At a very basic level, each dance has a recommended tempo and you can look it up if you’d like. There is overlap between certain dances and it means that at parties, they will often play a song and announced several dances you “could” do to it. I get that this is a way to get and keep bodies on the floor. Don’t like Cha-Cha, well you can Hustle to this song as well.
But just because someone says you “can” dance something doesn’t mean you should. (Loosely borrowed from a Jurassic Park quote).
Or maybe I’m just the weird one. Each dance has a different vibe or feel and some songs just scream out for a particular dance. Too often, when I hear one of these multipurpose songs, nothing really jumps out. It may sort of fit one better than the others but it ends up feeling more like you are forcing a dance to fit rather than just letting it flow naturally.
Of course, I can’t tell you why a song fits a particular dance so well. Can I explain why I think “I’m the only one” by Melissa Etheridge is a great West Coast Swing. No, I can’t. I just know I dance with something extra when it comes on. Give me a Sinatra tune and it automatically cranks up my Fox Trot.
Which is why studio parties are hit or miss. Too much Swiss Army Knife Music, and I end up wanting to leave. Yes, social dancing can be fun. For me, it is just more fun when the music and dance work together.
It was funny because we were talking about the upcoming Showcase. My main focus has been the routines but we still need to find time to work on all the other dances. So we were going over the dances I might do fewer heats and it is a tough thing to figure out because you don’t know what music is going to played during the heats.
Take Hustle for example. There are songs that you just have to dance to. Problem is that at a Showcase, they have to fill so many heats that you get some duds worked in. Nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines when a banging song is on and then you get something less than ideal for your heat. Hate that.
I do also know that music is subjective and what I like, you may not. So when the staff picks songs for parties, they may be picking stuff they like. Some of them just don’t have good taste (KIDDING). Which makes the parties a real hit or miss thing. Plus I feel bad explaining that I left early because the music wasn’t doing anything for me. I mean someone spent some time putting a playlist together and I hate to dump all over it.