Choosing Competition Music

Many dancers take part in competitions throughout the year, and are often keen to learn new dances to present against their peers. Music can be a large part of a routine to impress a judge, but can make or break the dance regardless of how talented the dancer is.

It is important to ensure the music is age-appropriate; practising a dance can mean the music may fall by the wayside if it is listened to over and over again, but when it is heard by the judge it will be new and have an effect on how they view the dance routine. It will not only be heard by the judge, but also fellow competitors, teachers, parents and even younger audience members. A track may have a catchy rhythm or melody, but the lyrics may imply something quite different. That said, it is important to choose something both the student and teacher likes. You will both hear the music time and time again, so make sure you can create an honest, genuine connection to the music. It will be all too clear to a judge if you do not like your music – there will be force rather than flow.

There are many song choices available for many different genres and dancers. The choice does not necessarily have to be what is popular, with quirky and unique music choices just waiting to be discovered. Don’t just limit your choice to this week’s most purchased songs in the charts. Consider using underground artists to ensure your music choice is the only one used at a competition, or widening your search to different genres. You could use Broadway show tunes, classical music, instrumental versions or song covers by different artists in order to surprise the judge.

Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your music choice: it will stand out to both the judge and the audience. Ultimately a dance competition is about the total package – how it is performed, the costume, choreography, and the commitment of the performer. Music is just one ingredient, and all the performance elements must unite.