Tag Archives: selection

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.

Dance Competition Survey

There are more dance competitions to choose from these days than ever before. If you are a dance studio owner, how do you pick which ones to attend? Which ones are well-run and have the most fair scoring?

Squirrel Trench Audio is jumping into the void by presenting a survey of your satisfaction with dance competitions you’ve attended. This 10-page survey asks you to report your satisfaction level overall, and then breaks it down by asking your satisfaction with several aspects, such as judging fairness, dressing room accommodations, quality of photos and videos, etc.

Take the survey and find out how your results stack up with others’ experiences!

Squirrel Trench Audio’s Dance Competition Survey

The first question must be answered for at least one competition; all the rest are optional.

The competitions represented in the survey are:
West Coast Dance Explosion • Nexstar • OnStageNY • Starquest • Dancers Inc • Hall of Fame • Showstopper • Starpower • KAR • Legacy • Star Systems • Candance • Elite Dance Challenge • Headliners • USTD • Bravo • Groove • Power of Dance • Starbound • Turn It Up • Encore Dance • On Stage America • Step Up 2 Dance • Ticket to Broadway • I Love Dance • Spirit of Dance • Sophisticated Productions • Dance America • Access Broadway • NYCDA • Jump/Nuvo • Creation • Tremaine • Dance Makers Inc. • Dance Educators of America • Countdown • Dynamite • Revolution • Showbiz • Primetime • Masquerade • Beyond the Stars • ADA • Dance Machine Productions • Star Talent Productions • Encore DCS • Applause Talent • International Dance Challenge • Platinum Dance • Legacy Dance Championship • Odyssey • VIP • Talent on Parade (TOP) • Thunderstruck • Spotlight

Time to choose songs for the 2012-13 dance season

Recitals are wrapping up, or are done, and now on to Nationals for many competitive dance studios. That means now is the perfect time to finalize your song selections for the coming 2012-2013 dance season! When you have selected your song, and you need it edited, cut, or remixed to competition length, then email me, and I’ll make it happen for you. I can also speed your song up, slow it down, or raise its volume without distortion.

Here are a few songs to get your musical creative juices flowing:

Jazz:

Tenderoni – Chromeo

What Is Hip? – Juju Orchestra

Who Do You Think You Are? – Spice Girls

Lyrical:

Against All Odds – Academical Village People (a cappella cover of Phil Collins)

Slow Me Down – Emmy Rossum (nearly a cappella)
Slow Me Down – The Illinois Rip Chords (purely a cappella cover)

Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C

She’s Got A Way – Dear Abbeys (a cappella cover of Billy Joel)

I Am – Nichole Nordeman

Tap:

Let’s Go Crazy – Dear Abbeys (a cappella cover of Prince)

This Love – Academical Village People (a cappella cover of Maroon 5)
This Love – UVA Academic Village People (a cappella cover of Maroon 5)

If you need more suggestions, check out these pages which are chock full: JazzLyricalTap

Congratulations to the Dance Mom of the Year

Dancemom.com‘s online competition for the Dance Mom of the Year has just wrapped up. Squirrel Trench Audio is proud to be a sponsor of the contest, and will be providing a free music edit to two winners from Week 2 of the contest, and two music edits to the grand prize winner.

You can view the entries from the three finalists to win the grand prize.

Congratulations to Savgirlsmom for winning the Dance Mom of the Year title! Also, congratulations to MelPadgett and BerriCre8v and all of the other “momtestants.” You are all winners in my book.

In addition to the two winners from Week 2 (PinnellMom and GumbysMom), and the grand prize winner (SavgirlsMom), Squirrel Trench Audio will also be giving two free music edits to the runners-up, both MelPadgett, and BerriCre8v.

Soloist’s CDs are ready!

It’s that time of year… when the anticipation reaches a peak with the first dance competition of the season coming up in just days or weeks. The students have been rehearsing for months. Costumes have been selected and have arrived. Now it’s time to make sure that all of the studio’s music is perfect too. Squirrel Trench Audio has been busy burning-competition ready CDs on high quality Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs, complete with competition-ready labels. Note the nine rectangular spaces on the lower part of the CD; these spots enable the studio to write the number of the routine on each CD for every competition entered.

Competition CDs are ready to go

If you are a studio owner, and you want to make your music prep this easy, contact me about our Studio programs— a full service where you simply select the music for each dancer, and receive a set of rehearsal CDs for each student, as well as competition-ready CDs for performance. With this program, it is possible for the studio to make a small profit on their music each year instead of incurring an expense.

For more information, email me. The sooner the better, because the 2012-2013 dance season will be here before you know it!

An introduction to Squirrel Trench Audio

An introduction to Squirrel Trench Audio. This video segment covers why it’s important for dance teachers and dance studio owners to edit your dance music correctly from the start!

