Tag Archives: emotion

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.

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.

Songs for lyrical dance routines, part 2

Below are 19 songs that could be great for your next lyrical routine. If you have other great song ideas, leave them in the comments below and I’ll add ‘em! If you want to use any of these songs and need them edited perfectly for competition, we’d love to serve it up for you. We also have song suggestions for JazzTapContemporaryMusical Theater, and Kid Friendly Hip Hop. If none of these songs grab you, here is Lyrical Songs part 1, and we’ve got the whole list of lyrical songs here.

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My Ghost – Glass Pear

Collide (acoustic) – Howie Day (sample choreo)

The Freshmen – Jay Brennan (Verve Pipe cover)

Sunny Came Home (live) – Shawn Colvin

Chasing Cars (acoustic) – Sabrina (Snow Patrol cover) (sample choreo)

Strong Enough (live) – Sheryl Crow

Last Kiss (acoustic) – Boyce Avenue (Taylor Swift cover)

Time After Time – Eva Cassidy

Love Will Lead You Back – Young Divas

Where the Streets Have No Name – Vitamin Piano Series (U2 Piano Tribute)

Over the Rainbow – Celtic Woman (sample choreo)
Over the Rainbow – m-pact (a capella)
I’m Yours/Over the Rainbow – Straight No Chaser

Love, Reign O’er Me – Pearl Jam cover of The Who

Beside You – Marianas Trench

Imagine – Jack Johnson
Imagine – Taio Cruz

Love’s Devine – Seal

The Moment I Said It – Imogen Heap

If you didn’t find something that tickles your ears in the list above, we’ve got a bunch more lyrical songs here. And whether or not you wind up using one of these songs, we’d love to edit it to the correct length perfectly for you!