Question 1: I’m learning to Cha Cha, where is some great music for practicing?

Okay, so that’s a slight rephrasing of the question from my previous post.  But it sticks to the spirit of the idea.  As a dancer learning a specific new dance, be it Cha Cha, Paso Doble or Waltz, where can I find music?

So how do I do that?  Dance generally co-evolves with music, so to get a very traditional song for any dance, it’s usually easy to find a source.  If you like swing dancing, Benny Goodman is a great source or if you like to waltz Strauss is always available.  However, if you’re trying to learn a number of dances at about the same time or if you’ve got taste in music that is more modern than the traditional music that the dance evolved with, this starts to get confusing.

It’s also often the case that some of the most interesting choreography to traditional ballroom dances is performed to music that is entirely different than the style that it evolved with.  A recent example of this is Jean Marc Genereux’s Paso Doble on  So You Think You Can Dance Season 11, choreographed to Rob Zombie’s Dragula.

In any case, there are of course as many ways to answer the question at hand as there are dancers.  From my perspective, one way to go about finding dances to Cha Cha to is to it to go ask the internets.

Well, I’ve done internet searches on various dance styles a number of times over the years. I’ve combined the results along with some songs from my personal catalog.  I’ve done a bunch of merging, cleaning up and matching to four of the major music service (Goove®, Amazon® , iTunes® and Spotify®) and the result is the dances page on the site.

What do you think?  Would you use the music4dance dances page now?  What features would you need to make this something you would use? What would make this into a site that you couldn’t live without?

The Two Questions that Inspired Music4Dance

As a beginning ballroom dancer there were two questions that kept coming up:

  1. What are some songs that I could play to practice the dance that I’m currently learning?
  2. Which dance style(s) can I dance to this song that I’m currently listening to? For instance, would this work for a Cha Cha or an East Coast Swing?

The dances page on the site is the beginning of an answer to question #1.

Dances Page
Snapshot of the Dances page from music4dance.net (August 6th, 2014)

And the counter page is the beginning of an answer to question #2.

Counter Page
Snapshot of the Dances Counter page from music4dance.net (August 6th, 2014)

Which of these questions is most important to you? Or what other questions are more important to you?

If you’re a dancer or teacher, what are the questions you ask?

Where to Start?

I’ve been spinning my wheels a bit with respect to this blog. It is much easier for me to write code than to write prose, but I realize that for anyone to see what I’ve been doing coding-wise, I need to start publicizing it. And one of the ways to do that is to start blogging about it. I had some grand ambitions to try to set up categories and start writing tutorials about the relationship between music and dance and have a bunch of thoughts around both those things, but nothing has quite gelled. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to spend time coding and cataloging.

So I’m going to go back to my original intention of writing small posts about what I’m currently thinking about, as well as doing a bit of catch up about what I’ve been doing with the main site and I’ll let you vote with your comments about what you want to see both on the blog/documentation and with the site and its features.

Do you think this post is small enough?

Introducing the music4dance Blog

I’m an amateur dancer and with some training in music who also happens to be a professional software engineer. I love dancing, and I particularly love dancing when I enjoy the music that I’m dancing to. This blog is going to be about my journey in trying to build a technical solution to this problem. I’m hoping to build some community around this idea since music and dance are both so personal that multiple viewpoints early will be essential to any kind of success in this area.

I’m hoping to keep this blog in the short and frequent post format, and may start building more article like content alongside it. So please  hop on over to my about page for a bit more detail, visit my alpha music catalog site and poke around and let me know what you think.

Shall we dance…to music?

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