Looking for some new songs to add to your Halloween playlist? Here are some suggestions to spice up your playlist.
All links open in iTunes – The Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate
Superstition – Stevie Wonder – classic with a moderate tempo
Love Potion No. 9 – The Clovers
Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
Devil With the Blue Dress On – Mitch Ryder – keeps those toes a-tapping
Headless Horseman – Kay Starr – tells the story of the Headless Horseman in a cheery sort of way
Little Demon – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins– a fun 50’s rock-sounding tune
Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical
Howl – Florence + The Machine
I Put a Spell On You – From “Hocus Pocus” soundtrack, or Nina Simone, and the cover by She & Him is particularly haunting
Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys – we’ve been using this for across the floor combinations in my jazz classes this week – works good for turns and battements
Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You) – Aqualung – a melancholy melody in 3/4 time
Other Fun Songs
Dinner With Drac, Pt 1 – John Zacherle
What’s A Girl To Do – Bat For Lashes – basically the plot to Twilight summed up in a song
Grim Grinning Ghosts Remix – (link opens to YouTube – couldn’t find a link) could maybe use this for hip hop?
And of course, you have to add The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) – Ylvis just for fun!
Looking for more ideas?
.Over the past ten years, hip hop classes at our studio have exploded in popularity. We offer hip hop starting with age six through adult. I know it can be a struggle to find fun, age-appropriate hip hop music when the majority of the songs on the radio are about sex, drinking or profanity.
Looking over the playlist selection on this blog, I noticed that I am slacking in the hip hop department. While I teach a variety of genres, hip hop is most definitely not one of them. I can shim sham all day and pirouette with the best of them, but I cannot pop or lock (although it doesn’t stop me from trying!).
Luckily, I have a bunch of great hip hop instructors at my studio who do try to find age-appropriate music that their students love.
Here are their suggestions for finding appropriate music for class (links open in iTunes – The Dance Buzz is a proud iTunes affiliate):
1. Go ‘Old School’ for the younger classes!
To my dismay, apparently the following songs are now considered “old school” by one of my hip hop teachers (she’s 20-something). In any case – look to the past for some fun hip hop songs (although I still recommend checking out the lyrics on older tunes):
Shake It – Aaron Carter
Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson
2. Look for young hip hop artists
Ke$ha and Kanye are all grown up and rapping about grown-up subjects. Instead, look for pint-size rappers whose parent won’t let them use four-letter words in their lyrics. The Disney tween stars and starlets also fall under this category.
Suggested Artists: Lil’ Romeo, Willow Smith, China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm), Keke Palmer
Lip Gloss – Lil’ Mama
My Baby – Lil’ Romeo
Countdown – Victorious
We Belong to the Music (feat. Miley Cyrus) – Timbaland
Have you seen the Coke Zero and League of Extraordinary Dancers campaign for a new dance move?
It’s still running so there’s some time left to enter, but what’s also great is they provide some nice dance tracks for you to use in your submission videos AND they are free to download!
The ones that I’ve listened to would be great to use for hip hop class – plus all the songs are more than 3 minutes long! I’ve only listened to a few tracks all the way through and while there are no swear words, you might want to listen to the content to make sure its appropriate for your age group.
To get to the songs, click on How To Participate and select your track and click “Download”.
Full Disclosure: Coke or LXD did not pay me to write this!
In our Choreographer’s Roots feature, we take a quick look back at where they started to help understand where they are today. We’ve been on a SYTYCD kick lately, so today we’ll look at Napoleon and Tabitha, or “NappyTabs” as they are affectionately known.
See other Choreographer’s Roots posts here
The husband and wife team are often credited with developing the style of hip hop dance known as “lyrical hip hop”, but they started with humble beginnings until their paths met!
> Grew up in California where he learned breaking, locking & popping
> Joined the military and was stationed in Germany for a while
> Attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying dance (including jazz & modern) and molecular biology!
> Grew up in New Jersey
> Took jazz classes and was a cheerleader, but loved watching hip hop videos
> Attended the University of Nevada for communications, where she met Napoleon
> Began teaching hip hop classes together at the Las Vegas Athletic club
> Joined the dance company “Culture Shock” (future members of Jabbawockeez) and danced, choreographed and eventually became Artistic Directors
> Married in 1998 and moved to Los Angeles and started teaching at The Edge Performing Arts Center (where they still teach today!)
> Worked as back-up dancers for Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Toni Braxton, Timbaland and more
> Choreographed for NBA and NFL dance & cheer teams
> Joined Monsters of Hip Hop and teach master classes
> Assistant Directed Christina Aguelera’s and Ricky Martin’s tours
> Tabitha created a fitness DVD “Drop it with Dance”
> They have been supervising choreographers for ABDC and have choreographed for SYTYCD, where their choreography “Bleeding Love” was nominated for an Emmy
Now they have started their own clothing line (NappyTabs) for hip hop dancers, started working with Circque du Soleil, and Dancing with the Stars and continue to expand their brand.
Sources: Dance Plug, Wikipedia, Twitter,