2012 Song Selections

Now that the competitions and recitals are over, I’d thought I’d share my list of songs I used this past year for choreography. (Here is 2011 in case you’re curious)

All links open in iTunes, unless otherwise noted

TAP

 

My magic hat!
Faces obscured for privacy

LYRICAL / CONTEMPORARY

OTHER

What was your favorite song that you danced to this year?

New Music Monday: Tap Playlist

Tap shoesAs I was getting ready to teach class tonight, I thought to myself, I haven’t done a tap playlist in a while…  so here you go!  Some old tunes, some new tunes, a little bit of everything.

Warm-Up

 

Soft Shoe-type Combinations (laid back summer style)

  • Ok, It’s Alright With Me – Eric Hutchinson
  • I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson

Fast Jazz & Big Band

  • My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now – Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Swing Set – Jurassic 5  
  • Life Goes To A Party – Benny Goodman 
  • Shame, Shame, Shame – Roomful of Blues

Rock Star Camp Day 5: Performance

See more about our camps here – Rock Star Theme Camp.

Day #5 Set List

  • Warm-Up:  Creative Movement in center & across the floor
  • Class Time:  Practice all dances
  • Craft Time:  Giant Tickets / Programs
  • Snack
  • Class Time:  Dress Rehearsal
  • Performance!

On the last day of camp we put on an impromptu performance in the studio for family and friends.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera for the final day of camp, but I will try to describe everything as best I can.

Main Craft: Giant Ticket / Programs
You Will Need:
– 11 x 14 Construction Paper
– Crayons

We cut out rounded shapes in the corners to make the tickets look more “ticket-ty”.  The dancers decorated them for their audience.

Ideas for what to put on tickets: “Admit One”  “Dance Camp”   “Rock Star Camp”
Ideas for back of ticket (program):  Cast list, show order, message to audience

As our audience members came into the studio, our dancers went out and presented them with their ticket / programs.

Showtime Playlist!
We ended up with a great group of students who were hungry for choreography and learning, so we learned eight little combinations, which was so much fun!  We started off with our four tap songs and then took a quick break to change our shoes.  Then we finished up the show with our jazz & creative movement routines.

Rock This Town by Stray Cats
Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger
Rock Around the Clock by Bill Hailey & The Comets
We Built This City by Starship

QUICK BREAK

Baby I’m a Star by Prince 

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah by Paula Abdul

Itsy Bitsy Spider by Little Richard

Rock Star by Hannah Montana

We had a great week and I hope you enjoyed coming along with us!

New Music Mondays: Someone Un-Like You

I never thought I’d say this, but I am tired of Adele!

Hey guys!  It’s a turning table!

It’s mid-way through competition season for us and Adele has already won “most overplayed artist at competition” by a landslide.  I have seen Turning Tables Turning Tables as a solo, a duet, a small group, a large group, with a table, with twelve tables, with no tables (and my studio is guilty of using it too).  “Set Fire to the RainSet Fire To The Rain“, “Rumour Has ItRumour Has It” and “Someone Like YouSomeone Like You” have also been well represented.

So if you’re like me and want a change of pace, here are a few current songs I’ve been using in contemporary and jazz class lately that are not Adele. All links open in iTunes

Paradise – Coldplay (LINK) – I love the build-up in the beginning. My senior class really get into this one when the bass comes in around 0:34.  I used it for across the floor and center combos with improv.

Night Drop – Act of Valor (Night Drop – Act of Valor) – The whole soundtrack is great for improv work and working on emotions – I especially like this track.

Keep Your Head Up – Ben Howard Keep Your Head Up – Ben Howard – I like this for warm-ups that start slowly and end up in big movements and small jumps (song picks up around 1:13).  Somehow the refrain of “keep your head up, keep your heart strong” keeps me going 🙂

Black Sheep – Gin Wigmore – couldn’t find this one on iTunes – here it is on YouTube. Love this for a sassy jazz combo.  **Warning it does use the word “h-e-double-hockey-sticks word” (h*ll) in the bridge, so may not be appropriate for your classes.

Holy Moses – Washington Holy Moses – Washington – This is a fun one for warm-ups.  I have been using this song in tap class too.

Riverside – Agnes Obel Riverside – Agnes Obel – I love this haunting song – would work nicely for a small group. And it’s in 6/8 time… bonus!

