Normally, when you come across a short song when searching for music for your routines, you breathe a sigh of relief. You think to yourself, “Thank goodness, I don’t have to cut this one!” However, occasionally the song is TOO short. Into the void steps this extended (2:23), rockin’ fun version of Let It Snow! by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, perfect for a group tap routine. This song is simply begging to be used in a tap routine, and is great for any age dancers.
Honey, I’m Good by Andy Grammer has been lighting up the charts over the past couple of months, but it includes some inappropriate language. Squirrel Trench Audio is pleased to provide a clean, full-length version of this hit song.
It’s pretty amazing how much time, sweat, rehearsal, effort, and money goes into putting a competitive group dance routine on stage. I think it’s terrific and amazing that so many dance parents are able to give their kids the experience, discipline, camaraderie, and excitement of performing an intricate routine, complete with music, choreography, and costumes. While the kids on stage and the choreographers are the ones who get the medals and awards, really it should be the parents getting the awards for making it happen!
One thing I am always surprised about is how often these amazing routines go on stage, and are performed at competitions, with less-than-perfect music. Often times the music for these routines have jarring clicks, jumps, awkward timings, and mis-matched phrasing. While competitive dance is not judged on the quality of the soundtrack, bad music edits can make counting and choreography more difficult for the dancers since musical phrases can wind up with nonsensical timings like 9.7 beats instead of 8!
It surprises me that so much music with significant issues winds up on the competitive stage when you consider how much time, energy, and money goes into each dance. After all, the music is the foundation of the dance, and great music serves as the inspiration both for the dance teacher/choreographer as well as the dancers themselves. There are some studios, such as Mather Dance Company in the L.A. area, that go so far as to have original music commissioned for them by professional recording artists. While understandably, that kind of budget is out of reach for many studios, working with a skilled music editor is quite reasonable, especially when you think about the finances that go into each competitive routine that is put on stage. After all, we wouldn’t dream of putting a dancer on stage with a wrecked costume, so why would be put them on stage with wrecked music?
So let’s take a quick look at the cost to put one competitive dance on the stage. Oftentimes a unique music remix can be created for $199 or less, so I will wrap up our analysis by looking at that music cost as a percentage of the total cost of putting a routine on stage.
To make this calculation, I’m going to use conservative estimates. For many studios, the costs might be much less, while at others, they might be far more. For this example, let’s use a group routine with 15 dancers. If each of those company dancers is paying an average of $180 per month in studio tuition, and is in a total of 8 competitive routines, then their combined total studio fee, on a per routine basis is: 15 kids x $180 x 10 months / 8 total routines = $3,375 combined cost per dance. No matter if a guest choreographer is brought in, or the studio’s own teacher creates the choreography, that takes considerable effort, so we’ll budget $500 for the choreography. Next, costumes can easily run $125 per, for competitive routines, so that is another $125 x 15 = $1,875. But we haven’t even gotten to entry fees, let alone hotel and food costs that dance parents incur. If a competitive routine is entered into three regionals and one nationals, the entry fees can easily be $40 per regional and $50 per national. That is 15 x ((40 x 3) + 50) = $2,550. We are up to $8,300 for the combined routine cost, and we haven’t figured hotel or travel expenses yet.
Let’s assume that one of the regionals is near enough to the studio to not require a hotel, and let’s use a conservative estimate that the other two regionals will require one hotel night, and that the nationals will require four hotel nights. That’s a total of six hotel nights, so our calculation is 15 families x 6 nights x $110 / 8 routines = $1237. Let’s just round up to $1300 when you figure in food on the road. We’re also going to assume that families don’t have to purchase air fare to get to Nationals.
So our total cost, to put one group competitive routine on stage in all competitions is $3375 studio time + $500 choreography + $1875 costumes + $2550 entry fees + $1300 hotel costs = $9,600. Now imagine spending even as much as $200 for a spectacular custom music remix. That $200 represents 2% of the total cost in putting the routine on stage. Some would say that that is money well worth it. But I might be slightly biased as a music professional. Even if it’s not worthwhile to spend $200 on the music for a competitive group routine, it’s still very much worthwhile to spend $40 on having smooth and seamless music edits handled by a professional.
Recently a dance teacher requested a mix of songs, for the benefit of a little girl fighting stage 4 cancer. This teacher wanted to use the song All You Need Is Love combined with others for a 2.5 minute routine. I added the Tom Petty song I Won’t Back Down and wrapped it up with With a Little Help from My Friends. To create freshness, I used cover versions of all of these songs; Brandi Carlile’s upbeat version of All You Need Is Love, Blake Shelton & Dia Frampton’s The Voice version of I Won’t Back Down, and concluded with Brandon Roush’s The Voice version of With A Little Help From My Friends.
