Tag Archives: recital

Tap choreographers: It’s Time for Tea

If you choreograph tap or jazz, I have come across the most amazing song for a routine. And it’s pretty far off the beaten path, not a song I’ve ever heard at a competition. I will deliver a squeaky clean version, perfectly edited for a 2:39 routine​. As one dance teacher exclaimed today “This is FABULOUS!”

Listen to the preview here:
Time for Tea (Squirrel Trench Clean 2:39)

If you’d like to get this version, just email me at morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com!

Ultra clean Run the World (Girls)

Recently, a dance teacher contacted me in an emergency situation. She needed an ultra clean version of Run the World (Girls) for a fellow teacher’s routine. Her response to the result:

“Wow! Thank you so so much! I cannot express how grateful I am that I don’t have to tell 15 parents their girls aren’t performing tonight. I’ll certainly use your services in the future!”

—Brianna Hafen
America’s Kids in Motion

Two ways in which poor music editing can lead to students who quit dance

Recently, there was a great conversation about the value of music editing as it pertains to dance studios in the Facebook group Dance Teacher Network. As I’ve outlined previously, there is much more to quality music editing for choreography than simply making a cut and calling it a day. Good music editing for choreography takes into account song structure as well as employs a variety of audio engineering techniques when needed. But there are two specific cases where poor music editing can completely frustrate a dancer, and in extreme cases, may even lead a student to quit dance entirely!

There are two kinds of poorly executed music edits that can lead dancers to quit: Awkward fade-outs and too much repetition

The first kind of poor music edit is one that robs the dancer of the applause that he or she so very much deserves after performing a routine. This poor choice is when a dance group or soloist’s song is simply faded out without any thought as to how the music should flow from start to finish. These type of fade-outs usually have the performer(s) dancing off the stage at an awkward point in the song; at a point where the audience isn’t expecting the routine to end because the music does not sound like it’s supposed to end. So the dancer is all the way off stage before the audience realizes that the routine is over, and there is a hesitation before they start to applaud. AND, the dancer is now not on the stage to properly feel, and fully receive, the audience’s applause. In extreme cases, this leaves a young, fledgling dancer who is timid, or a little bit uncertain of their dancing abilities, feeling like the audience may not have really appreciated their routine after all. Instead, always put a button on the music to ensure the dancer(s) receive the applause they deserve while on stage!

The second, and even more direct route where a bad music edit can lead to a dancer quitting entirely is when there is too much repeating left in the music edit for a young soloist. This can happen no matter whether it’s a competition solo or a recital solo. When too much repetition is left in the music, it is extremely easy for a dancer to lose track of where they are in the song and thus where they are in the choreography. When the music repeats over and over (especially choruses that repeat and verses that repeat), the dancer doesn’t have the “help” of the music or lyrics to serve as auditory cues as to where they are in their choreo and what comes next.

Properly edited music for dance has all possible repetition removed. This is an aspect that the vast majority of DIY music editors (and even many audio professionals who have not studied the intersection of dance and music) fail to realize. Music with too much repetition retained leads to students who more easily lose track of where exactly they are in their choreo, an especially big problem in solos where you can’t cue off of another dancer. In these cases, the person creating the music edit doesn’t even realize that the repetition in the music is a big contributor to the problem. And if a student doesn’t not have the “help” of the music to help them remember their choreo, then that leads to frustration, which can lead to quitting dance entirely.

I’m sure you have viewed hundreds and hundreds of solo routines in competition as I have, and therefore you know that at a large comp, there will ALWAYS be at least one young soloist who runs off the stage sobbing because they forgot their choreo under the bright lights of the stage. I have come to the conclusion that poorly edited music containing too much repetition is a major contributing factor to these breakdowns.

Of course, sometimes a dancer who forgets their choreo returns later to the stage and performs triumphantly, but some of these dancers decide to quit dance forever right then and there. Why risk it? Why lose young dancers forever due to poorly thought-out music edits? Sure, there are sometimes when a student forgets their choreo, even with perfectly edited music. But no one wants their students to experience these kind of choreo-forgetting melt-downs.

You, as choreographer and teacher, pour your heart and soul into your choreo, into teaching your students, and cleaning their routines. You spend hours picking out the perfect costume to match your choreo. You deserve to have perfect, optimized music to match the effort you put into every other aspect of the dance, and you deserve to have music that actively helps your dancers remember their choreo instead of being a stumbling block.

This is why Squirrel Trench Audio music is created with the UTMOST care and precision — with song structure analysis to eliminate all possible repetition, ensuring that each music edit is a complete soundtrack, start to finish, that is ideal for choreography. Squirrel Trench Audio even has more than 1,000 clean song edits and remixes available in our archives. Check the listing for the songs that you want and email me or use this form to send me your music requests or for more information.

Edited songs for your dance recital

It’s that time of year again; time to select music for your dance studio’s recital. The good news is that Squirrel Trench is here to save you the time and frustration of aligning waveforms. Instead, browse the Squirrel Trench Audio archives of clean edits and remixes. Every edit and remix is created with recording-studio standards of quality, optimized for choreography. The archive now shows about 400 out of a total of more than 1,000. Special consideration if you’re interested in more than one song:
Squirrel Trench Audio archives

Bruno is BACK with 24K Magic

bruno-mars-bellagio-fountainsWe all remember what a terrific success Bruno Mars had with Uptown Funk in the fall of 2014. The song was written by Mark Ronson and featured Bruno Mars on vocals. The incredible groove was an instant hit. After extensive touring in 2015, Bruno is about to release a brand new album called 24K Magic.

While the full album is not due out until mid-November, the first song is available NOW. The song’s title is the same as the name of the album, 24K Magic. Unfortunately, there are a few words that are not at all appropriate for use in dance routines with youngsters. And that is where Squirrel Trench Audio is at your service with the very first SQUEAKY CLEAN version that eliminates all of the objectionable content. Words that have been eliminated include “sh*t”, “bad b*tches and yo ugly-ass friends”, “pimp”, and one additional occurrence of “sh*t”.

Squirrel Trench Audio has four squeaky clean versions to choose from. The full-length clean version is 3:42 in length, and additional edits are: 2:48, 2:37, and 2:19.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

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:
Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

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.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

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

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.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

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!