New Music Monday: Tap Solo Songs!

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Do you have a student who can't keep his or her feet from flying?  Try these super-quick songs:

  • "Airmail Special" (Nikki Yanofsky) iTunes Live from Montreal - Nikki Yanofsky
  • "Bumble Boogie" (Freddie Martin) Bumble Boogie - Big Band Bash



More Jazz Tunes

  • "Frim Fram Sauce" (Diana Krall) Frim Fram Sauce - The Very Best of Diana Krall – A great soft shoe song – Diana Krall's voice and the slow jazz music are perfectly suited for some tapping on top.  Just make sure your soloist has the stage presence to pull off this slower number.
  • "This Can't Be Love" (Stacey Kent) In Love Again - Stacey Kent – Enjoy Diana Krall?  Check out Stacey Kent for some other lovely tappable female jazz vocals.
  • "Steppin' Out" (Tony Bennett) Steppin' Out With My Baby - The Ultimate Tony Bennett– perfect for a male tap solo



Fresh Tap Music

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Tap Teaching Tip: The Snappy Shuffle

This year I have three classes of 1st and 2nd graders in tap / jazz combination class and we are focusing on increasing the speed and clarity of their tap steps.  I've noticed that they are still doing the large "baby" shuffle — where they use almost their entire leg to swing the foot back and forth to make the sounds.

I was trying to think of a way to help them understand the faster shuffle and we came up with the "snappy shuffle" which we practice during tap barre.  The "snappy shuffle" is a quick shuffle that is small and the dancer uses the knee to do most of the work (lifting the knee up and down as opposed to bringing the whole leg forward and back).

I am having good results so far.  The kids love "going fast" and enjoy the challenge of doing "steps like the big girls/boys".

Now we are working on translating that same "snappy shuffle" into our other steps, like irishes (shuffle hop step) and buffalos (leap shuffle leap).

Here is our tap barre that I use for a warm-up, lately we've been using "He Could Be the One – Hannah Montana to give you an idea of the tempo.

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New Music Monday: Currently Loving…

Short music post today – just wanted to share three songs I’ve been loving lately!

Titanium (David Guetta feat. Sia) – My go-to warm up songs for my older students.  I’ve been using this in tap and jazz classes as it has a nice steady beat and hasn’t been overplayed on the radio yet.

Timshel (Mumford & Sons) – This is a hauntingly beautiful piece that I’ve been using in my lyrical/contemporary classes.  Easy to put emotion into it.

I’m In Here Piano/Vocal Version (Sia) – I can’t help it – I love Sia’s voice.  You might recognize her from “Breathe Me” a few years ago.  I just love the different sound she has. I’ve been using this song in lyrical and jazz class for a cool down.

Playlist Update for Fall 2011

Now that the studio is open and I’m getting back into the swing of things, I updated some of my playlists for class and wanted to share my favorite new songs with you!  Most of these are from the Top 40 and some are old favorites, but hopefully they might inspire you or give you something new for the season!

 

Not offered on iTunes:
Pumped Up Kicks (RLYNX Remix) – Foster The People
Party On The Floor – DJ Earworm Remix – check out his other remixes too!

Review: Tempo Magic App

I was so excited to try out my new Tempo Magic Pro app last week at our dance intensive tap classes (see previous post here).  I will admit that every time I see it on my iPhone screen I cannot resist the urge to say "tempo MAGIC" while wiggling my jazz hands with a magician-like flair.  Try it with me now… tempo MAAAAGIC!

Ok.

Moving on.

The app is pretty straight forward.  The first thing you have to do is add the songs you want to slow down.  Tap the playlist button.

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Tempo-Changing App!

Just read Morris Partee’s post over at Dance Advantage on this awesome new app for changing the tempo of your music:  Tempo Magic Pro

This app allows you to adjust your song tempos on your iPhone or iPod touch.  As a tap teacher, I am so excited about using this app in class!  Our sound system currently has tempo-changing CD players, so I used to burn my music to a CD and then use the CD player to playback with different tempos.  I am hoping this app will change my life.. hah!  I am teaching this week at our summer camp intensive, so I will report back with results.

…off to go play with my iPhone now!

If you’re also an iPhone addict, you might also like to check out this post on two free iPhone apps that I use as a dance teacher.