Picking Cheerleading Music
The First Step
Theme: Yes or No?
The first choice you have to make is whether or not you want your routine to have a theme. Some common, and sometimes overused themes, include fame, hearts, love, and winning. But, if your choreography is creative, these themes can still be fun to listen to/watch.
However, themes aren't necessary. A lot of the best routines have songs that are simply unrelated to each other. Or the theme is very loose. For example, 80s music, or 90s pop/rock music. Another option for a theme would be a "feeling" you get from the song. This could be "happy" songs like "Walking on Sunshine" or "I'm So Excited" that simply make you feel happy when you listen to them.
If you're having trouble narrowing down your music choices, try picking a theme. It helps you zero in on a few good songs that you can build your routine around. Other times, you have SO many songs floating around in your head that you can't possibly use a theme because the songs you want to use have nothing in common.
Do you like when routines have themes?
Choreograph According to Your Music
If your music says something about a cowboy, do something about a cowboy. Especially if your theme is cowboys or the wild west. Use your choreography to enhance your music just as you use your music to enhance your choreography.
The following photo is of a piece of choreography. The dance was to Britney Spears "Til the World Ends." The lyrics for this part were "See the sunlight." You can see that the movement corresponds with the lyrics.
If you want memorable music, voice overs are a must. Recently voice overs have been taking over. Some teams, especially all-star teams, have entire sections of their music dedicated to voice overs. Many times these voice overs will tell of the history of the team. Something along the lines of "Back for redemption," "Ready to go back to back," etc. These voice overs tell the audience and judges that the team either recently lost or is now ready to defend their title from last year.
A major drawback to voice overs is that they are very expensive. Assuming you don't cut your own music (which is not advisable unless you have the proper programs and experience), voice overs will run the cost up pretty high. But, they are worth the price. They make your music unique and personalized to your team.
Top Gun Large Co-Ed 2013-2014 Music - Listen to the voice overs!
World Cup Shooting Stars 2013-2014 Music
Choose Music Appropriate for Your Team
If you're coaching 6 year olds, choose a song that allows you to play up the "cute" factor. You can use princess and fairy tale songs. If your kids are 14, those songs would not be appropriate.
Another factor to consider is their talent. If those kids are strong dancers, choose a song that's going to showcase that. Choose a song that's fast, upbeat, and something that you haven't heard used by 100 other teams. On the other hand, don't use that same song for a team that isn't good at dancing. If you've been thinking about your music for a long time you probably have a list of songs floating around in your head. You might even have 5 dance songs to choose from. But if they're all powerful songs that require a lot of footwork or difficult choreography, only use them if the team can handle it. Otherwise the music and the choreography will both suffer.
What to Avoid
Cheerleading music goes in cycles. For years using Britney Spears was the kiss of death simply because so many teams used her. Seems odd, doesn't it? That because so many teams used something it became bad? Well, it happens. If judges hear something hundreds of times, they can't help but start to get sick of it.
Therefore, if you're listening to the radio and you hear a Top 40 hit and think "This would be a great cheerleading song!" remember that if you thought that, then hundreds of other people probably did too. This is not to say that you can't use songs that are on the radio. But you should take caution. Often times, if they go with your theme a song that is slightly overused will be forgiven. However, there are exceptions. "Only Girl in the World" by Rihanna was so overused it will probably be used before anyone can use it again. So think about your song choices. Why are you using a song? Do you just like it? Or is it really the best choice?
Something else to consider is that it's always good to have a catchy song in your routine. Assuming you are not one of the greatest teams in the world, you need something to draw people's attention. If you have a catchy song, or a few songs that were big hits, that's a great and easy place to start. If you have a bunch of songs that nobody's heard before, this creates a new obstacle for your team to overcome. Do you want to risk the fact that people will ignore your routine because they don't know your music? Again, this is sometimes forgiven if the songs go well with a theme, but should always be considered.