Tag Archives: fresh

Hard rock music for advanced competitive dancers

0401kxmOne of the challenges facing choreographers is age appropriateness. What works for 9-12 years olds is not going to be ideal for 15-17 year olds. When you have advanced teen dancers and are looking to give them something modern and fresh with a rock and roll edge, check out the latest offering from Squirrel Trench Audio: an edited version of Do It Now from the new self-titled album by KXM. Preview the track below, and if this is your song, take it home via the Legitmix shopping cart:

Enter Sandman by Metallica is now also available, edited for a 2:45 routine length:

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

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.

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.

Break through at your dance competitions

Many competitive dancers are looking for ways to break through to higher scoring at dance competitions. Hours upon hours of rehearsal, of focused practice, is the number one requisite to winning. In addition to practice, much effort and thought goes into creating the perfect costume.

Don’t overlook the foundation for any dance choreography: the music. The music provides the energy, the vibration, and the platform to express emotion and story in the dance.

One way to lift your dance to the next level is to use a fresh, original remix of the music you use for your choreography. There is no reason to use overplayed songs when there are many things you can do to make your music unique. You don’t have to settle for simple edits. Your music can be much more than that.

Squirrel Trench Audio is in the midst of new season of spectacular, original remixes for competitive dance as well as recitals. I will be sharing many of these original remixes once their routines have premiered in competition the weekend of March 3, 2012. If you have a routine you are proud of, and are interested in taking the music for the routine to the next level before competition season gets underway, shoot me an email.

Original remixes for your dance routines

Are you looking for new, exciting, and fresh music for your next dance routine? Then you are ready for a custom Squirrel Trench remix. Your music should be as memorable and fresh for the judges as your choreography.

Here are some samples:

Pixie Hollow – Squirrel Trench Remix

Drive – Squirrel Trench Remix

Original Squirrel Trench Remixes are already underway (and some completed) for the upcoming 2011-2012 dance season. These remixes include the Beatles, a Slumber Party theme, a train theme, a movie theme, and others.

If you are interested in a custom Squirrel Trench Remix for this upcoming dance season, send me an email!

Fresh dance music requested

Warning: the following message is a rant about using worn-out songs for dance routines. If you want to use the same-old-same-old songs for your dance routines, stop reading now because I may offend you. (I originally wrote this message as a follow up to conversation about overdone songs on DanceMom.com)

<rant starts now>

There are absolutely NO excuses for using the same, tired out old songs over and over and over again. Dance is a living art form. Music is a living art form. Dance is an art form based on the foundation of music. Can an exceptional dancer overcome a tired-out song? Yes, of course. But why put that kind of a burden on the dancer?

In general, if you are going to use tried-and-true songs, it’s better to give them to the youngsters, because everything is new to them, classics are classics for a reason, and it’s very cute to have little kids performing songs that were written before they were born. But once you get past that 7 or 8 year old range, it’s time to give your dancers FRESH, INTERESTING material to work with.

I’m very proud of the character music remix called Pixie Hollow that I created for my girlfriend who is the assistant director at a first-class dance studio. She wanted a fresh, new music track that was based on a Tinkerbell theme, and Pixie Hollow is the result. You’ve NEVER heard music quite like this before. When parents, judges, and an audience hears something new and original like this, they sit up and take notice, and know that they are in for a dance number that is refreshingly new and different. This routine and performance is something that these dancers and their parents will never forget. At Headliners, Pixie Hollow was even invited to go on to the US Dance Team Finals at their Nationals.

Even when you are using tried-and-true classics and standards for music, there is no excuse not to use FRESH versions of them. Cover songs are often better than the originals, and will certainly be more exciting and more interesting to the judges AND audience than something they’ve already heard three million times. I’ll follow up this message with many examples of FRESH covers of the dance classics.

