Tag Archives: new

Hot Hot Hot New Dance Music – Uptown Funk!

markronsonbrunomarsvideograb600Bruno Mars is the lead singer on Mark Ronson’s new, ultra-funky song, Uptown Funk. The groove is MASSIVE, and will get you up and dancing with its infectious beat. The only problem with this song, from a dance teacher’s point of view, is that it’s long (4:30), and there are lyrics inappropriate for dance students throughout. (As example, the background singers sing “hot damn” through the verses.) There are some other inappropriate lyrics sprinkled throughout as well.

Good news for dance teachers, Squirrel Trench Audio has been hard at work, editing the song into FOUR different lengths to get you exactly the right length for your students! The four timings are 2:45, 2:32, 2:16, and 1:59. And in all four versions, the lyrics have been CLEANED, so that there is no objectionable content in it.

This song is SO hot, it should come with a warning label:
Warning: Uptown Funk is so hot that multiple playbacks on your stereo system could cause dancers to lose control and overheat.

What are you waiting for? Click on one of the players below to get your clean copy of Uptown Funk to use in your next dance routine!

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

How to find fantastic music that isn’t overused

Happy-New-Years-Fireworks-2014-WallpaperFor all the dancers going to Nationals in the next few weeks, break a leg! I know some studios have already finished their Nationals, but in any case, the 4th of July for many dancers, teachers, and studios means it’s time to start working on music for the upcoming season.

Just thought I’d share this tidbit, that comes courtesy of my girlfriend, dance teacher extraordinaire Lesley Lambert, for finding that hidden gem of a song… you know, that one you hear at a dance comp, and can’t believe that no one else is using this amazing song. Here’s one way to do it:

Go to Spotify or Pandora or iTunes Radio, and play a song that you really like. Then turn it into a radio station, and you’ll have a whole bunch of similar songs, many of which you may have never heard of before. Give them a listen, and pick out the gem for your next routine!

Happy hunting and happy independence day!

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!

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.

2011-2012 dance season is underway

As we gear up for the 2011-2012 dance season, Squirrel Trench Audio has been super busy getting music ready for a new slate of superlative dance routines.

Some dance studios have started their junior, teen, and senior summer camps, and their group numbers have their soundtracks finished. Many of these are character and concept pieces – routines that tell a story. Several are tap pieces, several are jazz pieces, and at least one is a character piece. All of them are the foundation for winning performances. When the music is generating excitement for the kids, that enthusiasm is going to translate to the dance floor, which will make for excited audiences, which makes the kids more excited, in a positive virtuous cycle.

In addition to numerous remixes prepared for a competition level studio, I’ve also just recently edited a beautiful lyrical piece for an older teen, as well as a character medley for a dancer in Texas. With modern technology, Squirrel Trench Audio knows no bounds… I deliver your finished song or remix as an mp3 in a private folder just for you or your studio.

If I have time, I will post some music remixes that I created for dancers last season that have been retired, so you can get an idea of the quality work that Squirrel Trench Audio delivers – quality that is equivalent to what a major recording studio would deliver. Also, Squirrel Trench Audio is on Facebook, so feel free to “like” our page.

If you are getting your music ready for the 2011-2012 dance season, check out our services, or email me for more information about our music editing and remixing!

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.