Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The steps are the same, but the music is new

I love that the music for ballroom dancing is evolving. No more are you limited to a Frank Sinatra croon in order to foxtrot. I wonder how many times the foxtrot has been done to 'New York, New York'? Latin dances are being done to music other than Latin. I'm hearing Heart, and Madonna, Black-Eyed Peas and Pussy-Cat Dolls. And the dances look great!

What this means is that ballroom dancing is reaching into new generations, and I couldn't be more thrilled! Once thought of as 'stodgy' dances for 'old folks', (which was never really true, but many perceived it that way), ballroom dancing is popular, mainstream and hot, hot, hot!

While some of the music is indeed new, some of us are hearing familiar songs done a new and different way. The big hit that the Pussy-Cat Dolls sang for the movie 'Shall We Dance' was a great song for cha-cha...it's called 'Sway with Me', and decades ago was recorded by Dean Martin, along with a handful of others from that time.

I'm going to begin talking about music selection in the near future. Perhaps those of you who are already seasoned dancers can post your favorites so the newcomers to ballroom dancing can get a better idea of which
songs are best suited to which dances. I found it helpful when I was first starting out to listen to the radio and find the beat of the song, then decide which dance could be best done to that particular song.

I've often seen new students at their first or second studio dance hesitate to go to the floor as the music started, simply because they weren't sure what dance they should do. The interesting thing is, if they'll notice,
oftentimes different couples are doing different dances to the same song. And it's all good.