We’re trying to generate excitement, enthusiasm, even PASSION for dance in these youngsters. When it comes time to perform, you want the audience (which includes, fellow studio dancers) to be excited for the performance! You are hurting your chances at generating that excitement when you use music that puts the audience to sleep because they’ve heard it many times before. You are keeping your audience on its toes when you use music that NEW, FRESH and DIFFERENT.

You wouldn’t DREAM of putting dancers on stage in costumes that are ragged, torn, threadbare, tattered or stained. Why would you put them on stage with music that is ragged, torn, threadbare, tattered, and played to death when there is a universe of new songs itching to be performed? Who’s with me on this?

</end rant>

Okay, time for me to get off my soapbox now. You might be able to tell that I’m passionate about music, and passionate about delivering THE BEST MUSIC POSSIBLE to dancers. If you or your studio is ready for first-class music, I am ready to deliver.

To find some great cover versions of classic dance songs, check out Fresh Alternatives 1 and Fresh Alternatives 2. For some completely fresh songs for your next routine, we have them here: Jazz | Tap | Lyrical | Contemporary | Musical Theater | Kid Friendly Hip Hop

Fresh takes on classic dance songs, part 2

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There is NO excuse to use the same old worn out songs when selecting music for your dancers. Classic songs are wonderful, and they are even MORE wonderful when you choose a fresh new version of them. These cover songs are usually at least as good, and often better, than the original, and have the added benefit of KEEPING THE AUDIENCE INTERESTED in the dance performance they are watching. (Judges too will be more perked up by something FRESH and NEW.)

To aid you in this quest for music FRESHNESS for your dance routines, here are a number of outstanding covers of classic songs:

I’ve Got The Music In Me – Sing Off Contestant Ensemble; Boogie Pimps; Jump 5; Paul Cacia; Le Freak; Miguel Olivares-Alvarez

Footloose – The Bacon Brothers (live); The Madison Project (a capella)

It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it ain’t got that swing) – The Hula HoneysBubbling Brown Sugar; Randy Greer & Robin Nolan Trio; Lisa Ono; Joscho Stephan (fast!); Real Group

In an earlier post, I link to some fresh cover alternatives to It’s Raining Men.

Check out more Antidotes to worn out hits. Also, there is a set of pages on this blog devoted to giving you song ideas for dance competition, grouped by dance category: JazzTapLyricalContemporaryMusical Theater, and Kid-Friendly Hip Hop.

What alternative cover of a popular dance song have you enjoyed using? Post your favorites here in the comments!

Fresh takes on classic dance songs

As we enter full swing of the competition season, it’s a great time to reflect on song choices for the dance routines. Out of the millions of songs that have been written since the dawn of mankind, why is that some songs get completely worn out at dance competitions? Often it’s because they are used in a hit movie or a memorable episode of SYTYCD, and suddenly everyone thinks that they are the only person to have the idea to use it for their own dance routine.

Well, popular songs are popular for a reason. Something about them connects with us, and has an emotional appeal that is hard to explain. But when they are over-used, it creates boredom for the judges. You want to present the judges (and audience) with something as fresh as your beautiful choreography deserves.

Even when you decide to go with a popular song, there are usually many ways to keep the song fresh for your dancer(s) and the judges. One way is to look for alternative versions than the most popular one. You could see if the original artist has a live version of the song. Often these live versions will have more energy than a studio-recorded song because it was performed in the presence of an audience. Often times if a song is extremely popular, other artists will do their own interpretations of it. Usually the best of these “cover songs” will be in a style that is very different than the original. If the song sounds nearly identical to the original, than why bother using it?

When looking for alternative versions of popular songs, check out the Vitamin String Quartet. This prolific recording team has made classical string versions of hundreds upon hundreds of popular songs. In fact, they have more than 370 albums in the iTunes store.

Here is one example of an overly popular dance competition song that has alternative versions that are very different stylistically from the original:

Original: It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Fresh Versions:

Check out more Antidotes to worn out hits. Also, there is a set of pages on this blog devoted to giving you song ideas for dance competition, grouped by dance category: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, and Kid-Friendly Hip Hop.