Recycling… it’s not just for those empty beer cans

As I was jamming out to this new tune this morning, I thought “we’ve got to come up with a dance to this!”  However, immediately afterward, I was reminded that we’ve added more than 6 new dances to the lineup in the past couple months (far exceeding my rule of only one new dance few months or so; see “LD4Y Philosophy”).  So what’s an instructor to do?!

Well, that started me thinking then about how things have changed in the past 8 years of teaching.  When I started out, we only did about 15 dances TOTAL (we do ~130 now)!  Most of them were older dances and none of them were our original choreography.  With so few dances in the lineup, we did the same dances multiple times during the night to different songs.  Granted, if you ask anyone who started dancing with us back then, they’ll tell you that they’d probably be happy never doing Easy Come, Easy Go or Sleazy Slide again!  Ha!  But everyone knew the dances, so they were always on the floor and we often tried out new tunes to the dances as a way of changing things up.

Not that I’d want to go back to such a restrictive format, but it does remind me that not every new song requires its own new dance.  While we do still recycle dances now, we don’t do it as often.  Perhaps that’s something we should do a little more going forward?  With so many great songs coming out, we want to add them all to the lineup and recycling a current dance is the fastest way to do it.

Here’s are some examples of dances we currently “recycle”:

Dance Original Song (in our group) Alternative Songs
Easy Come, Easy Go Honey I’m Home Any Man of Mine;  Cruise;  Little Bit of Everything
Sleazy Slide Honky Tonk Badonkadonk Hicktown; Yee Haw; Wrap Around
Wooden Nickel ??? If You’re Going Through Hell; Red High Heels; Watching You; There’s Your Trouble; Gone Country; She’s In Love With the Boy; Would You Go With Me; Nothin’ ’bout Love Makes Sense
Canadian Slap Good Ol’ Days Online ; High Maintenance Woman, Love Done Gone
El Paso Neon Moon Your Man; Amarillo By Morning; Straight Tequila Night; Whiskey Girl
Bartender Stomp Indian Outlaw Put Some Drive in your Country ; Dancing Cowboys (remix)
Mamma Maria Mamma Maria Poker Face;  Hard To Love; Natural Disaster; Do Your Thing
Let’s Chill Ice Cream Freeze Ol’ Faithful
Teach Me How to Diffie 1994 Boys ‘Round Here
Hunt You Down Hunt You Down 5-1-5-0; Ex Old Man
Metamorphosized Metamorphosized Total Eclipse Of The Heart; Brown Eyed Girls Remix; Believe; Blown Away
Country As Can Be Country As Can A Boy Can Be Devil Went Down to GA

Dances can easily be recycled usually (especially beginner dances with no tags or restarts) because most songs follow similar patterns (ie: 32 count stanzas).  Some dances either just aren’t recycled because they are choreographed so perfectly to one song or may have some unusual aspects or tags, but most dances can be recycled. 

So try it out next time.  When you hear a song on the radio that just makes you want to dance, go through the dances you know in your head and see which one would match the tempo and stanza count of the song.  Or… you can always ask me and I’ll help you find one!  If it can’t be paired up, then maybe it’s time to find or create a new dance just for that song, but if it can, we’re much more likely to start dancing to it right away, so why not give it a whirl!

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One thought on “Recycling… it’s not just for those empty beer cans

  1. I always like finding new songs to do old dances to, but I also find that I will set an existing dance to a new song to help me work out things like rhythm and restarts for my own choreography. It’s often a lot easier to think “This will be a bit like Holding Out For A Harder Hero” than “64 counts, kind of fast, restarts go here and here”, at least in the early stages of figuring all that out. But I do agree with the fact that we are learning so many new dances it’s overwhelming at times.

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