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Choosing Your Lyrical Dance Song

Choosing Your Lyrical Dance Song

Ariel Hsieh

September 3 2021

Lyrical dance is one of the new rising star styles of dance. With a background of multiple dance styles, from ballet, jazz, and even African dance; lyrical dance is extremely expressive and emotionally charged. In lyrical dance, the choreographer tells the story of the music, using dance to express the meaning of the music. As the name of this dance style implies, the lyrics of your song are extremely important in lyrical dance. So how should you go about choosing the perfect song for your dance?

Sometimes the perfect song just jumps out at you. Maybe you hear it on the radio, or a snippet of it in videos, and you know that THIS IS THE ONE! But sometimes, finding the perfect song requires a more deliberate approach. Here are some things to consider when you are looking for the song for your lyrical dance.

The theme of the dance is the broadest way to think about the dance you want to create. What is the primary emotion or story that you want to tell? These can be particular emotions, such as joy, love, sorrow; or universal human experiences like overcoming challenges, searching for a purpose, saying goodbye, or finding happiness! Think about the theme of the story you want to tell, and look for songs with those themes.

The lyrics are extremely important for lyrical dance. After all, lyrical dance is the interpretation of these words into physical movement. Have you ever had the experience where you are grooving to a catchy song, but when you look up the lyrics, it ruins the song for you? We don’t want that happening in our lyrical dance. When you find a song you like, take a look at the lyrics and see if it resonates with you. Do you like what the lyrics are saying? Is there a story that you can follow? Perhaps you already have some inspiration for movement from the lyrics alone. Remember, for lyrical dance, you are telling the story of the song chosen, so you better like the story the song is telling before you decide to dance to it for your lyrical piece.

The dynamics of the song are also something to consider. Does the song have dynamics you can play with in your dance? Do you enjoy the flow of the song? If you do not listen to the lyrics, is this song something that you would like to dance to? Although lyrics are important, the most important thing is that you love how the song makes you feel, and it inspires you to move to the music.

When all is said and sung, the most important part is still how does the music itself make you feel? If you find a song that fits your theme, has lyrics you resonate with, and music that makes you feel like moving, then you’ve got yourself your perfect lyrical dance song. Once you're there, analyze the lyrics and start figuring out how to tell the story of the song through your dance!

Happy choreographing, and happy dancing!