One of our techniques to keeping Simchas Torah dancing going strong in a college campus Chabad House for 3+ or close to 4 hours is to diversify and change things up.
Simchas Torah is a time for fast lively songs, stuff you can dance to. But we intersperse some slow songs in between, it changes pace, rebuilds momentum. We also alternate between songs that everyone seems to know or are familiar with, and songs that you’d know from the prayers or yeshiva or Israel or camp. Most songs are Hebrew but we love to throw in English songs to the mix as well. And now and then to break up a Hakafah-circuit with an interactive song, one where people take turns and there’s a chorus – all good ways to keep momentum by changing things up and diversifying the playlist mix. You can bring back old songs again, too, as long as the playlist of shuffled well enough that it doesn’t feel like a same-old repeat.
And we break up the Hakafot dancing circuits (7 of them) with food breaks, bringing out different foods and courses in between each long dance set.
Beyond Simchas Torah songs technique, this is also helpful with Jewish life year-’round, to keep it sustainable, enjoyable and enriching:
Keep your Jewish mix varied and interesting. A little study and a little action. A little daily activity and something special for Shabbat. Do things as an individual and other things with community. Be sure to engage your head and your heart. Study online and in a book. A little Hebrew, and also in English. That which is exclusively Jewish, and also Judaism that blends and meshes with other parts and circles in your life. Do things you feel good about, and also push your horizons beyond your comfort zone. The more we keep our Jewish mix varied, rich, complex and interesting, the more it will engage more of ourselves, more of our senses, more times/stages/aspects of our lives…