At the start of a new group of dances, Coach A. presents me with a disk with music for each of the three dances at that level. Eighteen tunes, six for each. She doesn't indicate the song titles which I find challenging if not a little annoying. She did this same thing to me when she supplied Preliminary Dance music. I was able to ID some but not all of those tunes. Around that same time my wife had a dinner party for her mother and several of her mother's friends. I slipped the disk into my computer and asked these ladies to see if they could "name that tune". They asked "what's in it for us?" After lubricating their collective memory with an extra bottle of wine, they confirmed my suspicion, and supplied verifiably correct titles (who says youtube doesn't have it's uses) for each and every song on that disk. Yeah, it cost me, but it was so worth it.
Now, I could delve into a discussion about ice dance music and it's target demographic but (a). I think that discussion would run down a very obvious and ultimately unprofitable path, and (b) it's already been whined about numerous times before and probably with better effect.
So, last week I got the Pre-Bronze dance music. Same deal. We met in a quiet ice rink lobby. She wordlessly slid a disk across the table. It was cryptically numbered "Track 1" through "Track 18". Handwriting on the disk indicated that the first six tracks were Swing Dance tunes, the next six were for the Cha Cha and the remaining six were for the Fiesta Tango. I returned her steely glance as I quietly slipped the disk into my coat pocket. As I got up to leave, I turned around to ask her one more question about the disk. The lobby was empty.
Once back at my computer I got to work, carefully listening to the various tracks, and was able to ID some of the more obvious: Track 1 turned out to be "Red Sails in the Sunset". I had no clue about Tracks 2 through 4. Track 5 is "Once in Love with Amy", Track 6 is "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime". Moving on to the Cha Cha: no clue about Track 7; Track 8 is "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps". I awarded myself a +1 GOE for also correctly IDing the vocalist (Doris Day). Moving on, I had no clue about Tracks 8, 9, or 10. Track 11 is a nice instrumental version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White". Listening to that song I could envision timing the sweeping wide step of the Cha Cha to drawn out phrase of the trumpet. Track 12, in what I assume is a gesture to the "youth" of ice dance, aka 30 somethings, is "I need to Know" by Mark Anthony. Moving on to the Tango selections I had more luck. Track 13 is the "Jealousy Tango" (Coach A. refers to it as "Celos Amigo" but I'm going with my title). Track 14 is "A Media Luz", Track 15 is "Cumparsita", Track 16 is "Adios Muchachos". The remaining two tracks were unknown to me. Maybe I should have played the disk backwards...
Night after night I wracked my brain trying to break the code of the remaining mystery tracks. I had nothing. But then she took pity on me--right before last night's lesson Coach A sent a tightly worded email revealing all the song titles.
First, the mystery Swing Dance tunes. Track 2 turned out to be "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" but the tune has been so ruthlessly massaged to fit the required beats per minute of the Swing Dance that no one this side of an ice dance judge would ever recognize it--not even my M-in-Law's wine loving pals would have cracked that nut. Track 3 is simply entitled "Schottische". The Schottische is a specific type of Nordic folk dance which my wife, originally from Sweden, would be familiar. I'll have to see if she recognizes it, and if so what title she gives it. Track 4 turned out to be "The Object of My Affection". The mixture of vibraphone and pan pipe makes this tune so irresistibly cheesy that of the six Swing Dance tunes on the disk it's my current favorite! Kseniya and Oleg use this same tune on their Swing Dance video so it's no doubt a good thing that I kinda like it--it's probably inescapable.
On to the Cha Cha. Track 7 is "Sweet and Gentle"; Track 9 is "Enjoy Yourself"--again the tune has been tweaked beyond reasonable identity so that it fits the needs of the dance. Track 10 is "Bodeguero" which has a pleasant Latin beat.
Finally, the two Tangos which I failed to ID are Track 17's generic "Tango Time" and Track 18 "Yira Yira". They'll probably grow on me with enough repetition.
Latin dances such as the Cha Cha and Tango are pretty much tethered to specific music--and for the most part that music is good and there's enough variation so that the music doesn't need to be completely disemboweled to work with the ice dance in question . As for the Swing Dance you'd think by now someone would have come up with some good alternatives to remixed tweaks of ballads from the 1950s. Perhaps someone has. Coach A. mentioned that US Figure Skating has a list of dances which serve as standards for solo competition. I'll have to check these out to see if there are any Swing Dance winners.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a clip featuring K & O skating the Swing Dance to "The Object of My Affection". (Fritz, Fritz--turn off der bubble machine vhile I dance mit die Champagne Lady.)