Ballroom Dance Songs – Ian’s Pick #4

Come on in and pull up a chair near the DJ, because this is the ‘music remixed’ edition! After all, who doesn’t wish they could dance the moves they know best to the music they love most? Thanks to the increasing number of ballroom disk jockeys out there, there’s a ballroom version of almost anything.

I’ve scoured the web and my library for some of the best ballroom remixes out there, so click that play button and start rocking to these modern tunes!

Song: Stand by Me - Prince Royce
Dance Type: Bachata
The romantic original by Ben E King practically screams for a bachata remix, and Prince Royce gladly obliges. Probably best for social dancing, as it’s not really dynamic enough for a performance.

Song: Summertime Sadness - DJ Rico Latino
Dance Type: Rumba, Bolero
The bittersweet tones of Lana Del Rey fill this lazy track, giving you plenty of room to stretch those extensions. Try practicing to this one, or maybe an ambitious performance.

Song: Green Onions - Jack Costanzo And Gerry Woo
Dance Type: Cha Cha
Jack and Gerry jazzed this up so much you can barely hear the original tune underneath the sax and drums, creating an energetic but classy alternative. Could make a great performance piece.

Song: All About That Base - PMJ ft. Kate Davis
Dance Type: Foxtrot/Quickstep fusion
Kate Davis' lovely voice does great justice to this downtempo lounge version of the Megan Trainor hit. One warning: you’ll want to either edit out the quickstep portion at 2:23, or keep it in and make the song into an advanced fusion piece instead.

Song: Cyclone - Ernie Halter
Dance Type: West Coast Swing
Ernie’s acoustic remix might be too cheeky for everyone, but it definitely works as a sexy performance, or just to get your groove on as a pre-practice warm-up.

Song: Hot N’ Cold - The Baseballs
Dance Type: East Coast Swing
I wonder what Katy Perry thinks of this one. The Baseballs make it sound like it could have been song by Buddy Holly - even their video looks like it’s from the 50s. Play it for a social, a performance, or your next vintage party.

Song: Mambozart - Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion
Dance Type: Salsa
Classical music purists, cover your ears! I’ve always loved piano-style salsas, so why not remix a Mozart classic? A strong beat, combined with plenty of variety, makes this gem great for anything you want it for.

Song: Without You - Mister Gaya and Usher
Dance Type: Tango
I’ve heard a lot of poorly done tango remixes in my searches, but this powerfully romantic exception makes it worth the effort. Great performance material.

Song: Chanson Pour Elle - Ballroom Dance Collection
Dance Type: Waltz
Take your time and stretch your steps with this lazy but beautiful remake of Beethoven's Fur Elise. Best for slow practice, but it can easily be sped up to a social tempo.

Song: Secrets - The Piano Guys & DJ Ice
Dance Type: Viennese Waltz
Dramatic and gorgeous, this powerful rendition will have you smiling for sure. Perfect for a performance, but who wants to wait that long to hear it again?

About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 16 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. He currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Click here to see when he's teaching.

Ballroom Dance Songs – Ian’s Pick #3

ballroom dance songs

I have a confession to make. I love music.

I mean, I really, REALLY love it. My taste for music includes everything from Enya to Eminem. My total iTunes song count numbers in the tens of thousands. I could play music non-stop for a month and never play the same song twice.

This unfortunately causes me to overlook some of the dustier gems in my collection, until I rediscover them years later. This then is my (mostly) forgotten tracks edition - the ones I don’t play nearly enough. Give them some love for me!

Song: Spanish Fly (feat. Ludacris, Wyclef Jean)
Dance Type: Bachata
It sounds like just one more bittersweet melody - until about 45 seconds, when the beat kicks in and suddenly it’s dead sexy. Performance-worthy for sure, maybe with a ‘lil hip hop mixed in.

Song: Like Lovers Do - Heather Nova
Dance Type: Rumba, Bolero
If there’s a type of music I tend to avoid, it’s probably country. But Heather’s sweet voice wins me over. Great for a wedding or other performance, though it might be a little too uppity for general dancing.

