Selecting Music

Before I get into this post, I’m going to add a short note. I’ve noticed lately that my posts are much more general now and not strictly drill-only. I think I’m going to continue with this, providing more general tips on things like flexibility, endurance, etc.

So . . . how do you know what music is right? Many performances involve a theme, and if the music fits that theme, then you select it. Sounds logical. But what if there are thousands and thousands of song fitting one theme? What if there’s no theme at all?

First of all, you want to find music that’s danceable, if that’s even a word. You know what I mean. The tempo shouldn’t be too fast or too slow for the type of dance you’re performing. You wouldn’t perform hip hop to classical music nor ballet to R&B. Stick to the right “theme” for the dance and keep a good tempo. Make sure that the music expresses the true art of your dancing. For lyrical, find music in which you can express strong emotions and also show your grace; for drill, find music in which you can keep your moves precise and sharp.

Secondly, find music that everyone likes. Someone that hates the music won’t like performing to it, and that’s gonna show in the performance. Take a vote!

Thirdly, choose the music that best fits what emotion or theme you’re trying to convey. I’ve played piano for over a decade now, and there are the songs that truly move me and then the ones that end up on the floor somewhere. You want the music to move you. It’s usually easier to express sadness than happiness for some reason, but always try to incorporate various emotions. Go into complex emotions. Show the differences in all these emotions: sadness, fear, anger, happiness, excitement, etc.

Also choose music that communicates and moves the audience. Repetitive music is boring and the audience is unengaged. Make everyone feel moved after watching your performance.

Lastly, choose a variety of styles. Of course, some dances are limited in the types of music that they can use, for instance, a lyrical dance usually won’t be performed to rap music. There are still so many types of music that you can use for each dance. I know one problem with drill is that many teams like to use 100% techno music. Sure, techno is great for drill especially because it promotes sharpness and you can hear exactly where the beats are. Go for other types of music. Engage your audience by varying the style every once in awhile.

I know that lots of dance teams are just starting up (if they haven’t already) in September. I wish you good luck and a jolly dance season!

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