Have you seen the new TV series World of Dance? If you have any appreciation of dance you should really run – not walk – to your nearest available device and watch it. Even if you don’t have any interest in the competitive/reality show aspect of this kind of programming it is 100% worth it to just see the amazing performances. I had to scrape my jaw off the floor after watching the first episode.
They also have a whole lot of online content and an extensive blog, so I’ll definitely lose some hours immersed in that. But before diving in, I decided to look up how the WOD judges are represented in the music4dance catalog. They all are. Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo because their music has inspired many to dance and Derek Hough because I’ve been cataloging DWTS choreography over the last several seasons. Click on the links above to see which of their songs are in the catalog or just type their names into the search box on the song page (for Derek you’ll have to use just his first name since that’s how I cataloged the DWTS choreographers).
Are there J-Lo or Ne-Yo song that you love to dance to that I haven’t identified yet? Let me know by commenting on this post or sending private feedback and I’d be happy to add them. If you would prefer to add them yourself, let me know that too – I’m working on a feature for that and it won’t take that much of a nudge for me to give you access to that as a beta tester.
One of the things I enjoy most about the musci4dance project is when I get feedback from people who have found the site useful. I’m especially happy when it comes from a direction that I don’t expect. It’s exactly that kind of feedback that I received from Mister “D” (David Simmerly) – a musician who performs for Ballroom clubs and weddings and was looking to expand his repertoire with music that would be well received in those contexts.
I asked Dave to expand a little on how he used music4dance and (paraphrasing) here are a few of the things that he came back with:
The first and second points led to an extended discussion about songs that are listed as Waltzes but are not in 3/4 time – check out my blog post on “Fake” Waltzes for more on that.
But there is a more general point that I would like to make here with respect to “correctness” of music for dance. I’ve compiled this catalog with an eye for finding music that inspires dancers to dance. This makes for a very loose definition of what songs “work” to dance a particular dance to. In a setting where a dancer is choreographing to a specific piece of music, even when that choreography is a traditional ballroom dance like in Dancing With the Stars, there is quite a bit of latitude in what music will “work”. Whereas in a social situation the dancers are more dependent on the beat and feel of the music to enjoy the experience of partnering in a specific dance style. And then of course when one is dancing competition rounds, there are even stricter rules about tempo.
In any case, I hope that many of the songs in the music4dance catalog fall into the category (as Mr. “D” says) of “making your pants want to get up and dance.” In the future, I hope to do a better job of tagging dances in a way that separates the strictly ballroom from the fun to choreograph to from the great songs for social dancing. The system is at least theoretically set up to do this since I’ve enabled arbitrary tagging of songs. It’s a big project to go through each song in an 11,000+ song catalog and make the kind of distinction I’m talking about here. On the other hand, it is exactly the kind of thing that works well when others jump in to add their own ideas to the mix.
As always, I welcome your feedback and participation. Thanks to David Simmerly for permission to use his name and information in this post. If you’re in the midwest and are looking for a great solo entertainer for your Ballroom Club, Wedding Reception or another occasion, you can find him on gigsalad.com.
Have you found a particularly useful or exciting way to search for music on the music4dance site? Just for instance, were you choreographing a swing-cha combo and constructed a search for songs that can be danced to both East Coast Swing and Cha Cha and that are not categorized as Latin Music? Or did you perhaps want to see a list of songs that could be danced to Cha Cha, Bachata, or Rumba but that are specifically 120 beats per minute?
You can do both of those pretty easily by using the Advanced Search page. And then you can get back to your own searches by using the My Searches page. But what if you want to share that cool list of songs with someone else? You can do exactly what I’ve been doing here – do the search and then copy the link from the address bar in your browser. That is a perma-link to the search that you just did and can be shared with anyone, anywhere.
As a bonus, if you’ve created an account, the searches that you share with your friends can include your likes and dislikes. For instance, you can share a list of all Cha Cha songs that you have “liked”. Or if you have a search you are particularly fond of but one of the songs just doesn’t work for you, you can unlike that song and then when you or your friends look at the list using the link you built you won’t see that song, and neither will your friends.
Feel free to share your favorite or most interesting searches here. If enough people do that, we can add a new section for interesting searches to the site.