Music


I want to share my love with you, my love for great music to dance to, which of course will be subjective – one person’s meat could be another’s poison. However I am often asked about the tracks I play in class, so that’s what you are going to get right now. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, it’s not even my all-time absolute favourites, but they are all good songs that I regularly use in my classes, that you can practise your dancing to at home or maybe just find some new tracks that you can enjoy listening to on your way to work.

I am going to breakdown the music into different class suggestions, but it’s probably no surprise to learn that the songs will frequently cross into other groups. Dances like the Lindy, Balboa or Shag were regional styles danced to the same music broadcasted nationally through the radio or played across the country by touring bands, whereas the dances tended to stay in their areas much longer. Since we are dancers who count in 8s, I will give you 8 song suggestions per group.

Taken from Simon' Swing Notes - see the full article here: Swing Notes Vol 149: If Music Be The Food Of Love - Let's Eat!

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Lindy Hop

Nice and easy (110-140bpm):

I’m Beginning To See The light – Harry James & His Orchestra 110 bpm
Lazy River – Julia Lee 112 bpm
Perdido – Duke Ellington 130 bpm
Afternoon of a Moax – Charlie Barnet 131 bpm
Jersey Bounce – Benny Goodman 132 bpm
Cement Mixer – Slim Gaillard 132 bpm
Shout Sister Shout – Sister Rosetta Tharpe 138 bpm
Begin The Beguine – Artie Shaw 140 bpm

Lindy Hop

Picking up the pace (140-160 bpm):

Swingin’ On Nothing – The Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra 140 bpm
Blues My Naughty Sweetie – Sidney Bechet 140 bpm
Shoot the Sherbert To Me Herbert 144 bpm
Apollo Jump – Lucky Millinder 146 bpm
Love Me Or Leave Me – Sammy Davis Jr 148 bpm
Opus One – Gene Krupa & Anita O’Day 152 bpm
Let’s Get Together – WorldHarmonic 157 bpm
Buckin’ The Dice – Fats Waller 158 bpm

Lindy Hop

A little faster (160-210 bpm):

Jump Session – Slim & Slam 161 bpm
Hollywood Pastime – Jimmy Dorsey 164 bpm
Wednesday Night Hop Andy Kirk 172 bpm
Strictly Jive – Chick Webb 172 bpm
Moten Swing – Jonah Jones 172 bpm
Stealin’ Apple – Benny Goodman 186 bpm
Shorty George – Count Basie 196 bpm
Don’t Be That Way - Chick Webb 210 bpm

 

Balboa

Slower tracks for learning:

Maizy Doats – Pied Pipers 136 bpm
A Vipers Moan – Mora’s Medern Rhythmists 144 bpm
Alligator Crawl – Fats Waller 158 bpm
Miss Otis Regrets – Alberta Hunter with Jack Jackson 160 bpm
Montmartre – Rex Stewart & His Feetwarmers 174 bpm
All My Life – Fats Waller 176 bpm
Williams’ Swing – Hod Williams & His Orchestra 176 bpm
Got A Pair Of New Shoes – Joe Loss 192 bpm

Shag

Slower tracks for learning:

Missouri Rambler - Larry Clinton 140 bpm
Ja Da – Bob Crosby 148 bpm
Igloo – Betty Hutton 160 bpm
Chris & His Gang – Larry Clinton 170bpm
All The Cats Join In – Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra 176 bpm
The Music Goes ‘Round and ‘round – Hal Kemp And His Orchestra 178 bpm
All The Cats Join In – Benny Goodman 184 bpm
At The Codfish Ball – Bob Crosby 200 bpm

Blues

Blues Dance (No bpm):

My Hand Man Ain’t Handy No More – Alberta Hunter
St. James Infirmary – Allen Toussaint
I was Fooled – Billy Boy Arnold
Clocks and Bottles – Amy Kucharik
Egyptian Fantasy – Sidney Bechet
Black and Tan Fantasy – Duke Ellington
I Just Want To Make Love To You – Etta James
Crawling The Walls – Dave Gross

Mr Kicks Swing Dance Spotify Playlist

DJ Simon 'Mr Kicks' Selmon from SwingdanceUK.com presents his warm up selection to get you in a Swingin' mood for dancing!

Mr Kicks DJ Mixcloud Playlist

From the Twenties to the Twist, from classic Swing to Electro Swing!