Recognizing Dance Music

Recognizing Dance Music

Most of us are used to categorizing music by genre. That is we know how to identify music as Rock, Pop, R & B, Rap, Country, Jazz, Blues, Disco, etc.

When learning to dance, however, we must learn to identify music in a new way: by dance style. In other words, when we hear a song we want to be able to know whether we should dance a Foxtrot or a Salsa or anything else. A given Pop (or Rock, Country, etc.) song might be a Swing or a Waltz or a Rumba or a Cha Cha or any of the other dance styles. To make matters more confusing many times we can dance different dance styles to the same song, although usually a song will have one style that is dominant.

The good news is recognizing the different kinds of dance music is a learned skill. A good way to learn how to identify dance music is to hear various songs that represent a particular style. It does take some time to learn, but before long you will start to guess correctly about what kind of dance music you are listening to.

You may be surprised to learn that a lot of today’s pop music is suitable for ballroom dancing. To help you learn, below is a list of some popular songs that fit each dance style:

  • Waltz
    • Open ArmsJourney
    • Take It To the LimitThe Eagles
    • Three Times a LadyThe Commodores
  • Tango
    • Le Tango de RoxanneMoulin Rouge Soundtrack
  • Foxtrot
    • I’ve Got You Under My SkinFrank Sinatra
    • Fly Me To The MoonFrank Sinatra
    • It Had To Be YouHarry Connick, Jr.
  • Viennese Waltz
    • Kiss From A RoseSeal
    • Piano ManBilly Joel
    • What’s New Pussycat?Tom Jones
    • Chim Chim Cher-eeMary Poppins Soundtrack
    • Piano ManBilly Joel
  • Quickstep
    • It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)Duke Ellington
    • Sing, Sing, SingBenny Goodman
  • Cha Cha
    • Lets Get LoudJennifer Lopez
    • Get The Party StartedPink
    • Smooth OperatorSade
    • Lady MarmaladeMoulin Rouge Soundtrack
    • Oye Como VaSantana
    • SmoothSantana (featuring Rob Thomas)
  • Rumba
    • Fields of GoldSting
    • Take My Breath AwayBerlin
    • My Cherie AmourStevie Wonder
    • Waiting For A Girl Like YouForeigner
  • East Coast Swing
    • RespectAretha Franklin
    • Heart Of Rock & RollHuey Lewis
    • Crazy Little Thing Called LoveQueen
    • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)Marvin Gaye
  • Bolero
    • I Just Can’t Stop Loving YouMichael Jackson
  • Mambo
    • La BambaRitchie Valens
    • TequilaThe Champs
    • Mambo #5Lou Bega
    • Ran Kan KanTito Puente
  • Hustle
    • HolidayMadonna
    • That’s the Way (I Like It)K.C. and the Sunshine Band
    • Stayin’ AliveThe Bee Gees
    • Can’t Get You Out of My HeadKylie Minogue
    • Stayin’ AliveThe Bee Gees
  • Samba
    • La Isla BonitaMadonna
    • Asereje (The Ketchup Song)Las Ketchup
  • Merengue
    • Hot Hot HotBuster Poindexter
    • SuavementeElvis Crespo
  • West Coast Swing
    • Mustang SallyWilson Pickett
    • All She Want to Do Is DanceDon Henley
    • Something to Talk AboutBonnie Raitt
    • The Way You Make Me FeelMichael Jackson
  • Jive/Single-time Swing
    • Runaround SueDion
    • Zoot Suit RiotCherry Poppin’ Daddies
    • Rock Around the ClockBill Haley and His Comets