This uplifting and original Squirrel Trench mix is perfect for any dance routine designed to pay tribute and be inspiring to someone going through a tough time, whether it’s a medical battle or the loss of a loved one.
It’s that time of year…. when hours upon hours of dance rehearsal are getting ready to be brought to the big stages of competitions. Dance parents have poured hundreds upon hundreds of dollars into lessons, dance teachers have poured their heart and soul into creative choreography, costumes have been chosen and tried on, competition fees have been paid, and hotel rooms booked.
Dance teachers are doing their best to insure every aspect of the dance is as clean as a whistle. Entrances and exits are tight. Costumes, hair, and makeup is perfect and ready to go.
There’s just one thing left, that some choreographers forget to clean, and that is their music. There are several things you want to check, to make sure your music is as clean and perfect as it can be for competition.
Transitions: Make sure that every transition is precise and smooth. Hiccups, jumps, pops, or other glitches take the audience and judges out of the moment, distracting them from the beauty of the dance. In addition, bad edits can make it more difficult for the dancers to stay on tempo. Precise transitions, on the beat, are made far easier when you align the music to a tempo grid. Click here for more information on Finding the Tempo.
Lyrics: CHECK YOUR LYRICS. Judges will MAKE DEDUCTIONS for inappropriate language used in your music. There is no need for these deductions! Why risk the thousands of dollars that have been invested in your dance with an unnecessarily lowered score? You wouldn’t put your dancers on stage with tattered costumes, so why would you put them on stage with lyrics that have the potential to offend a judge?
Volume: Make sure you have not accidentally lowered the volume of your music in the editing process. Older songs can often have the volume raised without distortion in a process called mastering.
Clarity: Make sure you are not using a song imported from YouTube (more explanation on why). The quality often suffers and that loss of clarity will be amplified in a theater or convention hall.
If any of your songs needs cleaning, Squirrel Trench Audio is at your service. We have cleaned songs for lyrics, transitions, volume and clarity many times, and have literally helped dance studios increase their scores because of it. Use this request form to get your music cleaned! Squirrel Trench Audio also has clean versions of many songs ready to choreograph. For instance, here are clean versions of:
- BO$$ by Fifth Harmony
- Show Me How You Burlesque by Christina Aguilera
- Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
DON’T LET YOUR MUSIC HOLD YOU BACK FROM THE BEST SCORE YOUR DANCERS CAN ACHIEVE.
While 2015’s Super Bowl was one of the finest from a sports perspective, Katy Perry’s halftime entertainment may have stolen the show. Inspired by this amazing spectacle, this Queen of the Super Bowl mix features the first two numbers from this performance, Roar and Dark Horse. The length is 2:41 for a jazz or hip hop dance routine.
Due to the runaway popularity of our clean version of Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, we’ve created an album containing every length (six) of this song, that we’ve created to date. Our clean version of Uptown Funk is super-smooth – no awkward hiccups to interrupt the song’s funktastic groove! Most of our clean versions also include the exciting intro as performed on Saturday Night Live – an intro which is not heard on the iTunes release of the song.
This album contains six different lengths of the song, and is a terrific bargain at $11.99, a savings of 78% compared to buying each version of the song individually!
The six versions of the songs are: 4:28 (full length), 2:58, 2:45, 2:32, 2:15, and 1:59. One of the lengths is sure to be perfect for your jazz, tap, or hip hop competition or recital dance routine.
Grab your complete Bruno Mars Uptown Funk Clean Version album now! Or just purchase the length you need for your dance routine!
Be the first to use this new and peppy song, with a bit of a rock edge, guaranteed to be the soundtrack for a delightful competition or recital dance routine. Shut Up and Dance is a brand new song from Cincinnati, Ohio-based band Walk The Moon. Give it a spin, and take it home in your Legitmix shopping cart. Three lengths are available so that you can choose the right length to create choreography for your group, duo, or solo; no editing or cutting required.
Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon – 2:34 version:
Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon – 2:49 version:
Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon – 2:00 version:
Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix
One 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:
Here are five beautiful songs, perfectly edited for your next lyrical competition or recital routine. Start to finish, these songs are edited to be as flawless as your choreography. Give them a listen, and if any one of them is the perfect song for you, take it home via the Legitmix shopping cart.
- Try by Colbie Caillat (This is a FREE edit)
- Only Hope by Mandy Moore
- Safety Dance by Sleeping at Last (yes, this is a lyrical version)
- Rhiannon’s Breath is the Wind; mashup by Fingertrouble; original songs by Fleetwood Mac and Sia
- You’re The One That I Want by Angus and Julia Stone (yes, a lyrical version)
If you need a custom edit or remix, click here for an online form to get started.