Song: Mueve El Cuerpo - Rodolfo Guerra
Dance Type: Cha Cha
It’s party time! This oldie-but-a-goodie sticks in your head, with it’s catchy trumpet riff and high-energy beats. Good for a social or whatever you want.

Song: Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home - Ella Fitzgerald
Dance Type: Foxtrot
Scat-haters can calm down -Ella delivers good simple music in this one. She does get a bit cheeky when describing how various figures of the time might have sung the chorus - bonus points if you can imitate them while dancing *smile*.

Song: Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Dance Type: Hustle, West Coast Swing
A great one for beginners, with a strong beat and easy tempo. Plenty of groove for the seasoned dancers too.

Song: Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Dance Type: East Coast Swing, Slow Jive
I owned this song for ages before it occurred to me what a great ballroom song it made. Plenty of accents, to make your performances more interesting

Song: Hit the Road Jack - Ray Charles
Dance Type: Quickstep
If you aren’t dancing, you’ll probably be singing along to Ray Charles and his ‘unsympathetic’ female backup. This song practically begs for a performance - the story is built right in *smile*

Song: Stairway to Heaven (Remix) - Manuel Gonzales
Dance Type: Salsa
If you can survive the first 25 seconds (or just edit them out), this quickly shapes up to be one of the best salsa remixes I’ve ever heard. Perfect if you like softer lounge-y strings over blaring trumpets.

Song: Sombra - Percy Faith
Dance Type: Tango
Percy and his orchestra hits like a pair of heels on sprung hardwood, bringing a dramatic piece, even by tango standards. Classic performance material.

Song: The Long Day Is Over - Norah Jones
Dance Type: Waltz
Last waltz, anyone? You can almost feel your body relaxing as the piano and Norah’s sweet voice spirits it away.

Song: Time - Chantal Kreviazuk
Dance Type: Viennese Waltz
The opening piano riff alone makes this a beautiful modern waltz. I dare you to finish this song without a smile on your face!

Looking for previous favourites? Click here.

About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 16 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. He currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Click here to see when he's teaching.

Ballroom Dancing Songs – Ian’s Pick #2

Ballroom Dancing Songs

Click here for part one

What dancer isn’t looking for new music to dance to, right? Even if you prefer the same classics over and over, the reality is the musical landscape is always evolving, both socially and competitively. The dancer who doesn’t adapt to different music is a dancer quickly left behind.

This time, I’ve included TWELVE of my favourite dance songs, each focusing on a different style of ballroom. Give them a listen, and enjoy!

Song: As We Do Our Thing - The Allergies
Dance Type: East Coast Swing
Combining modern and classic instruments, this band could fit in with the 50’s swing era, or a classy lounge today. If you aren’t dancing to it, you’ll at least be snapping your fingers!

Song: After Dark - Tito & Tarantula
Dance Type: Rumba
This classic from Quentin Tarantino’s Dusk ’Til Dawn is both raw and seductive. Enjoy it at a social, or maybe during a romantic evening with your beau.

Song: Dance of the Dream Man - Angelo Badalamenti
Dance Type: Foxtrot
A good jazzy number for beginners, with a clear beat, accompanied only by a lonely saxophone. Perfect for a last number at the dance hall, or the corner pub.

Song: Lil Darlin (feat. The O'Mys) - ZZ Ward
Dance Type: Viennese Waltz
Definitely not your traditional waltz, ZZ Ward injects love and soul into this bittersweet melody. A bit advanced if you dance American style, but international waltzers won’t even blink.

Song: CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! - Justin Timberlake
Dance Type: Hustle, West Coast Swing
WARNING: This song will get stuck in your head, and stay there. Try not to dance to it, I dare you. Just don’t be surprised if Justin’s falsetto chorus cracks a few windows…

Song: Ballroom Blitz - The Sweet
Dance Type: Quickstep
Yes, it’s a 4-minute quickstep, but you won’t even notice as you gallop around the floor to this high-energy masterpiece. Possibly the best thing about the Wayne’s World movie, and that’s saying something.

