Tag Archives: choreography

Michael Jackson/Dangerous & Janet Jackson/Rhythm Nation remixes

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, crushed it at the MTV Music Awards. Here is a remix based on that performance, along with some original twists. Edited for a 2:45 length dance routine.

Janet Jackson is one of the top female music performers of all time. Here is an original remix of the classic Rhythm Nation from the album 1814.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Another happy soloist in Alaska

Just finished remixing a fun mashup of several songs, including Britney Spears’ Work Work, into a unique solo routine for a young dancer in Bethel, Alaska. This unique remix features custom drum and bass additions for an exciting, never-before-heard audio foundation for choreography. Here’s what her mom had to say after listening to the finished piece:

“THANK YOU MORRISS!!!
I love it, and my daughter keeps saying, ‘That is sooo cool!’
It is perfect!”

– Delilah Hodge, dance parent
after hearing her finished custom remix for her daughter’s solo
I’d say mission accomplished!

Ready for some musical inspiration?

DANCE-silhouetteDance teachers, and studio owners, this post is for you.

Right at the peak of Regionals competition season, heading into recitals and possibly Nationals, there is much that needs to be worked on. Some of you are also getting ready for a new season of routines, which means new choreography, which means new music.

When you are ready to start working on the next season, and need musical inspiration, then look no further than a Squirrel Trench Audio custom remix. Every piece of music is worked on individually and uniquely for YOU and your dancer’s needs. There is no cookie-cutter process, and you will not hear your music used by another dance studio. For dancer teachers who love great music, we think the difference between a piece of music which is custom crafted just for you and your dancers is a difference that can be FELT throughout your process of working with your students. You KNOW that this music is YOURS and YOURS ONLY which is something you can feel great about.

We’ve created custom remixes for a number of dance studios throughout the country, including Beatles remixes, Michael Jackson remixes, Janet Jackson remixes, hip hop remixes, movie/Broadway soundtrack medleys, and many others. We’ve also done scary horror-movie themed remixes, and Dancing Through the Ages medleys. We can do recital opening/grand finale numbers such as this fun Wizard of Oz production.

If a Squirrel Trench custom remix is just the ticket to get your choreographic creative juices flowing (especially for your teen, junior and senior groups), then the process is easy. Just email me (morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com) or give me a call at 413-535-0621 to discuss the ideas you want shaped into the music for your routine. Pricing varies depending on the complexity of the project, but is generally in the range of $89 to $129.

Call or email me when you are ready to get started!

Rhythm Dance Company lights up Worcester

Yesterday I had the treat of seeing four performances by Rhythm Dance Company in the DanceXplosion regional in Worcester, Massachusetts, that used Squirrel Trench Audio original remixes and edits. It was a great pleasure meeting studio owner and choreographer Nicole Newman Kelley in person after working with her via email for the past several months to get her routines’ music produced.

Today’s spectacular RDC group numbers included:

  • Valerie ’68 by Amy Winehouse (small group jazz)
  • Get On the Floor, an original hip hop remix featuring On The Dancefloor with will.i.am (large group hip hop)
  • Glamourous, a rockin medley which starts with a cover of Glamourous Life (large group jazz)
  • Rhythm Nation, an original remix of the Janet Jackson classic (Production Line)

Congratulations to RDC on spectacular performances for these songs and all of the others performed this weekend.

Rhythm Dance Company wins Platinums at StarQuest

Rhythm Dance Company logoMore congratulations are in order for Nicole Newman Kelley and the dancers of Rhythm Dance Company for high gold and platinum-winning performances at the StarQuest regional in Providence, Rhode Island three weeks ago. RDC uses Squirrel Trench Audio original remixes and edits for their group numbers (and a few solos) this season, and highlights from the StarQuest competition include:

Solos:

  • First Time Ever I Saw Your FaceSara Graham – Platinum, 2nd Place Lyrical Age 14 & 6th Overall Select Teen Solo
  • The GivingAllie Davis – High Gold

Groups:

  • Shake Your Tail FeatherPetite Large Group Jazz – Platinum, 1st Overall Classic Petite Large Group
  • Work Me DownJunior Small Group Jazz – Platinum, 2nd Overall Select Junior Small Group, Judges Special Award: Awesome Attack, Choreography Award
  • Valerie ’68Teen Small Group – Platinum
  • Cali LoveJunior Large Group Hip Hop – Gold, Costume Recognition
  • Girls in SpaceJunior Large Group Hip Hop – High Gold, 4th Overall Select Junior Large Group, Petite/Junior Odyssey Award for Entertainment
  • Glamorous LifeTeen Large Group – Platinum
  • Get On The FloorTeen Large Group Hip Hop – High Gold
  • Rhythm NationTeen Line Production – Platinum, 2nd Overall Select Teen Line, Costume Recognition, Choreography Award

Full results can be found here on the RDC site and here on the StarQuest site. Congratulations RDC dancers! Keep up the great work!