If you are new to Squirrel Trench Audio, or music editing, here are some links to what you can find here on the web site:

How to Avoid Awkward Fade Outs

Song Ideas for: JazzLyricalTapContemporaryMusical Theater

Services offered: Song editsCustom Remixes

Let me know if you found this video worthwhile, and what music editing tips you’d like to learn about in future video segments. Your feedback is appreciated!

 

 

 

When do you prep your music?

If you aren’t already a fan of Squirrel Trench Audio on Facebook, feel free to “like” us. (We’re also on Twitter if you want to follow us there.)

We’ve just added a poll on our Facebook page, and would be thrilled to get your answer. Check out the poll, and submit your answer here: Dance teachers – when do you select and prep your music for the upcoming dance season?

Keys to a winning dance competition routine

As pointed out in this article on Suite 101, there are three keys to creating a winning dance routine for competitions.

1.) Start with fantastic and appropriate music. Dance is based on the foundation of music. If you don’t build your routine and choreography on wonderful music, then you are missing out on a major source of emotional impact on the audience and judges. I can help you select winning music for your next competition dance routine. I’ve attended numerous Regional and National dance competitions, and have decades of experience in music. When choosing songs, there are some songs (or versions of songs) that will leave the judges flat. I can help you pick something memorable and appropriate for your dancer. Just let me know the dancer’s personality, age and what song they’ve used previously, and I will give you a couple of suggestions for their next song. Whatever song you select, I can also edit it to the needs of winning competition routines, i.e. the correct duration, and any other minor adjustments it might need, such as a slight tempo change, or boosting the volume without clipping distortion.

2.) Choreography. I am no expert in this field, that is for YOU the dance teacher to make great. I agree with the article; great choreography nearly always tells a story. It doesn’t matter if the audience doesn’t fully understand the story conveyed, if there IS  a story, then the dancer has a message to transmit to the audience, and that’s the important thing.

3.) Costume. Dance is a very visual medium. While the music provides the auditory part of the routine, the costume provides the foundation for the visual part of the routine. The above referenced article goes into greater depth on costume choices.

4.) What this article leaves out is the most important part of a winning dance routine: PRACTICE. Practice equals love. If your student loves to dance, it will manifest itself in the practice habits of the dancer. One of my favorite sayings is the difference between amateurs and professionals is that amateurs practice until they get it right, PROFESSIONALS PRACTICE UNTIL THEY CAN’T GET IT WRONG.

So now we know that music is the foundation of the dance routine. Costume is the foundation of the visual part of the dance routine. Just as you wouldn’t put your dancer on stage with a ripped or torn costume, why would you put your dancer on stage with music that contains scars, hiccups, half-beats, partial measures, jumps, cuts, awkward fade outs, or unnatural silences? I’ve heard all of these music editing mistakes at competitions. Are they enough to reduce the scores from the judges? I don’t know, but why take a chance? Since you put countless hours of rehearsal into your choreography and practice every week, shouldn’t your music reflect the same meticulous level of detail and precision?

When you are ready for your music to step up to your dance, Squirrel Trench Audio is here to deliver.

What have YOU found to be the key to creating a winning dance competition routine?

Songs for tap dance routines

Below are some music ideas for your next masterpiece of tap choreography. These will work for competition or recital. 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. Also, we have song suggestions for JazzContemporaryLyricalMusical Theater, and Kid Friendly Hip Hop. And here are even more songs for tap, and Songs for Tap, Part 2 and Part 3.

Get more taptastic Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

Upside Down – Jack Johnson

Man with the Hex – Blue Babies
Man with the Hex – The Atomic Fireballs

We Speak No Americano (Mafia Boys Mix) – Yolanda Be Cool

Drive My Car – Bobby McFerrin

Showbiz – Mike Stern

Mr. Success – The Hit Co.

Creep – Richard Cheese

Jungle Drum – Emilliana Torrini

Mr. Pinstripe Suit (live) – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Need any of these songs edited? Let me know.

Find even more tap songs here, and Songs for Tap, Part 2 and Part 3.

Songs for jazz dance routines

Below are some music ideas for your next jazz dance routine. These will work for competition or recital. If you have other great song ideas, leave them in the comments below and I’ll add ’em to the listing in the header above (Song Suggestions). 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. If you like these, we also have song suggestions for TapContemporaryLyricalMusical Theater, and Kid Friendly Hip Hop. There are even a bunch more songs for Jazz Routines.

Get more Squirrel Trench remixes at Legitmix

I Get A Kick Out of You – Tierney Sutton

Dirty Laundry – Bitter:Sweet

You’re The One That I Want – Grease (New Broadway version)

Real Love – Katherine McPhee & Elliott Yamin

Sneakernight – Vanessa Hudgens

What is Jazz? – Club des Belugas

Some Kind of Wonderful – Joss Stone

Flirt – Cameo

Just You, Just Me – Nat King Cole

I Am – Hillary Duff