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Choosing the Best Song for Your Dance Piece

Lots of teachers find that the process of choosing a song is the most difficult step.

We believe that the sooner you find a track to use, the more time you can spend with the kids on the steps and performance.

There are a few things to consider when deciding what piece of music to use for your dance performance. This short article will cover some steps to go through when deciding what to use.

1.  Theme!

There are hundreds of different themes you can choose from. Some may be preselected for you depending on the production you are doing, other times you may have full creative rights as to what theme you use.

Please do not feel that just because it is children dancing, that you should use a kids song. Children these days are familiar with all the songs on the radio (whether we approve or not) and will get far more enthusiastic with a popular, well known song than with a track off a kids music cd.

Here it is important to note that if you want to tell a story, it is far better/easier for the song to tell the story than for the dance to. Therefore, choosing a song that effectively portrays your theme is vastly important.

2.  Tempo!

A huge problem we have found is that there are many songs out there that fit a certain theme, however they are simply too fast or too slow for most people to create effective choreography for.

Look for songs with a four beats per bar, and around 100 – 140 beats per minute. If you are unsure if the tempo of the songs you are looking at, just type the song into google with bpm and it will tell you. For example, google search: “treasure bruno mars bpm”.

After you and the children have gained some experience in this sort of tempo range, then you could challenge yourself to try something faster or slower!

3.  Layout!

If you still have a few options remaining for song choice, look at these favoured points to help narrow it down:

  • Clear Beat – It helps the children stay in time and remember steps if the beat is easy to hear through the lyrics and other instruments.
  • Clear Intro – It will help with choreography if the song you choose has a clear intro which is easily distinguishable from the beginning of the main body of music. This will give children a chance to get into position during the intro, then know when to start the main steps when they hear the change in music.
  • Varied Mood – It will be interesting for your audience if the music isn’t too monotonous. It’s preferred if the chorus is uplifting or contrasts slightly from the verses/intro.

Let us know how you go and share some good music ideas you have thought of!

Good Luck!


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