Entertainment shares her top five tips for creating an experience that will live on.

1. Hire professionals: They may not be the cheapest option but they have polish and skill that a career in the industry requires. Dargie said, “Many of our performers are ex-Moulin Rouge, Broadway, West End and Las Vegas. We make a point of working with good people – people who are easy to get along with who know the protocol. It will always be cheaper to go to a local dance school or hire amateur hobbyists but if you want to make a lasting impression, spend the extra money and hire professionals.”

2. ‘Bye ‘bye burlesque: Burlesque is over, Gatsby is on its last legs, ballroom is here with a vengeance and circus performers are getting booked like crazy. Dargie said, “It’s all about sophistication now that Strictly Ballroom – The Musical has come out. There’s a lot to work with in terms of styling; the feathers and sequins of the costumes add glamour.”

Dargie said that she still has a few Gatsby bookings left to go after a bumper season of flapper dancing.

Furthermore, despite the expense involved in booking aerialists (rigging, insurance, etc), they are proving very popular at the moment. Dargie said, “Australia is up there with Europe in terms of circus performers. I am seeing a lot more ‘out of the box’ stuff happening here.”

3. Flash mobs work: Flash mobs are OK so long as they meet the event’s objectives. Dargie said, “We’ve all seen a million flash mobs in Pitt Street Mall [Sydney] but this form of dance entertainment can still work really well at events. Some of our clients have choreographed dances that include the CEO of the company. The TV show Mobbed took flash mobs to the next level and they’re still worth considering as a form of entertainment.”

4. Warm ups: Make sure you warm up the room before you send out the big guns. Dargie said, “If you’re going to spend $25K on a recording artist, make sure you warm up the room first. There’s a reason they have support acts at concerts. It raises the energy and makes the audience more receptive to the big act.”

5. Size matters: Match your entertainment to the size of the crowd. Dargie said, “For a huge event, make sure you have multiple forms of entertainment and involve the audience. For a smaller event, just go for something like a Latin dance performance. For the price of two dancers, you can make a huge impact.”

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