Choosing recital music is one of the more trying and enjoyable parts of teaching in studios. Finding family-friendly, appropriate music for ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop can be challenging, yet immersing yourself in all the music world has to offer is a reminder of what a gift it is to be a choreographer in this sound-rich era! Here is a list of what I'm working with this spring. Scroll to the end for a playlist via iTunes to sample music. iTunes is my program of choice for buying and storing music as well as creating playlists. These are all affiliate links.
This upbeat party song has fun musical shifts to play with and my 4th-6th grade hip hoppers are loving it. This music provides lots of possibilities for easy spacial and time patterns that even young dancers can count.
I'm using this lovely and lyrical piece for a pointe dance. The music is spacious, letting you set the tone for the movement, and has many high points while still allowing the movement to shine through.
I used this music for a modern dance many years ago and I'm reprising it this year with some middle school modern dancers. The rise and fall make this a dramatic piece and the powerful female voice bring out the best in adolescent girls.
I love using Vivaldi for classical ballet pieces. You must be comfortable counting music but his concertos provide so many beautiful lead lines that you can use in your choreography. I'm using this bright music for a middle school ballet dance.
This song is so much fun and I'm using it for a high school modern class in little black dresses and bright white pillows! It's epic, powerful, and will most definitely leave your dancers breathless by the end!
My middle school jazz class adores this song for it's classical jazz appeal paired with Lea Michele's recognizable vocals. The tempo changes and a section that includes counts of 5 make this a winner for a creative choreographer.
I'm using this for a classical ballet piece with high schoolers. Again, lively and playful with a lot of variation within it.
I'm using this fierce piece of music for a contemporary pointe dance. The drive and tempo make this a challenging and exciting experience for more advanced dancers! I think the music encourages movement innovation.
Another gorgeous female vocalist showing up everything she is capable of through music (see a theme?). I'm using this for a contemporary ballet piece highlighting some of my high school students who can more deeply empathize with the music.
I did an edit of these two songs for my youngest hip hop dancers. Both have easy sections to fade in and out of that allow for those of us less skilled in music editing to still create a decent sounding mix. The younger kids love the upbeat bounce of the Jackson 5 as well as being able to dance to a more contemporary song.
I am using a mix of these two tracks for a middle school hip hop class. Justin's new album is incredibly danceable. This track is uplifting and inspiring. Lecrae offers many clean hip hop songs with a positive message.
I'm using these four tracks for a mix for my high school hip hop class. I am only using the riff on Dessert (the lyrics are not family-friendly) and the chorus on the Worth It track. Runnin' is beautiful and could be used for something more lyrical as well. If you have not listened to Sax - GO! What an awesome track!