DJ, I Love This Song…What Dance Is It?

It’s a mystery, isn’t it?  Every dancer has asked that question at one time or another.  And the answer is, most of the time, it doesn’t much matter which dance it is that you do.

I must admit, however, that there is a difference between social dancing and competitive dancing.  If you’re dancing in a ballroom competition, it very much matters what dance you do.  Of course, you’ll know which dance it is in advance and the name of the dance will be announced.

But, when you’re social dancing, you can do a number of different dances to the same song, regardless of which dance it is.

Crazy, right? Just make sure you’re expressing the music.  Isn’t it true that when the song and your moves are in sync you’re pretty much one with the music?   And, you can’t beat that!

Choose which dance it is.

The idea of matching the mood of the music to the character of the dance is the way to go when you’re dancing to popular music.  In many cases, pop music is not designed with a particular dance rhythm.  Coordinate your moves with the feeling of the music and you’re dancing – plain & simple.

Here are some examples of dance expression.

  1. Happy – Carefree – Cool – Mellow
  2. Sad – Melancholy – Introspective
  3. Romantic – Sexy – Hot
  4. Playful – Party Animal – Loud
  5. Passionate – Strong – Aggressive

These are the most useful social dances.  Let’s see how they match up with the moods.

Foxtrot – 1          Waltz – 2, 3          Tango – 5, 3          Rumba – 3         

 Cha Cha – 3, 4          Swing – 1, 4          Hustle – 4

To illustrate, see if you agree with this assessment of the character of the music.  You can find each of these songs on YouTube.

Foxtrot, 1:  “Fly Me to the Moon” … Frank Sinatra

Waltz, 2 & 3:  “Come Away with Me” … Norah Jones

Tango, 5 & 3:  “El Tango de Roxanne” … Moulin Rouge Soundtrack

Rumba, 3:  “Falling Into You” … Celine Dion

Cha Cha, 3 & 4:  “Uptown Funk” … Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Swing, 1 & 4:  “When I Get Low, I Get High” … The Speakeasy Three

Hustle, 4:  “Rock with You” … Michael Jackson

So, mess around with the music and see how it makes you feel.  Then match it up with some of the moves you’re learning and you’ll be dancing.  See how it really doesn’t matter which dance it is.  Feel like you need some help finding the beat?  Please check out this Dance Safari post called, “Rhythmically Challenged?  It’s All in Your Head“.


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