Who says art always has to be contemplative, serious, and mellow? This list is a mix of my most recent and most enduring favorite jams to which I love to just DANCE. Like…the songs that make me say, “This is my SONG!!”….and if you say anything after I’ve made that declaration, you will likely have to repeat it.Sometimes, it’s just like that. These are the songs that transport me to my mental vacation.In no particular order…here we goooo!
(And this picture here….that would be me…dancing. So you have a visual of how I feel when these songs come on. I believe this was the Q-Tip dance…made famous in the move Hitch. I try not to take myself too seriously. )
1) Dj Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat:: You simply CAN’T deny this song when you hear the horns. Every time I’ve been with a group of people, any age, as soon as this song comes on, hands fly up. The interactions in this song really set it off too. “When I say freeze, you just freeze one time. When I say freeze, you just stop on the dime.” Classic.
2) Ke$ha – Animal (Switch Remix):: Omigosh!! I heard this song for the first time yesterday in my friend’s car. I stopped the conversation in order to devote my senses to the experience of this song. I. Was. Amazed. I’m not too into the Dub Step craze, but when I heard how Dub Step was sprinkled across this track….I found myself going into a sensory-overload. Feeling the bass, drinking in her melody through my ear drums, seeing the laser show that the electronic sounds were painting in my mind. Too much to handle. Needless to say, I found it on Spotify first thing this morning. It’s one of the slower jams on this list, but I love it. And, in general, when Ke$ha isn’t being provocative and obscene in content….I’m a total fan. (honorable mention: We R who We R )
3) N’SYNC – I want you back:: “So don’t hang up the phone now. I’m tryna figure out just what to do. I’m going crazy without you” Hardly any heartbreak song has sounded so fun or brought me so much joy. I must admit. I have a thing for break up songs. I really think I just enjoy emotion and the various ways they can be expressed (especially gripping, overwhelming emotions). So, what is not to love about a heartfelt plea for the return of a lost love…set to the beat of a 90’s pop/r&b hit?? I’ll tell you. There is absolutely NOTHING not to love. Here. Have fun flashing back 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzjvB68rTIQ
4)Shannon– Let the Music Play:: This is quintessential 80s, I think. I mean, being born in ’89, it’s what I’ve come to learn and observe of all things 80’s. Ha! One thing I love about this song is that it mixes so well with other songs. When a DJ gets it right and fades this hit in and out of a set….oh man! No contest. The beat is so infectious. You can’t help but to vibe. I have precious memories of being a child and pre-teen, bobbing my head to this in the car with my father as he would bang out a beat on his steering wheel and dashboard while I’m singing my heart out. Good stuff.”He tried pretending our dance is just a dance, but I see he’s dancing his way back to me”
5)Bruno Mars- Somewhere in Brooklyn:: This song, I LOOOVE dancing to. Hence, why it is on the list. This song brings out my theatrical, jazz hands and hair brush microphone. The first time I heard this song, I was putting makeup on in a mirror with 3 of my good friends. They knew the song. I did not, and they began to dance and sing in the way I previously described. It was infectious, and I HAD to know this song. Now…I do. And it just makes me feel so girly. “She was covered in leather in gold, 21 years old. I lost her in the cold.”
6) Marc Anthony- I Need to Know:: Do you remember the Latin EXPLOSION that consumed American music during the turn of the millennium? Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera’s Spanish album, and Shakira’s crossover to MTV. Everything was a little bit spicier at that time. Even 98 degrees had their song with a Spanish parenthetical after thought “Una Noche”. Most of it all faded away, but I don’t know if I will ever see a day when “I Need to Know” does not change my heart beat and make me want to move, following the course of the Dominican blood flowing through me. My excitement for this song is only matched by my excitement for Spanish food. I hope some day a man will sing and dance this for me 😉 haha. A girl can dream.
7) Britney Spears- Til the World Ends:: FUN FUN FUN!!! That’s all I think when I hear this song. This song accomplished its goal with me. It makes me want to dance til the world ends. Eh, I know there are more important things to do with my life. (matt 28, 1 cor 13, mark 1, matt 12)….But….I could dance while doing those things right? I just like this song because it appeals to my escapist side…the part of me that just wants to forget things and let loose for about 3 minutes. Like a recharge!
8)Montell Jordan- This is How We Do It:: Young, old, black, white, yellow, brown, extrovert, introvert, entry level, general manager….I have seen EVERYONE get down to the song. I have heard EVERYONE sing SOME part of it. I went into this list thinking not to put this weekend ANTHEM down, but reaching number 10…I FEARED the backlash of not including this song. I have another memory of being about 6, and getting into the car with my mom. This jam was bumping on the radio, and my mother turns to me and says, “This is mommy’s song”. And thus, it began. My lifelong connection to doing the absolute most when this song comes on (and I’m not even from the west side). “Now I’m a big G….hundred dolla bills, y’all”
9)Ciara – Gimme That:: I don’t think this track got enough attention. Maybe it’s because it isn’t following the subtle techno/euro pop/ dub step fad that has been creeping up over the past year, but I can’t sit still once the beat drops hard in this song. It sounds new, for sure, but it’s not too much of a stretch from what you’d expect of the pop/hip hop princess. I’m a fan of Ciara’s dance songs though (when they aren’t sketch). I go weak for strong instrumental foundations, and I am so drawn to how this song is centered around the bass. It’s even incorporated, at times, into the lyrics. “I’ve been gone for too long, think it’s time I bring it back”. Maybe it’s best this song didn’t get played out so I can maintain my love for it, but I do hope she got to hear praises for her work on this.
10) Mariah Carey- Dreamlover:: Another throwback, and kind of a slower song, but I love it. This goes in the category with Bruno Mars of just making me feel like such a girl. Break out all of the lip syncing props and imaginary love interest. I sing this song to Jesus. Just saying. It’s pretty sweet 🙂 Think about it. haha. Anyway, I am totally enamored with old Mariah. The Mariah we knew right up until Glitter (which I actually liked, thank you). After Glitter…I don’t know what happened. Oh wait, the Emancipation of Mimi was really good too. But even though I really liked the CD, I felt the image to be trying a bit hard. Back to the song, though…definitely a fun and care-free jam. (and in this category, I would also place Janet Jackson’s “Runaway”…sooo technically 11)
I encourage you to listen to ALL of these songs. ALL. What are your fave dance songs? Or favorite pictures of you dancing?
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