One of things I love about ballroom is the music. I never imagined there would be so much variety. It’s influenced my musical tastes vastly. My favorite genre has to be the crooners from the Swing Era. I’m talking about Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin (*swoon*), etc. You can dance a Foxtrot to a staggering number of their songs. Music and dance are inseparable. Whether the music is in your head when your jammin’ on your iPod, or it’s blastin’ from a pair of huge speakers, it’s all good fun. Here’s some of my favorite songs that I use when I practice. One quick note. I dance American style for all my dances, so the timing may be different for those who dance International or any other style.
This was the very first dance I ever learned. I was fifteen then. Now, I’m almost twenty, and it still remains a favorite. It’s one of the easiest dances to learn, in my opinion and with its suave, sassy style, it’s easy to see why it remains one of the most popular dances ballroom has to offer.
This is a dramatic dance with sensual tension. I personally like to call it the “stalker dance” because the man is sometimes described as stalking the woman. That, and the feel of the dance is almost reminiscent of a predator on the prowl. I like to act whenever I have the opportunity, and this dance delivers the goods.
Eh heh. *blush* This is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. I wouldn’t recommend putting it on all the time because of the content. I mean, women killing their husbands and justifying it isn’t exactly kid-friendly. If you think tango is a man’s dance, just put on this song, and turn those tables. 😉
Ah, the waltz! My readers will know that I love this dance. It brings images of high-society European balls. No dance has ever made me feel so elegant.
I have a very vivid memory concerning this dance. It was after a horrible day at school where just everything had gone wrong, one of those days. I had my weekly private lesson that day, and I really didn’t want to go. The rational side of me told me to go because people who want to become great dancers practice, despite bad days. I went, and my now-former teacher taught me the Cha-cha. By the end of the lesson, I was grinning from ear to ear, and the entire day was redeemed. One thing that surprises me is the number of contemporary songs you can Cha-cha to.
When I thought, auto-tune and generational music, I never thought of Cha-cha, too. That first one was the one my teacher played when I first learned this dance. I must admit, begrudgingly, that it was part of what made the lesson so fantastic. Normally, I avoid contemporary music, but dancing to it makes it bearable, and yes, even fun.
Party time! Merengue is a dance that just screams tropical getaway, and it’s one I often practice at college because vacation and college seem to be the very antithesis of each other sometimes. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with these hits.
Just when you thought the party was over, along comes the Samba. This dance hails from Brazil and is danced at Carnaval. I once thought the basics of dances were easy. I hadn’t danced Samba yet. It took me a good three private lessons just to get that down. It’s probably one of my favorite Latin dances.
And you thought you could only dance the Macarena one way. 🙂 Well, so did I.
The rumba is a very sensual dance. I’ve heard it described as “making love on the dance floor” and “the horizontal expression of a vertical desire.” Guess who was really embarrassed when she first started learning it? *raises hand* This dance originates in Cuba, and the distinctive hip motion takes it’s name from the country. This has actually become another favorite Latin dance of mine. Let’s just say I’ve learned to embrace my feminine side. 😉
One last dance, Swing. To be more specific, East Coast swing. Yes, swing does have many variations, but this one is my favorite. This is also a great dance to learn if you plan on dancing socially.