We each have our own music that we like to dance to, for many different reasons. In this series of blog articles, I asked each of the team to put together a selection of songs they love to dance to, and tell me a little bit about why they chose them.
Although Michelle no longer teaches she has over 14 years of teaching experience to bring to the table, as well as a huge love of all kinds of music!
- The Way You Do the Things you Do
I love the versatility of swing and the way it can fit to a beat that is not necessarily ‘swung’. In my mind this makes it a bit more of a jive type feel. For the faster swings I quite like old school party music such as;
I’m a big fan of aussie music in general and one of my favorite high energy swings is the Paul Kelly classic:
- Dumb Things by Paul Kelly
In general though my favourite way to dance swing is slowly. It is ‘swing’ after all so let’s swing those hips!
- The Way You Do The Things You Do by The Temptations
I am a big Tracey Chapman fan. Girl’s got soul!
- Give Me One Reason and Talkin’ About A Revolution are both delicious rumbas.
I could go on and on listing rumbas but I’ll just pick a couple;
- Red Right Hand by Nick Cave
- Little Red Corvette (acoustic version) Steve Acho - cool, bit different, like it :)
- Stepping Stone by Duffy
- Dream Machine by Mark Farina
- Cupid by Sam Cook for a bit of old school
- Heart’s A Mess by Gotye (it’s a very long song… so maybe not the whole thing)
- Coming Back By Gotye. Once again very long. It would be great to find a version that ended around the 3:50 mark
- American Baby by The Dave Matthews Band. My favourite band but often their music chops and changes too much to dance to. This is a nice smooth and consistent beat so it has to go on the list.
- Oh by Dave Matthews (solo)
- And of course my wedding song… Gold To Me by Ben Harper. Not only is it a great song that reminds me of my wonderful hubby but it actually has a really handy emphasis on the ‘slow’ count.
Cha oh yes… so many great songs to cha cha to!!! Everything from tacky pop to sassy Latin.
- Sax by Fleur East is so sassy and flirty it basically is cha cha come to life! I also like that the song is dynamic with stops starts and light and shade so you can really play with it. It’s also great for cha cha animation dances too.
- In My Blood by the Veronicas always makes me want to Cha, I just wish the beat didn’t drop out so much! Oh well this is a good spot to test your musicality and come up with something creative ;) maybe throw some tumba in there…
- Come Dance With Me by Michael Buble’ is fun. It’s a bit too fast for me to get the right technique happening but it’s good just for a bit of a party.
- As with most dances the best way to practise technique is to practise to a slow song so for slow technical cha cha I like On Broadway by George Benson
So… I like those really cheap and tacky remixes of popular songs made into salsa and bachatas. There you go. I said it. You like what you like, so there’s nothing I can do. For example:
- We Don’t Talk Anymore (salsa version) by Mandinga
- Generally I prefer really slow, flowey kind of salsas like…
- Toda Una Vida by Leoni Torres
- I like Bailando (salsa version) by Croma Latino. It’s nothing ground-breaking but I feel like it reminds me of when I first started salsa dancing around Adelaide and would hear it every time I was out dancing with someone. Good memories. These days I am in bed before the salsa night starts but anyway…
I also like dancing to reggae music as it makes for slow, groovey salsa that you can add a lot of body movement to.
- Baby I Love Your Way by Big Mountain
- I like Dura by Daddy Yankee as a fun poppy salsa too :)
- Go Gentle by Robbie Williams
- My Baby Just Cares For Me Nina Simone is classic and classy
- Fever. I like the Beyonce version best but can no longer find it on spotify :( Micheal Buble’ will do
Rock 'n Roll
- Bright Side Of The Road by Van Morrison. Listened to a lot of Van M growing up and this song is fun, happy and reminds me of my mum and dad :)
- Up late by the Custom Kings - Just great song.
- Bruises by Chairlift. I first came across this song years ago when a wedding couple chose it for their First Dance. I have been addicted ever since.
- Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. Yes, it’s overdone and overplayed BUT from a teaching point of view this is generally the first song s couple might dance rock n roll too. Over the years I have seen thousands of couples dance rock n roll for the first time ever with a huge smile on their faces and that makes it very special to me. It always makes me smile :)
- I was Here By Beyonce- This hands down, my favourite Waltz song ever. It’s nice and easy to dance to but it chops and changes from soft and subtle to moments of vibrancy and energy.
- Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin
- I am a big Norah Jones fan so Come Away With Me and Be Here To Love Me have to make the list too
- I Still Call Australia Home- It’s Australia. I love Australia. You love Australia. We all love Australia so we should dance about it more often. This is one of the greats.
- Come Back To Bed by John Mayor- Big John Mayor fan and this one has a nice consistent beat that’s easy to hear and dance to.
I have the smallest Tango library in the world and I need to work on that.
Once again, as with salsa, I am not a purist when it comes to Bachata. The Bachatas in Spanish are cool but I can’t really tell them apart because I don’t speak spanish. I like the remixes better.
- Stand By Me by Prince Royce
- Drunk In Love by Sasha X
Basically go to YouTube and type ‘bachata remixes of popular songs’ and let it play..
- Loma De Cayenas by Vicente Garacia. This was one of the first Merengues I ever danced to and it’s just so happy and cute sounding. It makes me feel like I’m on holiday on a tropical Island. Pina Colada anyone?
- Suavemente’ by Elvis Crespo. The classic old school Merengue, still like this one even though i have heard it thousands of times.
- El Africano by Gabriel. High energy and ready to party. This one also chops and changes a lot so you can play with the musicality of the song if you know it well enough.
- Baby You Turn Me On by Nick Cave
- Piano Man by Billy Joel
- Everyone’s Waiting by Missy Elliott
- Angela by Missy Higgins - One of my good friends David used to play this when he was teaching V/Waltz and it reminds me of him :)
- I’ll Be by Edwin Mcain - Not really one of my favourite songs to sit and listen to but my favorite for practising Viennese Technique due to its consistency and slow timing.
- Puttin’ On the Ritz - Fred Astaire - When I was 9 or 10 I went through a faze where I was OBSESSED with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I watched all of the movies, read the biographies and used to try following the dances in our living room. This is a great song even if it’s very fast.
- A slower version that in like is found on the Cafe Des Belugas album
- Crazy in Love Electro Swing remix
- Valerie Feat. Amy Whinehouse - We used to play this song a lot when we first started QuickSteps and David and I did a routine to this song at our first ever Winter Ball so it’s very special to me. Always makes me want to dance!
- Try Me by J’Lo and Jason DeRulo - I am a sucker for trashy RnB and here it is!
- Cheap Thrills by Sia
- Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani
- Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran
- Lush Life - Zara Larrson