Tag Archives: dance

Warrior for Peace

serra_angel_greg_staplesIt’s only appropriate to announce Warrior for Peace, an original spoken word soundtrack on International Peace Day. This emotional and relevant message was voiced by a 15-year-old dancer. Several dance teachers have gotten advance copies and will be using it this season. This unique 3:00 soundtrack is designed for a competition or recital dance routine.

The opening lines:
I will not give into fear
I refuse to learn how to hate
Even if you try to knock me down
Even though you might make me angry,
Even if you tell me I should be afraid,
I will remain a warrior for peace.

More spoken word soundtracks for dance are located here:
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Dance is What We Believe

tallahassee-dance-recital-2Dance is What We Believe is a magical and passionate spoken word voiceover from Squirrel Trench Audio. Using the instrumental version of “Sort Of” by Ingrid Michaelson, it is voiced by teen dancer Shaunessey Lambert. This unique 2:33 soundtrack is designed for a competition or recital dance routine, and is available exclusively from Squirrel Trench Audio via Legitmix. Highly recommended as a recital opening number.

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This is what we believe.
There are things in this world, more powerful than words.
Thank you for sharing these things, with us.

Sia’s Elastic Heart Remixed

ive got thick skin and an elastic heartSia’s Elastic Heart is full of passion and heart-pounding drama. And Squirrel Trench Audio is proud to announce an exciting new remix of this amazing song. Full of twists and turns, this 2:59 rendition starts with a lonely heart beat and evolves from a delicate piano into a whirlwind of synth electronics, bass drops, and sharp outbursts, perfect for passionate choreography. If you have a contemporary or lyrical soloist or group, you’ll want to take a listen:

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Motown Mix

New to the Legitmix catalog; a mix of six popular hits from Motown called Motown Magic. This 3:00 mix designed for a jazz or tap dance routine includes The Way You Do the Things You Do by the Temptations; Baby, I Need Your Loving from the Four Tops; Stop in the Name of Love by the Supremes; Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles; Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder; and I Want You Back by the Jackson 5.

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Castle by Halsey

halsey castleHalsey has a haunting and beautiful song out called Castle. Get the official Squirrel Trench 2:51 or 2:21 edited version, for your next jazz or contemporary routine. Editing has been carefully done to provide the best possible foundation for your choreography. Squirrel Trench Audio is your source for clean edits and remixes created specifically for dance routines.

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Meghan Trainor debuts NO

Meghan-Trainor-No-2016Meghan Trainor is following up her previous breakout hit album Title, with Thank You, and the first single currently in pre-release is the catchy song NO.

Squirrel Trench Audio is first on the scene with a 2:29 edit of this song, perfect for your next jazz or tap dance routine.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Don’t forget: what you do is amazing

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you amazing dance teachers, ographers, studio owners, guest teachers, and everyone else who helps young people develop their dance abilities. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful dance community.

Dance is a precious art form that requires a spectacular amount of dedication, knowledge, skill, and training. From concept to choreography, music to costumes, hair to make-up, and every movement, hundreds upon hundreds of hours go into a single routine of three minutes…. three amazing and beautiful minutes, never repeated in exactly the same way twice.

-a-deep-breathAt times, it may be hard to remember all the positives of dance, especially when you are dealing with crazy parents who don’t read the material you send, and students who don’t want to put in the time and effort, yet want to dance like Misty Copeland. It’s easy to be frustrated about the time and energy required to recruit new students, update your web page, chase parents who are late with their payments, coordinate recital ticket sales, pay the bills, and the thousands of other tasks on your plate which aren’t nearly as fun as inventing new choreography or being in the studio teaching your kids.

At those difficult times, take a deep breath, stop for one minute, and remember that:

  • you are creating something of exquisite fragility and beauty, lasting but a few performances before a new routine takes its place
  • you are making the world a better place with the beautiful routines you create in it
  • most importantly of all, you are building beautiful human beings, giving them a purpose, a pride, and dedication in the craft that they love so much

It’s the last one on the above list that is the most lasting and impactful. You never know when that small child you teach is going to herself grow into a beautiful dance teacher, and inspire yet another generation of dancers to take flight.

