What Dance Goes with This Music?

That’s a good question. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a song with a good beat, I want to dance. And, because I’m an educated ballroom dancer, I know what to do. However, identifying what dance goes with the music can be a problem for beginning dancers. Before you take the easy way out and ask the disc jockey, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t much matter what dance you do!

DJ can tell you what dance to do if you're unsure.
DJ Mbale

(That said, there are exceptions. For example, when you’re dancing in a ballroom competition, it very much matters what dance you do.  Actually, because the dances are listed in the competition program, you’ll know in advance.)

The reality is, when it comes to social dancing, you can do a few different dances to most songs.

Poster says we can choose what dance to do regardless of the music.

In order to make this work, try matching your dancing to the feeling of the music. For example, you wouldn’t do the Waltz when you’re dancing to Swing music. When the music and your moves are in sync, you’ve got it right.

Matching the mood of the music to the character of the dance is the way to go. 

In truth, pop music is not usually written with a specific dance rhythm in mind. As a result, you’ll have a bit of freedom in deciding what dance to do. Even so, here are some tips to help you along.

the music might put you in one of these moods:

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

Let’s see how these social dances match up with the moods.

  • Foxtrot: 1
  • Waltz: 2, 3
  • Tango: 5, 3
  • Rumba: 3
  • Cha Cha: 3, 4
  • Swing: 1, 4
  • Hustle: 4

Here are some songs I like and the dances that would fit them.

  • Foxtrot: “Fly Me to the Moon” … Frank Sinatra
  • Waltz: “Come Away with Me” … Norah Jones
  • Tango: “El Tango de Roxanne” … Moulin Rouge Soundtrack
  • Rumba: “Falling Into You” … Celine Dion
  • Cha Cha: “Uptown Funk” … Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
  • Swing: “When I Get Low, I Get High” … The Speakeasy Three
  • Hustle: “Rock with You” … Michael Jackson

Mess around with the music and see how it makes you feel.

Then, try out some of the moves you’re learning and you’ll be dancing! Then, if you feel like you need some help finding the beat, you can try this Dance Safari post, “Rhythmically Challenged? It’s All in Your Head“.



  1. Luv, luv, luv all the music you offered, especially ‘Falling Into You’, Celine Dion for the Rumba. And isn’t it wonderful that it is a ‘long’ piece! So beautiful.

  2. 💜 An uneducated “dancer” dances 💃 🕺 😆 🤣 😂 😄 😳 💃 🕺 to what they hear; an “educated dancer” dances to what they have been sheepishly 🐑 taught and conditioned by UpBringing


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