Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Evening Of Dance Theme

An Evening Of Dance

*Base the theme of this recital around the simple idea of different types of dance. Make it a learning experience for the audience. Do several dances demonstrating the each dance style listed below. Throughout the show or in the printed programs, you could included historical facts or summaries about the history of each style of dance.*


Nutcracker Ballet- Perform one or a medley of several pieces from the Nutcracker ballet. Have students dance on pointe or not. Use any age groups.

Swan Lake- Dance to Op. 20 suite: 1 Swan Lake Theme and wear the classic white, feathered tutus.

Sleeping Beauty- Have your dancers dance to the Garden Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty ballet. Costumes dancers in long tutus and have hold arches of flowers over their head as they dance. You can make these easily by cutting apart a hula hoop and wrapping with a chain of silk flowers. Place a ring of flowers on the dancers' heads.

Little Ballerinas- Get your littlest dancers in on the act and have them dance to some kids music called Ballerina by Brian Slawson. Pick a sweet little ballet costume.


All That Jazz- Show off some classic Bob Fossee choreography to All That Jazz from the musical Chicago. Costume in black leotards, fishnet tights, black shoes, and a black hat.

River Deep, Mountain High- I love the Celion Dion version of the song to showcase high powered jazz. Leave your audience exhausted by just watching this performance.

Born To Be Alive- A good piece of music by the Jive Bunny & The Master Mixers for beginning jazz students.

Build Me Up Buttercup- This is even a simpler piece of music for beginning jazz students to keep the pace to

Fame- Give this piece the early 1980'a feel and use the classic jazz moves of the time.

We Got The Beat- Choreograph a dance to this Go Go's hit or use the Sugar Beats children's CD version. A good song for intermediate dancers or students that are newer to the dance competition scene. Integrate some toe touches and tumbling tricks. It's a good piece of music for the double pirouettes.

Pretty Vegas- Get a little bolder and have your oldest students dance to this INXS song. This song is easy to choreograph to.


The Rockafeller Shank- This upbeat song by Fatboy Slim is fun to tap to. Almost any age could tap to it. Consider having several classes of students dance to this together, coming on and off stage in groups. That will break up some of the monotony of the song.

Tap Your Troubles Away- Try the version by Lisa Kirk. The song title says it all.

That's Entertainment- Use any version of the song that pleases your ear. There is a nice instrumental version on the CD Sounds Of The Circus.

In The Mood- Tap to the classic sit my Glenn Miller that everyone will recognize. You can also use the Swing The Mood version by Jive Bunny & The Master Mixers.

That's What I Like- Another song mix by Jive Bunny & The Master Mixers that students would have tapping to.

Singing In The Rain- Ok, this song is overused in dance recitals, but try the by the Jive Bunny and The Master Mixers -Best Of Disco.

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy- I like the version by Bette Midler. Have any age class that is really good a tap to do this song.

Ballroom Blitz- If you want to really rock out while tapping, try this song by Sweet. You can also find this song on the Wayne's World soundtrack.

Modern or Contemporary

Waiting For The World To Change- Think natural. Think organic when choreographing to this song by John Mayer. Use plain colored pants and t-shirts with bare feet. Use improv in the dance or choreograph the dance with students during improv sessions.

Bad Day- Choreograph modern that is more physical with falls, slides, and tumbles. This song is by Daniel Powter

Caught A Little Sneeze- by Tori Amos. A good piece of music for swing, catch, and release. Try costumes that have some long flowing parts to it.

You Were Meant For Me- this music by Jewel would suit a smaller group maybe and definitely a solo.

A Poem- Forget music all together, and dance to a poem of your choice. Have someone read the poem aloud or use a recording of the poem.

The Passenger- Use the version of this song from the Batman soundtrack. Strong choreography with still expressionless faces.

Wizards In Winter- A nice piece of very energetic music from Trans Siberian Orchestra. Costume in dark blue and silver costumes.

Ethnic Dance

Spanish- Do a longer stage production of Bolero or do some ballet or pointe work to Carmen.

African- Research as much into African dance and African movement as you can and use Beat The Drum from the album World Master Beat The Drum by African Drums And Soukouss. When teaching your students about ethnic dance, remember to teach them the history, read them stories, and invite guest teachers and speakers to come to your class.

Latin- The album Latin Carnaval has lots of choices for fun Latin songs. I like the (Mucho Mambo) Sway.

Hawaiian- Teach one of the many classic hula dances to your students, such as the My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua Hawaii.

Irish- Have younger tap students dance to The Irish Jig by Fern on the Kids-Dance With Fern album.

Hip Hop

Hey Ya- Find fun and clean lyric songs such as this one by OutKast for your dancers to demonstrate hip hop.

Switch- Have dancers dance with a partner or in small groups and have them switch in as many different ways as you can think of. This song is by Will Smith.

Crazy- Slow down the pace a notch with this popular tune by Gnarls Barkley

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)- Use the original hit by C & C Music Factory or there is a good version on the children's' CD Sugar Beats. Fun music to choreograph to.

Pump Up The Jam- An excellent choice for beginning hip hop students. Incorporate some easy tricks and tumbling. The song is by Technotronic.

U Can't Touch This- Honor the beginning of hip hop with this classic that everyone knows from MC Hammar.


Unwritten- This current song is beautiful and upbeat. It is by Natasha Bedingfield.

Prayer Of The Children- Get serious and bring a tear to the audiences' eye with this song by Kurt Bestor. Wear plain, long lyrical dresses with long sleeves and low backs. Plain white is good. Have all dancers wear buns in their hair.

Orinoco Flow or Storms In Africa- After the last piece, bring the feeling back up and dance to either of these Enya hits.

You Raise Me Up- This hit by Josh Grobin is popular. You can make this dance serious or inspirational.

Solsbury Hill- This is a rather happy song by Peter Gabriel. Dance with an even number of dancers and group into pairs. Select bright colored dresses.

Black Horse And The Cherry Tree- I have mentioned this song before. Go with black and red and use a combo of high and low levels. The artist is KT Tunstall.

Suddenly I See- Another song by KT Tunstall. Keep this dance on a happy not and choose costumes that are a totally different style than the other costumes in this modern dance scene.


*Including a ballroom dance category in your dance recital is an option if you offer this style of dance at your dance school. Another idea is to invite some ballroom dancers to perform in your show. Ballroom dance is a hot item right now with the hit TV show Dancing With The Stars. It would be a opportunity for your students and audience to experience a live ballroom performance. The ballroom dancers would probably enjoy the extra practice and exposure.*

When Your Recital Is Over

*This is a good recital theme to have if you are looking to promote your dance studio over the summer. Coordinate some of your groups to perform and demonstrate the different styles of dance at special events throughout the summer.*

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