In the world of competitive dance, there are two sides of the stage. On the one hand, taking on an old classic and giving it a new twist. On the other, throwing convention out of the window and creating a new experience.
In recent years, we’ve seen both happen. Whether it’s applying the rules of Rumba to the latest pop fandango, or venturing out into a slow tune with a Foxtrot, competitive dancing is about producing the unpredictable. Here are some songs that have raised pulses – and eyebrows – on the boards.
A Little Swayze
Ballroom dancing always attracts those who enjoy figures. Strictly fans have tracked the use of music in the competition and have created this informative list. What does this research reveal? That different shoes have been dancing to the same tunes for years.
Favourites include the 1987 classic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, which saw its first outing in the iconic film Dirty Dancing. If you want to take a stroll down nostalgia lane, click here for the original video. Over the years, it’s primarily been a Show Dance, with a few notable Salsa interpretations, none of which have quite topped the original.
The minor chords interrupting the uplifting major C give a sense of upbeat anticipation. The slightly syncopated (yet predictable) beat lends itself perfectly to the Ballroom shoe. Patrick Swayze’s immortal dance shoes from the film were auctioned in 2017. He had four pairs of rehearsal shoes, as well as the Latin dance shoes showcased in the film, which we’ll never forget.
Another film finale, 42nd Street – which was first premiered in the 1933 musical of the same name – has become a firm favourite of the show boards. Filled with classic steps, the vintage masterpiece has much to offer.
Although applauded as a tap-dancing spectacular, 42nd Street has devotees from a foot in every type of dancing shoe. The title song lends itself to either the Charleston or the Quickstep. However, fans praise the fact that the stylistic architecture of the music means that figures are not obvious, allowing a high degree of creative control.
Crooning Onto The Podium
Written for the seminal 1960 film Ocean’s 11, Dean Martin’s Ain’t That A Kick In The Head has got it all. Engaging lyrics, clear beats, and lots of space to move. The big-band jazz orchestration makes for ideal Foxtrot or American Smooth, securing this tune a place in the regular competition favourites.
Foxtrot is beloved because of its deceptively simple foundation. Walking and side steps make the technique look easy. However, the true soul of Foxtrot is in impeccable posture. Smooth movements, perfect timing, and polished footwork are crucial.
This, as we all know, begins with good footwork and proper footwear. Ain’t That A Kick In The Head plays to these timing and posture demands, mixing slow and fast counts that allow variance of step.
What Are Your Favourite Tunes To Dance To?
Do you have a favourite piece of performance music? We’d love to know which beats get your suede soles turning. Use the comments section below to give us your ideas! At Ray Rose, we love to keep in touch, so you can also give us a call or drop us an email to get more information about quality dance shoes.