Summer Playlist 2015

summerplaylistHappy Summer!  Time to refresh those playlists with some fun summer tunes from the Billboard Top 40!  Here is a list of songs I’ve mixed into my classes to keep them feeling updated.

That’s How We Do – Teen Beach Movie 2:  Super fun and upbeat song – would be great for a tap or jazz combination – currently using it in my 7-10 year old tap class

Drop That – Jacob Plant:  A nice funky electronic beat – fun for tap or hip hop – totally instrumental

You Know You Like It – DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge – have been using this in teen tap

This Feeling – L’Tric: A fun feel-good song – great for warm-ups

I Don’t Like It, I Love It (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White) – Flo Rida: My other go-to warm-up song

Fire Under My Feet – Leona Lewis:  A nice moderate tempo for tap or jazz

Fun (feat. Chris Brown) – Pitbull:  Another moderate tempo

Lean On (Remixes) [feat. MØ & DJ Snake] – EP – Major Lazer:  Steady beat for across the floor combos for older students

Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix Radio Edit) – Omi:  This song.  I have a love-hate relationship with it.  The kids love it and it has a nice calypso-y feel to it that makes it fun for tap, so I had to include it.  Be warned – this will be the song that plays over and over in your head when you go home for the night.

Rude (Acoustic) – MAGIC!:  This is from last summer, but I have been loving using the acoustic version for tap.  Such a fun little groove.

Enjoy!

What songs have you been obsessed with this summer?

Fall 2014 Teen Playlist

We interrupt this renovation saga with a playlist!  I was updating my playlists for the fall and here are a few new songs my teen/college classes have been enjoying.  I say “teens” because some of these songs have some questionable PG-13 subject matter, so use with caution (as far as I know, there are no swear words).

Stretching Songs

Upbeat Songs

Lyrical/Contemporary Songs

How has the beginning of the new dance year been for you?  Found any new music?  Share in the comments!

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2014 Song Selections

Because I’m a huge music / stats nerd, I like to share my song choices from each year.  It’s mostly for me to be able to look back and say “when did I use that song”? , but maybe someone will enjoy it too.

(Here’s 2013’s music list if you’re curious… and 2012… and 2011)

Our first half of our recital had a theme which was “dance inspired by literature or literary themes”, so you may notice that some of my songs are related to books.

Links open in iTunes, unless otherwise noted 🙂

TEENS

TWEENS

CHILDREN

“I’m Late” – white rabbit tap solo

Loved this one!

Can I get a show of hands for who used an “over popular” song this year and regretted it?  What was your favorite song to choreograph to this year?  Comment below.

Our “Frozen-Inspired” Dance Camp

frozencampheader

 

Our most asked camp question since last December has been “Are you doing a Frozen Camp?”  So due to popular demand… a Frozen (inspired) Camp is what we did!

What works best for our studio is doing a half-day camp, where the students come 4 or 5 days a week from 9am-noon.

Each year we do a different theme and base the week’s lessons around that theme. We hold an impromptu little “show” on the last day of camp for family and friends.

We did the Frozen (inspired) Camp for our Princess age group (ages 4-7) at the end of June, and we actually had to close off registration a week prior because of the demand!  (For comparison, our July Princess Camp was half as full as the Frozen Camp was).

I’m going to break up the posts into a few different sections, and hopefully they will give you some ideas for your own camp.

1) Music (this post)
2) Crafts
3) Games & Activities 

General Camp Agenda

8:50-9:05am – Parent Drop-off and Student Sign-in
9:05-9:30am – Warm-up and “Get to know you” activities – I like doing the Name Game as an icebreaker
9:30-10:00am – Ballet Dance class (learning choreography / technique)
10:00-10:45am – Craft Time
10:45-11:00am – Snack Time
11:00-11:40am – Tap class (learning choreography / technique)
11:40-12:00pm – Games / Cool-down

Dance Camp Playlist

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I know you will all be surprised when I tell you that the most used album during our Frozen-Inspired Camp was… the Frozen album. Shocking, I know! But we also used a few other non-Frozen songs during our camp so that we (the teachers) didn’t go crazy from having songs stuck our head all day!

