Pop Muzik- by M 1980
Go for the 80's punk look and have grade school girls tap to Pop Muzik.
Fame- by Irene Cara 1980 Try to recreate the retro dance attire of the 80's. Striped leotards, dance belts, headbands, leg warmers, and colored tights.
9 To 5- by Dolly Parton 1981
Start the dance with a few girls jumping out of bed in their pajamas. Push the beds up on end to hide behind like they are changing clothes and getting ready to go to work. Have performers than dance out in business suit type clothes. Push bed back down to ground, but turn it upside down to resemble a desk. Have the dancers use the desk in the rest of the performance and at times dance on top of it.
Eye Of The Tiger- by Survivor 1982 Try glittery costumes with a Las Vegas feel or go the opposite extreme and do jungle print.
Chariots Of Fire- by Vangelis 1982 This music can be used for ballet, lyrical, and even some low level tumbling. Incorporate some fun props as hoops and ribbons.
Every Breath You Take- by The Police 1983 Keep air flowing with a lyrical piece.
Flashdance....What A Feeling- by Irene Cara 1983 Go for the 80's style glittery costume with long gloves with streamers hanging off them and glittery headbands or dance briefs with a ripped necked sweatshirt and leg warmers.
She Works Hard For The Money- by Donna Summer 1983 Have dancers dress in different women's jobs outfits.
Puttin' On The Ritz- by Taco 1983
A great song for younger tap dancers. Costume with hats and canes.
Footloose- by Kenny Loggins 1984
A fun and popular song for jazz that can be used for any age student.
Jump- by Van Halen 1984
You could use this song to showcase tumbling students. Of course choreograph lots of jumps like toe touches, but you could also use trampolines to gain extra height.
Ghostbusters- by Ray Parker Jr. 1984
Think out of the box and try a rock style ballet. Fun!
Girls Just Want To Have Fun- by Cyndi Lauper 1984 Turn up the notch on the cute factor.
99 Luftballoons- by Nena 1984 Use balloons for scenery or props.
Let's Go Crazy- by Prince 1984
No recital with 80's music is complete without at least one song by Prince. Pick any selection by Prince.
Uptown Girl- by Billy Joel 1984 Costume dancers in dresses and big hats.
Let The Music Play- by Shannon 1984 Have your imagination go while. Incorporate several styles of dance into this number.
Legs- by ZZ Top 1984 Choreograph a rock kick line. The more kicking legs the better.
I'm So Excited- by The Pointer Sisters 1984 How can you not have fun dancing to this song. A good choice for anyone.
Dancing In The Streets- by Shalamar 1984 Just about anything can be done to this song.
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go- by Wham 1985 Kick up your feet with a a 50's flavor to this well known hit from the 80's.
St. Elmo's Fire- Man In Motion by John Parr 1985
This piece of music is always inspiring. Think of graduation. You could even use little girls in graduate caps and gown. Have them take off their gowns to reveal costumes underneath.
Rhythm Of The Night- by Debarge 1985
This music can be used for a single group or a larger production number. Use the original version of the song or use a remake such as the version on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.
Axel F- by Harold Faltermeyer 1985 A great choice for gymnastics.
Glory of Love- by Peter Cetera 1986 Slow the tempo down for some ballet.
Take My Breath Away- by Berlin 1986 Continue the feel and pace with this 1986 hit. It would be slick to use some fans for breeze during this piece.
True Colors- by Cyndi Lauper 1986 More float for your show. Lots of color of course.
Conga- by Miami Sound Machine 1986 Shake it up again with this well known song. At some point in the dance you have to use a conga line. Get the audience moving.
Lady In Red- by Chris DeBurgh 1987 Choose older students for some ballet or lyrical choreography. You can only use red dresses for this dance. This could also be suitable for a solo or partnering.
Ballerina Girl- by Lionel Richie 1987 Little girls in tutus or a little bit older girl doing a pointe sole would be fabulous for this piece of music.
Faith- by George Michael 1988 How fun to tap dance to this song. The song is a perfect length. Wear blue jeans with your tap shoes.
She's Like The Wind- by Patrick Swayze 1988 Go for the look from the Dirty Dancing Movie and choreograph some ballet or lyrical.
Kokomo- by The Beach Boys 1988 Go tropical and use this number for a simple ballet. A homeade costume idea is to wear regular leotard and tights and take an elastic type belt and hang colored bandanas in triangle shapes for the skirt.