Never forget.

What you do is beautiful.

What you create is beautiful.

Who you touch, is beautiful.

No one can do it exactly the way you do, with as much care and passion for your students.

Break a leg this recital season, and don’t let the drama-mamas nor pompous-papas get you down!

Prince tribute for dance studios

Purple-RainIt is with great sadness to learn that the amazing musician and talented artist, Prince, has passed away. For many of us, his music is an integral part of the soundtrack of our lives.

It has been my honor to edit and remix some of his amazing music for dance studios and dance teachers. If you are interested in using a Prince song for a dance routine, here is an edited version of one of his songs that has amazing funk, yet is not very well known. It’s popular with the kids these days to say “Werk it!” but more than 30 years ago, Prince was already singing “Let’s Work!”. Enjoy this edit!

Here is Let’s Go Crazy from the movie Purple Rain. This version has all objectionable lyrics omitted, has been remastered, and edited specifically to be optimized for a jazz or tap dance routine:

And for dance studios interested in a mix that pays homage to “The Purple One”, we are pleased to present this 3 minute mix that includes five of Prince’s more popular hits:

This 4:55 production mix starts with Let’s Go Crazy, and includes Let’s Work:

This 4:45 production mix is similar but starts with Purple Rain:

You can get ALL of these Prince edits and remixes for an amazing bargain price in this album:

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Importing songs from iTunes into Audacity

audacity imageFor dance teachers who need to edit their songs for length, it’s not always clear how to get songs from iTunes into Audacity. There are several ways you can do it:

  • You can drag-and-drop the song file from where it’s located in your iTunes folder onto the Audacity program icon.
  • You can choose File -> Import and then select the song you want to edit
  • You can drag-and-drop the song file icon from where it’s located in your iTunes folder straight onto the open blank Audacity edit window.

If you haven’t done so before, you will also need to download and enable the FFmpeg import/export library in order to convert the m4a file. There is no cost to do so, and it can be done quickly and easily by going to Preferences -> Libraries and clicking “Download” under the FFmpeg library listing.

If you want to export your edit as an MP3 file, you will have to download and enable the MP3 library, which can be done from the same place as mentioned in the previous paragraph, namely Preferences -> Libraries, and then click Download under the MP3 library option.

For more information, check out this Audacity Importing help page.

If you want to save the time and hassle of editing songs yourself, be sure to check out the Squirrel Trench Audio library of more than 300 edited songs and remixes (almost all of which have been cleaned of objectionable lyrics), ready for purchase and instant download on Legitmix. Below is a small sampling of what is available. Click through to the Squirrel Trench catalog on Legitmix to see more selections:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Protect your hearing at dance competitions

hd-bw-solo_1024x1024We all love the music that our routines are choreographed to, and that’s why dance competitions usually play your music really LOUD. Sound pressure levels of greater than 95 decibels are common in competition venues. You can easily get an approximate measure of the sound pressure level of any environment you are in with a free smartphone app. (I use Decibel Meter-Free for iPhone.)

Most dance teachers and choreographers are unaware that exposure to sound sources at these volumes (94 db or more) for more than 60 minutes consecutively can cause permanent hearing loss (source:National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)).

That is why I ALWAYS use hearing protection at dance competitions. You can use the cheap, foam type found in pharmacies, but that type tends to muffle the sound, and is therefore not enjoyable to use. I use Ear Peace protectors, which reduce the volume uniformly across all frequencies. The result is that the music sounds just as good as without the ear plugs, but the sound pressure is reduced so that you don’t damage your hearing or leave the competition with a splitting headache. I find that music actually sounds BETTER at competitions or rock concerts with the ear plugs than without, because at super-loud volumes, music actually distorts in your ear drums. Best of all, you can get a pair of HD Ear Peace protectors, with carrying case, for less than $20.

The other great thing about Ear Peace protection is that you can still have conversations with people that are next to you.

Just as you wear sunglasses in bright sunlight situations, consider hearing protection to be the equivalent device for your ears in loud settings. Do yourself a favor and protect your ears the next time you are at dance competition, especially when the solution is quite inexpensive.