Songs We Used for Choreography

Songs We Used in Class (for creative movement, games, and technique)

What non-Frozen songs can you think of that would fit in well?

Summer Playlist Updates 2014

Hope you’re all having a great summer!

Need some refreshments for your class playlists? Look no further – here are a few tunes to change up your playlist.  I’m teaching mostly tap this summer, so my playlist tends to lean in that direction, but most of these songs could easily crossover into jazz / children’s hip hop / contemporary.

CHILDREN / TWEENS

Call It Whatever (Bella Thorne)

Really Don’t Care (Demi Lovato)

Dar Um Jeito/We Will Find A Way (Avicii / Santana) – FIFA World Cup theme, a really good upbeat song – the whole album “One Love, One Rhythm” actually has a lot of fun “world” music

Can You Do This (Aloe Blacc) –  I’ve been using this as part of an improv combination – on the chorus we trade 8’s in tap class

Classic (MKTO)

TEENS

Love Runs Out (One Republic) – its been all over the radio stations, but I love using this in tap class for warm-ups

Basically I (Robert DeLong) – good warm-up / across the floor song

On Top Of The World (Imagine Dragons) – a happy little song that makes me smile

Luck (American Authors)

Sing (Ed Sheeran)

Problem (Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea) – another Top 40 rounds out my summer playlist update

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Refreshing Pop Song Covers: Postmodern Jukebox

IPostmodern Jukebox regularly troll YouTube looking for covers of pop music, however when you search “cover + song title”, you inevitably end up with 100 acoustic covers done by anyone with a piano, guitar and a voice. Generally nothing too exciting, usually a slower version of the pop song.

Side note – if you ARE looking for acoustic covers of pop songs done really well, check out Boyce Avenue, Madilyn Bailey, and Savannah Outen.

Anyway, when I stumbled onto Postmodern Jukebox, I knew I had struck gold.  Pop songs with a vintage twist, they are such a unique cover band.  Do you like Doo Wop?  Ragtime? Swing? Ever wonder what pop songs would sound like if they were sung in speak-easies?  Yeah, me neither, but now I can’t stop listening.

Here are my three favorites (although it was very difficult to choose – check out their album, aptly named “Twist Is The New Twerk” on iTunes for more!):

We Can’t Stop:

Their doo-wop cover of “Timber” is pretty amazing as well.

A little jazzy version of “Careless Whisper” with a little “Take 5” thrown in there for fun:


And this last one has to be my favorite, simply because it includes tap dancing (!!!):


Grab their album on iTunes and listen on repeat!

The Dance Buzz is an iTunes affiliate.

Winter Olympics-Inspired Movement

While my studio is in the process of getting buried under a foot of snow, I figured I would spend my surprise free time planning some olympics-inspired creative movement for tomorrow’s classes.

Pass The Torch – Traveling

You could pass an imaginary torch or a “real” prop (as simple as an orange scarf).  Have your dancers spread out around the room.  When the dancer has the “torch”, them must dance the torch to the next person and then sit down to indicate they already had a turn.  The final dancer brings the torch to the designated “torch lighting station” (could be teacher, or spot in the room).

Pass The Torch – Stationary

Spread out in a line or a circle close enough to touch another person’s out stretched hand.  Begin to pass the torch using different levels and different body parts until it reaches the end.  If you are using a prop, see how far the class can pass it without dropping.

The Slowest Bobsled Race Ever Won

Connect your dancers into teams of 2, 3 or 4 dancers and have them sit one in front of each other in a straddle (like a caterpiller).  Have them hold onto each other at the shoulders or hips so that they are connected.

The goal is to move as a unit over a certain distance (we used tape lines about 5-6 feet apart).  Give them time to practice–they will learn quickly they have to work as a team to move without becoming disconnected!

Line up your “bobsleds” and the first group to completely cross the finish wins.  Disqualify any team that separates.

Variations:  Try a whole-class bobsled!  Or backwards or sideways bobsled race!

Ice & Snow Improv

Adapt usual creative movement exercises to be set at the olympics.

Suggested Musical Tracks

Have you been watching the olympics?  Have you done any lessons based on the olympics?  Is anyone else ready for spring?!