Are you looking to bust a move? Maybe you are looking for some great music for your cast party, a soundtrack for a dance class in Toronto, or perhaps you are looking for something new to listen to while you work out. No matter what, there is a ton of music perfect for dancing out there – and one of the best places to get it? On the Broadway stage.
As the very face of musical theater continues to change, there are many new songs that people may not have heard of just yet – something that will get you up and moving. Even better, there are songs that are old classics that will always be part of the dance songbook.
Here are our choices for the best dance songs from musicals:
“The Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago
It is impossible to talk about choreography for the stage without mentioning Fosse. His dance and choreography style is unmistakable and iconic. Even so, it takes practice and skill to master it – he rarely gives his dancers a break.
Traditionally, “The Hot Honey Rag” is a jazz ballet that occurs near the end of the musical. The two leading ladies, both of whom have been charged with murder, show off their different personalities and styles perfectly.
If you need to choreograph a number for two people, this may be a perfect choice.
“Livin’ It Up On Top” from Hadestown
One doesn’t typically think of Anais Mitchell when they think of dance songs, but she has provided some of the most beautiful songs for dance in modern memory. Her musical adaptation of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice (and Hades and Persephone) takes audience members above ground and underground. Within the context of the musical, “Livin’ It Up On Top” is a dance number held in a bar in the real world before Eurydice and Persephone take their trips underground.
There is a lot of explosive movement here, with touches of many different dance stylings, including break dancing, hip hop, and classic New Orleans style dances.
If you have a group of people who want to play and express themselves, this is the perfect option.
“Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show
This song is a crowd favorite for many reasons – but most likely because it has the instructions for how to dance right in the song. Many of the lyrics tell you the movements to make and most people will be able to pick up on them fairly quickly.
Even so, if you plan to dance to this one with a bunch of people, it may be a good idea to get some practice in before you do it.
“The Juggernaut” from The Wild Party
The Wild Party was an off Broadway musical that featured some of our favorite stars, including Idina Menzel and then husband Taye Diggs. The song “The Juggernaut” shows off all of their voices extremely well, but even more, it shows off some fierce dance skills.
Once again, the lyrics spell out the moves for a type of dance, though this song allows for more individuality and personalization of choreography. Suited for many different dance styles, it is a song not many people have heard, so you won’t have to compete with past attempts.
“The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
If you are considering doing a contemporary dance, “The Origin of Love” is the perfect song to do it too. This song, written expertly by Stephen Trask, tells the story of love and where it originated and how we got to be where we are. Showcase soulmates being ripped apart and finding each other again.
The music is slower in some parts and faster in others, making it a true rock ballad that will work with many different styles of music and dance.
“Satisfied” from Hamilton
Probably one of the greatest songs in musical theater history, Hamilton is a truly iconic show, but Satisfied stands out from the crowd. The song, which goes in reverse at parts (triggered by Angelica’s “rewind”), is a masterpiece of melodies and storytelling. For those interested in contemporary dance and using movement to tell a story, there is nothing better.
Whether you are looking for a song to dance to during a dance class in Toronto, for your senior showcase, or just for a fun routine with friends, you cannot get better than these options.