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Five Favorites: Music for Children’s Dance Classes

Posted Jun 12 2009 5:12pm

Today I’m sharing with you a list of five albums from my own class music collection. I have put these to use and would recommend them for classes with young children. Enjoy!

Contrast & Continuum — Music for Creative Dance Vol. I-IV

by Eric Chappelle

Designed specifically for creative dance, this set works well with curriculum ideas offered in Anne Green Gilbert’s Creative Dance for All Ages: A Conceptual Approach. However, the rich variety of styles, sound textures, and tempos offered here could be used for any creative dance curriculum. The album liner notes also offer movement ideas and uses for each track. These are also available as pdf files on the site below. As I tend to mix and match tracks depending on what I am teaching, I cannot make an “if you can only buy one” recommendation. You can sample the music and decide for yourself or purchase the whole set at

Rhythms on Parade

Click on image to purchase on Amazon

by Hap Palmer

This collection of songs are beneficial for teaching rhythm. The songs are designed for use with musical props like rhythm sticks, shakers, bells, or tambourines - great additions to preschool movement classes. However, most could be adapted for movement-only classes by encouraging children to put the rhythms in their body. Songs include explore tempos, meters (how many kid songs are in 5/8?), rests, and instruments. And there is even a class “transition song” that encourages children to “come up and choose an instrument to play.” You may also want to check out Hap Palmer’s other selections including his Holiday Magic album.

Sweet Taps

Click on image for purchase information

Click on image for purchase information

by Rosemary Boross with Bruce Stephen Foster

This truly sweet collection of candy-coated songs is great for covering tap fundamentals like cramp rolls, shuffles, heel drops, and more. The vocals provide combination choreography and rhythms that are geared toward older preschool and young elementary/primary students (CD notes recommend its use for children 4-8). However instrumentals are provided. My only complaint is that these are not separate tracks as on Boross’s F antasy Garden Ballet Class series, also found at Kimbo Educational.


Click on image to purchase on Amazon

by Little Monsters

Sometimes even the little ones just want to rock. Little Monsters covers classic soul tunes like ABC, Dancing in the Street, and Mustang Sally on this album. Adults provide lead vocals while children provide back-up. Unlike big-name compilations that similarly cover pop songs, the production is slick and the vocals don’t have that nails on a chalkboard affect! I’ve used these in class for a fun free dance, across-the-floor, and recital music. You can purchase the CD at Amazon by clicking on the image or at the very cool Little Monsters Records web site where you can keep an eye out for new music.


Click image for purchasing information

Click image for purchasing information

Whitefeather Productions

This CD’s short tracks and clear and even tempos have proven helpful in pre-ballet classes. All of the 29 music selections are classical favorites, providing plenty of music for introductory barre work, center, jumps, and traveling movements. Whitefeather has a number of ballet CDs for various levels. These can be purchased on iTunes or at their website

What areyourfavorite albums for children’s dance classes?

©2009 Dance Advantage. All Rights Reserved.


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