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!

Congratulations, dancers!

Congratulations to four New England Dance Center soloists, a duo, and a trio, using Squirrel Trench Audio remixed songs and choreo by Miss Lesley, for winning 1st overall in your category at Star Systems‘ Worcester Regional yesterday morning… and the duo and trio scored the PLATINUM prize as well.

Congratulations to Rhythm Dance Company soloists!

Congratulations to the Rhythm Dance Company dancers on their first competition of the season! Soloists and Duos/Trios who have music edited by Squirrel Trench Audio include:

Sara G. with First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Elite Gold and 6th overall teen soloist

Allie D. with Giving – Gold

Molly G., Sara G., Katie R. – They Weren’t There – Elite Gold and 4th overall teen duo/trio

That is a fine start. Complete results from their first competition are here.

And that does not even touch on EIGHT of RDC’s group numbers that feature original Squirrel Trench Audio remixes… they came out GREAT and am excited to see them performed later in the Spring!

I love thrilling choreographers with exciting music!

As much as I enjoy editing and cutting popular songs to dance competition length, I take special pride in creating unique remixes that are often used for group routines, especially jazz, character, tap, and hip hop routines. Here’s what a choreographer in Utah had to say after I tweaked a remix to amp up the excitement level even higher:

“NAILED IT!!!! I am soooooo happy it is literally perfect! EXACTLY what I had in mind! I am so excited, the girls are going to freak out. Thanks a million, I really appreciate your help and creativity! You are great! So glad I found you! Thanks again!!!!”

— Daysha Pedersen, choreographer,
Cedar City/Salt Lake City UT
January 16, 2013

Fresh interpretations of Stairway to Heaven

Song choice for a dance routine is often undertaken with the greatest of care. The song instantly sets the mood for choreography that accompanies it. Many dancers enjoy dancing with songs that they are already familiar with, and thus popular songs are often a great choice for dance.

While Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever written and recorded, it is also one of the most over-played songs of all time as well. Kind of like what the Mona Lisa is to paintings. We’ve seen the Mona Lisa reproduced thousands of times, and we’ve heard Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven thousands of times.

So if you are considering Stairway to Heaven for dance song choice, a wonderful route to take is a cover version of the song. In a competitive environment, this can do wonders for making the music, and thus the routine, feel fresh, new, and exciting, while still using a popular song. Here are three fantastic and fresh alternatives to Led Zepplin’s original version:

Stairway to Rock version (featuring a wonderfully funky beat)

Rose Reiter version (very moody and intense)

The Insurgency version (female singer)

Enjoy! And as always, if you need one of these songs, or any other, cut, edited, or remixed for a dance routine, shoot me an email.

More happy dance teachers and parents

It has been such a great pleasure creating so many fantastic edits and remixes for dance studios, teachers, and parents. In addition, we’ve done music edits for the winners of the Dance Mom of the Year contest that was held earlier this spring on DanceMom.com. Here’s what the grand prize winner had to say:

“Had Sav’s ballet solo music edited by Squirrel Trench Audio (A DMOY prize).  He did an AMAZING job!  Sav’s ballet teacher was thrilled and impressed!
THANK YOU!”

— Savgirlsmom,
Dance Mom of The Year contest winner
November 1, 2012

In addition, we’ve created some slamming remixes for Rhythm Dance Company in Westborough, Massachusetts, and are looking forward to having them performed!

“Just listened once through- I Love it and am so glad I found you!!!  I have more mixes to send your way if you can do them!! Thanks again!  Psyched we can work together.”

— Nicole K., studio owner,
Rhythm Dance Company, Massachusetts
September 28, 2012

Determine the tempo first

Here’s a tip that will make all of your music edits (or cuts) much, much easier.

I just got an emergency assignment to edit a popular remix/dubstep song down to the routine length of 2:30. The dance teacher just couldn’t make it happen. This is very understandable; there are a lot of echoes and the dynamic range is pretty compressed, making it difficult to make out the downbeat in the waveforms.

However, if you start your editing projects by determining the tempo, and then lining up the downbeats to the tempo grid, doing the edits becomes a piece of cake. I am almost embarrassed to say that by lining up the music to the tempo grid, I had about 8 seamless cuts done in about 15 minutes. Boom, done, because I determined the tempo was exactly 140 bpm before starting to make transition points.

Not every music edits goes that quickly. Freeform jazz, or any music done without a click track can be really tricky to edit seamlessly. But for modern dance music, figuring out the tempo first can make the difference between hours and hours of waveform alignment (and still not getting it right), and a perfect precision job that is done in minutes.

If you are tired of pulling your hair out trying to get your music cuts to be seamless, send me an email instead. Let me know the name of the song and the length that you need the finished piece to be, and I’ll make it happen for you for only $39!

Wizard of Oz Remix is big hit

Just got a link to a video from Kim Houli, dance studio owner of Dance for Joy in Brielle, NJ. This is a video of the opening recital production number for which I did the music remix last fall. It was truly a pleasure to make this music, and an honor to provide the foundation for what Kim says was their biggest recital opening hit to date.

Enjoy the hard work of these fabulous dancers!