Don't Be Cruel- by Cheap Trick 1988 Tap your heart away!
Candle In The Wind- by Elton John 1988 This is a wonderful song. Fill your stage with lyrical choreography and wear white halter dress Marilyn Monroe style.
Fast Car- by Tracy Chapman 1988 Earthy and natural and choreograph abstract modern.
Piano In The Dark- by Brenda Russell Featuring Joe Esposito 1988 Slip into smooth and dance around a piano on stage. Don't forget to dim the lights.
Miss You Much- by Janet Jackson 1989 You can't forget to use some favorite music by Janet Jackson. Use the feel from her music videos, but do not copy the original dancing.
Wind Beneath My Wings- by Bette Midler 1989 A favorite that everyone knows. Choreograph ballet for older students or dress younger students in fairy wings.
Wild Thing- by Tone Loc 1989 Break out into hip hop and get funky. If your lucky enough to know a break dancer, use it. You could use the idea of hip hop outfits in with a little animal print.
Bust A Move- by Young MC 1989 Continue the hip hop theme to this fun and clean song.
Batdance- by Prince 1989 Get into character mode and become bats. Go for the whole batman or batgirl look.
Vogue- by Madonna 1990 Go for the modeling theme and open the scene with the well known Madonna hit.
Pump Up The Jam- by Technotronic 1990 This can be used for hip hop, jazz, or tumbling. Biketards are easy costumes.
Step By Step- by New Kids On The Block 1990 Builds some steps to dance on.
Rhythm Nation- by Janet Jackson 1990 Put on the clunky boots and baseball hats and march to the beat.
U Can't Touch This- by MC Hammer 1990 Hip hop to the original or use a children's version.
Black Cat- by Janet Jackson 1990 Get down into the floor and turn dancers into cats. It will be purrrfect!
Swing The Mood- by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers 1990 This is such a fun melody of songs. The Jive Bunny Mix was popular in the 90's, but you could use this version of the beloved favoites back in the 1950-60's scene.
Gonna Make You Sweat- by C +C And The Music Factory 1991 Hit it hard with hip hop to this all around dance hit.
Good Vibrations- by Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch 1991 Pick up the pace a notch and speed up the hip hop.
Coming Out Of The Dark- by Gloria Estefan 1991 Slow it down and get serious with powerful lyrical. Choose darker dresses and start with darker lighting and have it slowly grow brighter by the end of the dance.
Summertime- by DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince 1991 Resume the funk and put your newest hip hop students on the stage.
Achy Breaky Heart- by Billy Ray Cyrus 1992 Please the country music fans with this older hit. Tap those timesteps all over the place.
Rhythm Is A Dancer- by Snap 1993 Dance or tumble to this hardy mix.
The River Of Dreams- by Billy Joel 1993 Use long pieces of blue material to run patterns across the stage.
All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun- by Sheryl Crow 1994 Have some fun doing this dance.
Kiss Like A Rose- by Seal 1995 Older students in red lyrical dress would look beautiful. Stimulate the eye by maybe using a combination of red and dark pink dresses.
Colors Of The Wind- by Vanessa Willians 1995 This is a perfect opportunity for small dancers to perform. Find Indian costumes and have them dance to the popular Disney hit of the 90's.
100% Pure Love- by Crystal Waters 1995 This can be used for jazz or to showcase a tumbling class. Use heart print.
Cotton Eye Joe- by Rednex 1995 You can't help but tap your toes to this all time favorite. Incorportate tricks, tumbling, kicks, flips, leaps, and a little tap and jazz.
Macarena- by Los Del Kio 1996 Fun for beginning jazz students. You can also find fun children's versions of the song.
Because You Loved Me- by Celine Dion 1996 Have students dedicate this dance to their parents for all of their love and support.
I Will Love You Always Forever- by Donna Lewis 1996 Go for delicate jazz, contemporary, or tumbling.
Beautiful Life- by Ace Of Base 1996 Do some hardcore jazz or tumbling.
How Do I Live- by Leann Rimes 1997 Some emotional mournful ballet or lyrical will go nice.
MMMBop- by Hanson 1997 Young jazz dancers will appreciate this song.
The Kiss- by Faith Hill 1998 Choreograph for modern or lyrical students who are older.
