Live vs. Recorded Music

Live music is awesome. But if you are anxious to get started dancing and you don't (yet) have a group of musicians to call on, you can use recorded music. Here are a few ideas. 

  • If you don't have musicians available locally, if the musicians you do have are inexperienced, or if you are dancing an unusual style or a dance that requires a very particular tune, using recorded music can be useful. Using recorded music can be handy for a class or teaching session, so you don't have to try to rope the musicians into being there and sitting around a lot during the teaching. For suggested recordings to get you started take a look at the Starter Kits for specific dance styles. The CDSS catalog contains most of the titles you might need, and you can always ask a real person at CDSS or contact dance teachers or callers in your area for more advice.
  • Recorded music may be helpful to get your group off the ground, but we strongly encourage you to make developing talented local musicians a part of the mission of your group. Live musicians and audiences can interact, play off each other's energy and expression, and make the dance more exciting for everyone. Live music can be an important marketing tool, since it is so rare in many other forms of dance and social life. Live musicians often encourage their friends to attend, they make the dance seem more cool and vibrant, and they often become valuable organizers and chip in with logistical work. Tips for encouraging student performers in a college setting are here. Ideas about how to find performers off-campus in your local community are here.

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