This is another question that I’ve seen a bunch of variations on over the years. It’s one of the reasons that I started music4dance. I love Big Band music and grew up playing Basie and Goodman in Jazz bands. And my dad was a big fan of Buddy Rich. On top of that Foxtrot and Swing co-evolved with this kind of music, so there is no problem finding plenty of music of that style to dance to.
But I’m also pretty eclectic in my musical tastes and some of the most fun I’ve had as a dancer is choreographing an exhibition dance to music that wasn’t written to be danced to – or at least not a traditional ballroom style dance. There are obviously limits to this, but you see it all the time on shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
When I received a variation on this question again recently, I checked and realized that in my big rewrite of the site, I had broken the easiest way to do this kind of search. This is now fixed, so you can go to the info page for the dance style you’re interested in by choosing “Dances” from the Music menu. Pick the dance style you’re interested in (in this case Slow Foxtrot). Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a tags section. This is a tag cloud that includes all of the tags (other than dance style tags) that people have associated with songs that someone has also tagged as danceable to Slow Foxtrot. From there you can explore all the unusual songs and musical styles that someone at some point has attempted to dance the Slow Foxtrot to.
I have to admit, going through some of these, that there are plenty that are a stretch – even with a choreographed set piece. But still a lot of fun to think about. If you go down this road and find things that stretch your ability to imagine dancing a particular style to and feel that they’re a mistake rather than a fun (but out there) variation, please feel free to vote them down. Remember all of this content is crowd-sourced, so you’ve got a vote if you choose to use it.
One thing that I realized as I was writing this is that there isn’t an easy way to go the other direction. You can use Advanced Search or the main Tag Cloud to list all of the songs associated with any tag. But that doesn’t give you a direct list of all of the dance styles, you have to scroll through all the songs and figure that out yourself. Let me know if that would be interesting to you and I’ll increase the priority of that feature.
And as always I love to hear from you – so please send me feedback about the site or with questions about this post. I may even feature your question in a future post.
If you want to be able to listen to a Spotify Playlist of all of the songs that you find in a search like the one above (or any other search on the site), you can do so by signing up for a premium subscription. I took the liberty of generating a playlist for the example above here in case you want to check it out – while you’re on Spotify, please “like” the music4dance account and any of the other playlists that you enjoy.