Kiss The Rain- by Billie Myers 1998 Continue with the kiss theme and find an upbeat mix for a tumbling display.
Believe- by Cher 1999 This was a popular hit of the times.
Baby One More Time- by Britney Spears 1999 Everyone will relate to one of the most popular hits from Britney Spears.
Livin La Vida Loca- by Ricky Martin 1999 This is such a fun song. Have a Ricky Martin impersonator lip sync with a microphone stand and go for the music video feel.
"Music of Today"
2000 and On
Breath- by Faith Hill 2000 Modern dance and use the element of "breath."
Smooth- by Santana Featuring Rob Thomas 2000 Choose jazz and have students use their improv skills.
Bye Bye Bye- by 'N Sync 2000 Turn students into puppets and use your creativity to attach them to strings.
You Sang To Me- by Marc Anthony 2000 Get deep with emotion while thinking of a loved one and choreograph lyrical.
Blue (Da Ba Dee)- by Iffel 65 2000 Music that can be used for smaller jazz students or a tumbling class. Your only choice is blue when picking costumes.
Lady Marmalade- from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack 2001 This movie had such great music. Dress dancers in different can-can style costumes. Go for darker makeup.
I'm A Bird- by Nelly Furtado 2001 A nice arrangement for beginning modern student's first performance piece.
I Hope You Dance- by Lee Ann Womack 2001 This is one you just can't leave out of the show. See my idea for this song in the "Happy New Year" recital post.
Superman (It's Not Easy)- by Five For Fighting 2001 Go for something different and do your own tribute to superheros. You do not literally have to dress dancers in superman costumes. Go for a classic costume and add a simple non-distracting long or short cape. Leave the capes on or take them off to twirl.
I'm A Slave 4 U- by Briney Spears 2001 Yes, it's a slighty provactive song, but use it with clean choreography and costumes for older students.
Get The Party Started- by Pink 2002 Dance to the radio edited version or use the children's remake from Kidz Bop.
A New Day Has Come- by Celine Dion 2002 If you need some inspiration during this point in your show use this song by Celine Dion.
Hey Ya- by Outkast 2003 This song is weird, funky, and fun. Lots of shimmeys, shakes, and don't foreget the wrist flicks when shaking your polaroid picture.
Me Against The Music- by Briney Spears Featuring Madonna 2003 Spice up the jazz walks and work the stage.
With You- by Jessica Simpson 2004 I think of dancing in briefs and a men's button down shirt with long hair and using pillows for props and play pillow fights.
Breakaway- by Kelly Clarkson 2004 Build large scooters that can be pulled across the stage be someone in the wings. Have a dancer dance on the scooter and then be pulled while moving on top of the scoooter.
100 Years- by Five For Fighting 2004 Use the human life cycle for inspiration and use dancers from the vaious ages showcased in the lyrics.
Hollabeck Girl- by Gwen Stefani 2005 Go for the Gwen Stefani look and hip hop and jump.
Switch- by Will Smith 2005 Hip hop with partners and switch as many differnent ways as you can.
Rich Girl- by Gwen Stefani 2005 Slow the jazz a little bit and use a funky look accented by fur and pearls.
Bad Day- by Daniel Powter 2006 Contemporary dance and use the floor a lot.
You're Beautiful- by James Blunt 2006 For older dancers dancing contemporary
Hips Don't Lie- by Shakira Featuring Wyclef Jean 2006 Fun to perform with a partner of the opposite sex. Use this song for those in a ballroom dance class. Incorporate a little belly dancing.
Unwritten- by Natasha Bedingfield 2006 The most perfect song for a contemporary piece. Simple white dance dresses with say it all.
Crazy- by Gnarls Barkley 2006 A funky song that isn't extremely long.
Sexyback- by Justin Timberlake 2006 Make the most of your jazz walks and break out the sunglasses and the model stare.
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree- by K T Tunstall 2006 So fun for a modern dance. Bare feet and accents of black & red or cherry print would be fun. Have some extra accompanyment on stage with some bongo drums or dance to the bongos before the song begins.
Jesus Take The Wheel- by Carrie Underwood 2006 Slip into a little serious country. Add a safety message in the program about the importance of car seat and seatbelt safety.
Pump It- by The Black Eyed Peas 2006 How fun to do some funky and slinky ballroom moves with a partner.