3 Of My Favorite Songs For Each Dance Including Waltz, Quickstep, Cha Cha Cha and Jive
As a competing Ballroom and Latin dancer, I find that lots of the time that I spend practicing for a competition is wasted because despite having many favorite songs, I can never remember them there and then. As a result I have come up with a list of my favorite song for each dance to make practice sessions more efficient and enjoyable. Here is my list of favorite Ballroom and Latin songs...
Waltz Song 1: Moon River by Frank Sinatra
My first favorite waltz song would be 'Moon River' as it is a very relaxed song and it reflects and captures the flowing beauty and essence of the slow waltz. I personally prefer Frank Sinatra's version.
Waltz Song 2: Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
My second favorite waltz song would be 'Come away with me' because it is a song with an ideal waltz tempo. The song is gentle and flowing and enjoyable to dance to.
Waltz Song 3: Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra
My third favorite waltz song would be 'Dark waltz'. I like this song because it has a less clearly defined beat than the other two songs I have chosen. Whilst it may make this song ever so slightly harder to dance to, I think that it looks a little more effective and sublime because as the audience, we are not focusing as much on the beat because we are hearing the melody instead. Therefore, I like the fact that this song is driven solely by sublime melody with no reliance on a drum beat.
Quickstep Song 1: Valerie by Amy Winehouse
Who doesn't like dancing to a bit of soul? This is a great upbeat song with some nice brass instrumental additions which is quite reminiscent of a traditional quickstep (take Benny Goodman's 'Sing sing sing' for example). Aside from having a quickstep rhythm, I chose 'Valerie' mainly because it has a great melody.
Quickstep Song 2: Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
My second quickstep song is 'Are you gonna be my girl' because this is a cool, modern quickstep which is enjoyable to dance to. It's a great, high energy song with a catchy melody that will make your quickstep look great.
Quickstep Song 3: Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman
As a more traditional sounding quickstep, 'Sing Sing Sing' by Benny Goodman typically consists of a snazzy instrumental melody. The rhythm is of course very fast and the sharp instrumental accents are great for fast and sharp dance movements.
Here is a CD with some other Ballroom and Latin dance music along with the songs tempos
Cha Cha Cha Song 1: Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz
'Break Your Heart' is a song that is sometimes played in dance competitions and so is a useful song to practice to if you are considering entering Ballroom and Latin dance competitions. The beat is and ideal tempo for dancing the cha cha cha and it is very well defined and so ideal for sharp movements to dance to. Of course I think that the melody is very catchy and fun to dance to as well.
Cha Cha Cha Song 2: 'Smooth' by Santana
I think that 'Smooth' by Santana is a great song for the cha cha cha because as soon as the electric guitar kicks in, it has a feel good vibe to it. This is as well as a great melody and a well accented beat which is easy to count the cha cha rhythm to.
Cha Cha Cha Song 3: Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader
This song has made my list purely because it is one of my favorite feel good songs.The melody is catchy and really enjoyable to dance to, not to mention it also has a great, clear beat for a perfect cha cha cha rhythm.
Jive Song 1
Jive Song 1: Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars
Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars is one of my favourite jive songs because of the catchy melody. I also like the fact that the tempo is rather fast which I think allows for a more energetic and precise dance. Furthermore, I like how there is an obvious place to begin the dance which is when the beat comes in at 0:08 seconds following the introduction.
Jive Song 2: Pump It by The Black Eyed Peas
This song is ideal for dancing a jive to because the tempo is fairly average for a jive. I chose this song because it is a modern, high energy song which has a constant rhythm.
Jive Song 3: Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley
For many people the word 'jive' will make them recall some classics like 'Jailhouse Rock'. I love dancing the jive to this song simply because it is another one of those feel good songs.