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How to Choose Music: Listen Outside Your Comfort Zone

Think Outside The Genre

As a dancer you hear your teacher correct the same mistakes over and over again. And as a teacher you say those same phrases over and over again.

“Point your toes.”
“Straighten your knees.”
“Stand up straight.”
“Don’t look down.”
These phrases become so much a part of our dance class that they start to go in one ear and out the other. They become a little cliche. Just like this music tip. “Think outside the genre.”

Gone are the days where we had to go to our list of “ballet music,” our stack of “tap records” or our old “jazz standards.” Once students are old enough to hear the music and keep their technique true to its style, there’s no reason to not shake things up enough. It’s easy to take a piece of music we would once stamp as a lovely instrumental ballet and turn it into an intricate rhythm tap number. Like this rendition of “Pumped Up Kicks” by the Vitamin String Quartet.

Or maybe turn an R&B piece into a funky ballet number. Like this remix of Janet Jackson’s “Someone to Call My Lover.”

Pair an offbeat track with classical movements. Or classical movements with an offbeat track. Either way, put your own spin on a not-so-traditional song and see what happens.

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