Music for Dancing
Musicality in Swing Dancing

You may have noticed on the dance floor that some dancers are able to perform moves which match changes in the flow of the music. These dancers haven't necessarily memorized the music -- most swing music actually has a regular and predictable structure. The chorus of most swing songs consists of 32 bars which as a whole follow an AABA structure. Each individual letter consists of four 8-count sections and the B letter has a different melody. The fourth 8-count section of each letter is often an ideal time to execute a break.
If you have swing music available, try listening to it now and see if you can notice this structure

Musicality in Salsa

Dip at the finale. hit the hits, pause on the pauses, bodywave to the waves, jump to the jumps - interpret the music!!! Go back to the One or the Two in between the breaks, but focus and interpret the MUSIC - not just the beat.

~ Musicality ~

The quality or condition of being musical.

How the STORY of the music is INTERPRETED by the body or bodies in motion.

What Edie, The Salsa FREAK refers to as a dancer to interprets the story of the music by his/her body in motion while partner dancing.

Awesome male lead who hits the breaks, and ends the song with an amazing dip or dramatic pose at the finale of the song, EXACTLY on time with how the artist of the music originally intended it.

Awesome female follower who respects hitting the breaks and obeys his every command, even if he asks her to hijack a move in a certain section to compliment the drama of his choreography of the song.

Bad-ass, amazing feeling Salsero who practices Musicality and takes her to places she's never been...(on the dance floor)
Most women refer to him as "oh my God" after dancing with him.

When you develop dancing or "talking" on the One or the Two, don't develop an attitude about it, and just dance THAT. Do both. Speak both languages with a smile and excitement, while DANCING MUSICALLY, Styling to the Hits in between is nothing short of Heaven on earth!! God has given you TWO SKILLS now, so use them both. Some the top Musicalists in the world with a full description of Musicality are listed on Edie's website at:
Musicality (Thoughts from Waltz Etc)

Dance teachers like to emphasize the wide potential application of a dance step, especially when teaching beginners: "You can dance swing to all kinds of music!" etc. This is valuable coaching for a beginner who may need lots of encouragement to venture out to those first few dances. Unfortunately, some dancers get stuck in that stage, and dance their solitary step/style to whatever music comes on. Similarly, some ballroom instructors seemingly teach students to ignore the music beyond using the beat as a guide for stepping; at least that's the impression some dancers give, showing little stylistic variation from one dance to another.

At Waltz etcetera, we like to emphasize the differences of style and rhythm that different songs demand, and we teach our students to really pay attention and dance to the music. While we occasionally teach a separate musicality class, we mostly just work it into all of our classes, encouraging students to listen to and be guided by the music, not just in rhythm but in mood and attitude. The music we play is very spirited; we love to see dancers infuse a little of that spirit into their dance. Let the spirit of the music move ya! (not just the beat
Dancing to music involves listening both with your body and your partner. This listening can imagined as a conversation, a playful interaction, a competition, a meditation, a way of relaxing in movement with another. The music we play is selected because it has a rhythmic energy that makes us want to move and an overall musical structure where the passions within the music can be released through our movement. Below are some thoughts by others on dancing to the music.