Song: Peter Gunn - Max Sedgley & Sarah Vaughan
Dance Type: Cha Cha
You don’t have to watch the classic TV series to appreciate this prowling remix. Lends itself well to a showcase, especially if it’s Bond night.

Song: Minuet - Boccerini
Dance Type: Waltz
For those who prefer dancing to true classics, Minuet is one of the few slow waltzes that fits the bill. A great way to break up the energy of a social, or to introduce first-timers to your Victorian-era home.

Song: Enjoy the Silence - Tanghetto
Dance Type: Tango
Do you like Tango Nuevo? How about Depeche Mode? Perfect. This one takes a bit of time to warm-up, but it’s got get-up-and-go once the beat kicks in.

Song: Joutsenlaulu - Canto Finlandia
Dance Type: Bolero, Rumba (International)
And now for something completely different… Finnish choir singing? It’s better than it sounds, creating an almost meditative experience - perfect if a challenging dance leaves you wanting to punch things.

Song: Conmigo - Eddie Palmieri
Dance Type: Salsa
The piano riff alone makes this a memorable Latin tune, and the singing style will make you feel like you’re back in the time of Tito Puente.

Song: E-O-Zumba-E - King Africa
Dance Type: Samba
What can I say? If you don’t want to samba to it, you can at least enjoy it at a techno club. Dramatic and full of power - if you’re going to perform this one, you had better mean it.

About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Click here to see when he's teaching.

Ballroom Dancing Songs – Ian’s Pick #1

Ballroom Dancing Songs

While we all have our own reasons for getting into ballroom dance, odds are it has to do with a love of music. Ballroom dancing songs come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own dancing style to match, so virtually anyone can find what they're looking for.

If you're like me however, a time comes when you want something beyond the tired favourites played at every social. And so, the search for ever more awesome ballroom dancing songs begin.

DISCLAIMER: Not all the ballroom dancing songs below are classic ballroom music, so keep that in mind if you're a purist. I select by what sounds good and has a tempo that's easy to dance to, and that's good enough for me.

Song: She's no lady - Lyle Lovett
Dance Type: Foxtrot, East Coast Swing
Cheeky and fun, Lyle gives this ditty plenty of energy and opportunities for advanced musicality, while still keeping a slow enough tempo for the beginners. Great for practice, performing, or whatever you want.

Song: Candela - Buena Vista Social Club
Dance Type: Salsa, Mambo
This popular Havana-based club produced a lot of gems in the golden age of salsa, and this remains one of my favourite ballroom dancing songs. With little of the blaring trumpets many salsa musicians use today, Candela is cool, classy fun. Very nice for practicing, and you can cut it down for social dancing.

Song: Hooked on You (feat. Timothy Auld) - Parov Stelar
Dance Type: Hustle
One of the kings of electro swing, this beauty from Parov combines high energy piano, strings and drums with Timothy Auld's Maroon 5-esque voice. Includes a nice rap sequence in the middle, for those faster combinations. Great for performing, or a social.

Song: What do you Mean - Watazu VS Justin Beiber
Dance Type: Cha Cha, Merengue
Watazu is relatively new to the scene, but has been rapidly gaining popularity, both for their awesome ballroom remixes of popular songs, and their generosity in providing much of their music for free (link below). Justin Bieber is Justin Bieber. A good tempo and beat for beginners.

Song: Foxtrot Dance - Gabriel Yared
Dance Type: Quickstep
Don't let the name fool you, this song jumps! Foxtrot Dance might be somewhat tougher for the novice dancer, because the beat is relatively quiet. The bouncing horns give plenty of musical play for the veteran though, and it's not long enough to break your legs off. An excellent performance piece.

Song: Hdoudi El-Sama - Carol Samaha
Dance Type: Tango
When you start getting bored with the classic ballroom dancing songs, this is a great one to spruce things up. This prolific Lebanese singer gives an Arabic twist to the classic tango, with a lot of range in instrumentation and energy levels. An easy practice or performance piece.

Still want those 100+ free ballroom dancing songs from Watazu? Click the link here (you'll need to subscribe to their newsletter, but it's totally worth it!)

P.S. No, they don't sponsor me 🙂

About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Click here to see when he's teaching.