I wish that I could give you a definite answer. I wish that I could say, “Oh yes, these are the absolute ten best songs for swing dancing out there, and that’s a fact.” But I can’t do that, because “best” is a subjective term, and each person has their own idea of what the “best” songs are for swing. This is a fact that both perturbs my scientific mind and pleases my artistic soul. While everyone’s got their own musical taste and ideas of what the best swing dance songs are, there are some general things that make for a good swing song - the chief of these standards is this: the music has to make you want to move. So, while I cannot give you an absolute list of the top ten best songs for swing dancing, I can give you a list of my favorites (in context of how good they are for dancing, not just how much I like them), all of which inspire movement in me.
Since you just said swing, I’ll give lists for both lindy hop and west coast swing. Bonus! ;)
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen. I tried to pick which artist, I really did. But there are so many versions of this song, and I love almost all of them! This song is one of my most favorite songs of all time, and it’s great for dancing. I love how dynamic it is; you can really express yourself. It has bluesy bits, swinging stretches, and some opportunities for fast dancing.
Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan. This song is straight up silly. In that way, I feel like it embodies swing dancing. Also, it’s the perfect song for peckin’.
I Diddle by Dinah Washington. The first time I heard this song, it was one of those moments where you just go, “OOOOH.” It’s got a great beat, fun lyrics, and it’s got a lot of character. And really, how could you not love a song where “hehe” is part of the lyrics? Super fun to dance to.
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? by Count Basie and His Orchestra. I think I first discovered this song via Pandora. I love this one for reasons not fully known. It’s just a fun song.
Diga Diga Doo by Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five feat. Hilary Alexander. I love this song a lot. It’s quite fast, and is great for Charleston as well. Two other versions I love are by Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.
Comes Love by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra feat. Helen Forrest. First off, this has Helen Forrest, whom I adore. Second, I love the overall sound of the song, and I’ve always loved the lyrics. It’s a slowish lindy.
Harlem Mad by Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators feat. Meschiya Lake. This is a pretty fast one. I’m a big fan of Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators!
Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway. I cannot be dissuaded from my love for this song. It’s a bluesy lindy or a lindy-ish blues. I know every single word and, yes, I will sing them all while I dance.
On Revival Day by LaVern Baker. This song has a great tempo, it’s very happy, and it’s playful.
Yes, Indeed! by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. I lovelovelovelovelove Tommy Dorsey. He’s one of my favorites - if not my number one - of the classic swing dudes. I own quite a few of his vinyls. Yes, Indeed! is probably my favorite song of his for lindy hop. It fits lindy hop so well.
West coast swing
Pinpointing “best” songs for WCS is even more difficult than for lindy hop, simply due to the nature of the dance. You can make any song into a west coast, really. It should be noted that, for WCS, I generally seem to prefer bluesy/sultry/R&B more than funky/pop-y/energetic.
Tonight (Best You Ever Had) by John Legend feat. Ludacris. This is just a great song for west coast. Personal anecdote: one time I was dancing to this song and I was singing along. The guy I was dancing with said, “I take it you know this song?” and I, singing along, responded with: “I don’t wanna brag…” and it was a golden moment. Then, months later, I was dancing with someone else to this and I told them the story and just so happened to sing “I don’t wanna brag” at just the right time again. Amazing.
No Diggity by Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen. A classic. I also really love the Chet Faker cover.
California Dreamin’ by Queen Latifah. In my opinion, Queen Latifah’s cover of this song is the best version out there. California Dreamin’ is my magical song; every dance I’ve ever had to this song has been amazing. Like, people on the sides applauded after watching me dance to it. (Which is remarkable considering I’m pretty much a derp-face Westie.)
Heartbreak Hotel by Grieves. Words cannot express how much I love this song. Dancing to it is like a dream. It’s a slow, lyrical west coast and it actually stumps quite a few dancers. But if you can find a partner who is comfortable with their musicality, this song is absolutely magical.
Sexxx Dreams by Lady Gaga. Some venues won’t even go near this song, and I mean… I understand why. But I love it so much. It’s great fun to dance to; there’s a lot of room to play around and it’s ah-may-zing for double trouble and/or stealing.
I See Fire (Kygo Remix) by Ed Sheeran. I’m not generally a fan of remixes, but this one is superb. I got to do a legendary double trouble to this with two friends of mine, so it holds sentimental value. Worth noting: Ed Sheeran actually has quite a few good songs for dancing.
Traum by CRo. Yes, this song is in German. I’ve never heard it played at any WCS dances, which make sense considering I live in the US. This is a fast west coast, but quite happy and enjoyable. I really enjoy dancing to it.
Don’t Wait by Mapei. Just a beautiful song. Its beat is easy to hear, too.
Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz. This song just suits west coast. It just feels so right. Am I wrong? ;)
Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith.Latch has recently really caught on (pun not intended) with the competition circuit, and for good reason. For starters, it’s a beautiful song. But it’s great for WCS. A lot of acoustic songs don’t quite cut it, but this one works. The original, a collaboration between Disclosure and Sam Smith, also works for west coast, but it has a decidedly different flavor. Personally, I prefer the acoustic - but the original is good, too. (Worth noting: La La Latch by Pentatonix is amazing and works as a fast WCS.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this verbose listing. It’s not a definitive list of the “best” songs for swing, or even the most popular - but it’s a list of songs that make me need to dance, that suit the mood of the dance, that are quality pieces. I hope this answers your question well enough!
I'm looking for a list of really good lesbian movies. I've seen the big titles... April's Shower, Saving Face, Imagine Me and You.. The usual. Do you have a top ten or twenty?
Hi! I absolutely have a top ten! I’ve done a couple of these lists in the past and I feel like my top ten is always changing… but here’s my current faves:
1) Saving Face (I think this will always be my favorite lesbian movie. It was one of the first gay movies I had ever seen that had a happy ending… which is a huge deal for a scared 15 year old gay girl from a small town)
2) I Can’t Think Straight
3) Imagine Me & You
8) But I’m A Cheerleader
9) Loving Annabelle
10) Better Than Chocolate
What about you guys? Any favorites? Have a personal top 10? Please share below!
Snow: What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Top Ten List
Winter continues its brutal assault on the senses. Yes this has been the worst winter tens of millions of individuals can remember. New York hasn’t seen this much snow since 1899, as those over the age of 115 have never stopped announcing on the news to whoever wants to listen. At this point the song “Let it snow” has been banned on the entire East Coast, from Georgia to Maine. Florida missed out on the snow. Florida however constantly misses out on not being Florida, something that it definitely regrets. If Florida had to do it all over again it probably would have been North Carolina, a nice fine state that nobody views negatively.
Is there anything people can do? There are a few suggestions for stopping the winter. They are below formatted neatly into a ‘Top Ten List’ for Thought Catalog friendly viewing pleasure:
1. Say Uncle – this is the best one for stopping the winter. As the winter is acting like a bully it is best to simply say uncle and get the pain over with.
2. Move to a place where winter does not exist – considering the fact that winter has hit places it normally avoids it seems there is nowhere winter does not strike and strike hard. Running away from winter is ineffective.
3. Introduce winter to YouTube to distract it from pummeling the United States – honestly this has worked on co-workers, so why not a season?
4. Convince winter it needs to hibernate for 12 months a year instead of 9 – yes this goes against time and winter seems to always stick around longer than it should. Worth a shot but this is a poor idea.
5. Let winter crash on your couch and let it sort itself out – clearly winter is going through some tough times, lashing out against the entire Eastern seaboard.
6. Tell winter to backpack through Europe in an attempt to find itself – advice that works for recent well-to-do college graduates should probably work for a season. Winter could spend its time trying new dark beers in the Czech Republic, hang out in youth hostels, and generally have a good time.
7. Ask winter to talk about its problems – winter is doing this to get attention and now it has it. Having winter talk about its problems is a pretty good idea. An intervention might be the only way to stop it.
8. Bring winter to hang out with your friends – winter has few friends. Usually it tends to kill off the living, excluding evergreen trees that are used to it. Helping winter get some friends might prevent it from lashing out against millions of people.
9. Explain to winter how it has a lot of really important holidays – maybe it is a perception thing. The holiday season applies to winter. No other season gets as many holidays. Perhaps winter does not understand this basic fact.
10. Make some homemade brownies for winter – everybody loves homemade brownies. Whoever doesn’t is pure evil incarnate. The consumption of brownies can help distract winter from bothering people.
These plans are not foolproof. There is a lot that can go wrong. Considering the problems winter has been giving everybody it is worth a shot.
i just watched Trollhunter for the second time and
i think its one of those friendship-ending films. i feel like if someone i knew told me they didn’t like it, i would probably just not be able to get past that
i would talk more about it but tbh im overwhelmed. its seriously, in my opinion, in the running for one of the best “monster movies” ever made, certainly in the top three “found footage” films ever made, and is absolutely in my top ten or maybe even top five favorite films, full stop. it has faults yes, mostly related to it being very much an indie film with a limited effects budget, but watch it on a nice screen with some headphones on and let the sound design fill in where the CGI is flagging a bit. it’s tragic, it examines the relationship between human civilization of the wild, it critiques modernity, it has excellent pacing, it doesnt defang or anthropomorphize animals, it treats them with respect, it’s funny, it’s horrifying, and i find it deeply moving for a whole lot of reasons.
if you havent seen Trollhunter, please dont look it up, dont read the wikipedia or watch any trailers. go in fresh. there is a single scene of (simulated) animal death, but other than that i cant really think of any content warnings, other than “might be scary”. but it’s not really about jump scares or “horror” or gore. it’s about the wilderness and about myth and reality, and it’s just wonderful.