Traditions: The Hidden Key to Boosting Engagement and Togetherness

The only way I can describe what happened is as if there was a magnetic force on the dance floor that caused everyone at the wedding to move from their chairs to the dance floor instantly.

Prior to this moment, the dance floor was fairly empty, with only a few people repeatedly making an appearance. The majority of the wedding party hung on the outside in their seats, chatting away.

So, what caused the drastic change in the level of engagement on the dance floor? 

The Cha Cha Slide! 

As soon as the first few beats of the song started, everyone sprung up from their seats and found their place on the dance floor. Even those who didn’t dance all night got up and danced to the Cha Cha Slide.

Some people might think that the engagement happened because of this particular song. But I’ve seen the same phenomenon play out at other dance parties, with other group songs, such as the Electric Slide and the Wobble.

The answer to this magic engagement strategy is related to the history behind group dances. When a popular group dance song comes on, the tradition is that people get up and dance to that song.

In our Dance Floor Theory leadership program, we like to say that traditions are the social habit of engagement. People who didn’t want to dance all night found themselves on the dance floor for the group dance because that is the tradition surrounding these songs.

How are you leveraging traditions as an engagement strategy within your team, organization, or community?

If you don’t have any traditions in place now, start them today! There is no reason to wait. Your new people won’t know any difference; they will just hear the word tradition and be more compelled to participate.

The magnetic pull that transformed a once-empty dance floor into a center of joy at the wedding wasn’t merely the Cha Cha Slide or any specific song but rather the power of tradition. Group dances are a tradition that encourages even the most reluctant dancers to join in. This phenomenon is a testament to traditions’ impact on engagement, whether at a dance party or within your own team, organization, or community.

Don’t wait to establish your own traditions; they can be the key to sparking enthusiasm and participation among your people, all while fostering a sense of togetherness that transcends the ordinary. So, embrace traditions today, and watch your engagement and retention rates increase.

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