How important is music to dance?

Dancer/choreographer Bree Hafen has written an excellent article about the role that music plays in her dance life on her blog. It’s called The Mystery of Music Decoded.

I think the best part of Bree’s article is how she explains how much care she takes when selecting music to match the song to the age-level of the dancer(s). It’s also great to get her insights into how important music is since it provides the emotional foundation of the entire dance.

Beatles remix – Somehow Someway

The following dance routine titled “All You Need Is Love” – was an Elite Senior jazz/character routine performed at the 2012 StarPower Springfield, Massachusetts Regional competition. Choreography by Lesley Lambert. Audio design/remix by Morriss Partee, Squirrel Trench Audio. Story & audio concept inspired by Cirque Du Soleil/Beatles partnership Beatles’ Love

I love doing custom, creative remixes for dance such as this one, and am excited that quite a few dance studios will be using Squirrel Trench Audio remixes for the 2012-2012 dance season. And more are currently in the works! If you are looking for a unique dance remix, then shoot me an email and let me know your concept and routine length.

Creative remixes for dance

Britney Spears beautiful new lookBesides delivering structurally-sound remixes of single songs, perhaps my favorite music editing project is a creative custom remix. These come in many forms. I just finished a remix of four Britney Spears songs for a large competitive group at a studio in Georgia, and I’m about to begin on a “Dance Through The Ages” remix for a non-competitive studio in New Jersey. And if you are looking for a two-part cheer music edit, that is no problem as well. Other custom remixes I’ve finished include a Pixie Hollow theme, a Mary Poppins mash-up, a Wizard of Oz retelling, a train medley, an evocative drum journey, a Beatles remix inspired by the Cirque du Soleil masterpiece Love, and many more.

If you are looking for some fresh new ideas in music to give yourself a creative boost for your next choreographic masterpiece, then shoot me an email. Prices for these custom remixes depend on the complexity, but typically run between $74 and $149.

Time to get your music ready for the 2012-2013 season

Here it is, the end of May, and for most dance studios, that means that Regional competitions are over, and it’s Recital time! As the dance season winds down, and studios get ready for Nationals, Summer Intensives, and Summer camps, now is the perfect time to start getting your music ready for the 2012-2012 season.

If you select your music within the next 1-2 weeks, and send it to me for editing, you can be sure you have the best music ready for your new choreography well ahead of Summer Intensives. Don’t make the mistake that many dance teachers make…. which is to choreograph first, and edit the music afterwards. The problem with doing it in this sequence is that in many cases, editing the song’s intro leads to a better soundtrack for your dance routine, and that is not possible if that part of the song has already been choreographed. If you choreograph the first minute-and-a-half of the music, you are tying your editors hands in terms of flexibility to deliver the best edited/remixed music possible.

Whenever you are ready to get your music edited, send an email!

The impact of music in dance

Over on the DanceMom.com discussion forum, it was brought up that some dancers really don’t care about the music that is used for a routine. Some people just want to dance, no matter what the music is.

While that is certainly a true statement, I also want to point out that in most instances of dance performance, music is of great importance. No matter whether it’s a cinematic work, broadway show, or dance competition, as much care should be taken with the choice of music as with the selection of costume, hairstyle, makeup, and props, especially in regards to the emotional impact the music can provide.

I’ve had the great pleasure of doing some music editing for title winning dancer Brianna Roland. Last year, I fixed the music she had self-edited, for the piece she had choreographed for Prince’s When Doves Cry. She won several dance competition titles with this outstanding routine:

For comparison sake, I edited k.d.lang’s Constant Craving, which uses the same 129 bpm tempo, to the same length of choreography, and swapped the audio for the original Prince song. Here is the same dance, but with Constant Craving as music:

In both versions, Miss Brianna’s dancing is superb (and of course is identical in both). Because the tempo of both songs is the same, many of Miss Brianna’s movements in the Constant Craving version are in sync with the music. Both songs are emotionally powerful. Watch both of these versions and let me know what you think of the difference between the two.