22 January 2010

Friday Night Waltz Set List

14 August 2009

Dancebreak Set List

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17 June 2009


I finally got to see "Up" last night, and it was excellent. If you haven't seen it yet, do so. Michael Giacchino's soundtrack (Amazon | Lala) was also good, especially if you sit through the end credits to hear all the danceable parts.

The Up With End Credits track starts off with a waltz (the main Ellie/house theme from throughout the movie), blends nicely into a mellow cha cha, then something kind of bluesy, then a quieter, slower return to the waltz. You could probably edit out specific dances, but it might also be interesting to just dance it as a 7.5-minute medley.

The Spirit of Adventure is a fun little one-step-able (110 bpm) song. Or if you take it as 220 bpm, you could make a fast charleston or something out of it. It's amusing, and also happens to be the song that comes on when the music credits show up (which is always interesting to notice).

The Married Life has another 4 minutes of the waltz theme with some different tempos and moods. It could perhaps be edited a bit and used on its own, or maybe spliced into the waltz from the end credits? I haven't tried playing around with that yet.

17 April 2009

Friday Night Waltz Set List

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01 March 2009

Waltz Night in Bozeman

I'm in Bozeman, Montana this weekend for my friend Antonia's birthday. In honor of the occasion, she's hosting an evening of dancing at the Emerson Ballroom, where I'll be teaching a cross-step waltz lesson and DJing. The event was inspired by Friday Night Waltz so there are a lot of waltzes in there. The proportions are a bit different, though, since we've only got two hours, and I'm trying to fit in a variety of other dances as well, including a contra dance and a circle mixer. Anyway, here's the music!

What did you think of the music? Leave a comment!

24 January 2009

Country West Coast Swing

At recent Faster Polkas and Friday Night Waltzes, Bob and Richard have played some fun west coast swings, reminding me how much I like country songs for west coast.  My family listened to a lot of country music when I was younger, so I may like it more than most people, but even country western skeptics should enjoy dancing to these songs. Unlike my earlier list of west coast swing songs, which was more pop heavy, these songs are generally less bouncy and more slinky.

Want more? StreetSwing has a great list.

08 January 2009

Waltzing with the KGB

KGB is a trio from Seattle that plays music for contra dances, English country dances, and couple dances. If you're in the SF bay area, you should come and hear them live this Saturday, the 10th. They'll be playing at the Oakland Friday Night Waltz (yes, on Saturday) and doing a mix of contra dances and couple dances. It'll be great.

Most of their albums have a lot of contra dance music on them (which is great), but they also just recently released a new CD with a solid hour of original waltz music: The Red Light of Evening. It's a lovely album, with a nice range of tempos for different types of waltzes. Richard Powers played a couple of them at FNW in December, though I don't recall which ones. These are some of my favorites after my first listen:

  • Speak of the Deverills - Rotary waltz, 162 bpm
    I like the way this one slides between different moods.
  • A Field of Shooting Stars - Cross-step waltz, 126 bpm
    Might be good to slow this one down a tad, though I haven't tried actually dancing it yet.
  • Birdsong Spring - Rotary waltz / Redowa, 165 bpm
    This one really does spring along in a very birdlike way in places. It would probably be fun to redowa to.
  • The Clock Stopped - Cross-step waltz, 112 bpm
    This one is actually on their "Contra-Intelligence" album, but it's worth including here as long as we're talking about KGB waltzes. If you go to FNW around here, this is the tune that's always played for the cross-step mixer.
Update: The dance on Saturday was fantastic. If you ever get a chance to dance to KGB, take it.