As a dancer, choosing the perfect music can be one of the most key elements of your routine, regardless of whether you’re an amateur or professional. If you are participating in a judged competition, there are many factors you will need to keep in mind in order to place highly, but your song choice will definitely be high on that list. Keep in mind it is the first and last thing the audience will hear and the element they’re most likely to remember once all is said and done.  

How old are you/your dancers?

Your choice of music will differ greatly depending on who will be using it. If you are the only dancer, it should be fairly intuitive how to choose the right music for yourself, but if there are multiple people in a troupe, then you need to take their ages and group size into consideration. Age-appropriate music is going to affect the comfort level of your audience and the flow of your routine.

Does your song choice match your dance style?

Music and movement need to flow together as a single entity. If you are dancing in the style of jazz, then a country-western song choice would be confusing and jarring. The choreography of your dance routine has to accompany the music. Choosing the suitable beat and tempo to your dance moves is also crucial.

Is this a song that’s been used a lot already?

While it might be tempting, try to avoid choosing the trendy music of the day. Chances are, there are already many people who are sick of hearing it. Besides, it isn’t the song that you want the audience to focus on; it’s your dancing. A popular song might end up being a distraction which is the last thing you want. People aren’t meant to be attending a concert, they are at your dance performance.

Is your song length appropriate for your routine?

Keep in mind how long your dance routine lasts. You want to ideally time it so that it ends when the song ends. Trimming a song to a reasonable time will also work, as most people don’t dance the length of an entire song duration. If you do decide to trim the song, proper editing is key. The transitions should appear seamless.

What about your audience’s age and performance purpose?

When picking the right music, it’s also important to keep in mind who you will be dancing for. An older generation will prefer music that is generationally pleasing. Younger people will prefer something with a little more pep. Judges will want to be constantly entertained and impressed.