Ballroom Dance Playlist

Last night’s Ballroom Dance Society dance was the annual event where we use prerecorded music. It’s sort of a fundraiser, since we save the cost of a live band, but it’s also a chance to try out some new music (and to dance to an entire evening’s worth of tunes that are never off-rhythm or out-of-tune!).

I had the responsibility of assembling the playlist, which is simultaneously fun and terrifying. Picking music that I think others will enjoy dancing to – and trying to make sure they feel like their money was well spent – is a little intimidating. But we’ve also been dancing long enough now that I think I have a pretty good feel for what will go over and what won’t. Last night’s lineup was well-received, and more people than usual stayed until after the last song. That’s saying something when it involves almost three hours of music with less than ten minutes of break time, total, although I think prerecorded music gives you a chance to sit out a tune here and there if you know that one is coming up that you’ll enjoy more. And everyone did, because we provided the playlist for each table.

A prerecorded playlist also allows you to plan the progression of dances, mixing up the tempos and musical styles so that it doesn’t get boring, and there are some chances to “rest on the floor” with a slower-paced song.

Anyway, if you’re planning your own dance – and why wouldn’t you? – below is what we cut a rug to last night. All of these songs are available via iTunes. The dance step shown for each tune is a suggestion, not a requirement. Some of these songs lend themselves to multiple steps.

Song Title Artist Dance Step
I Just Want To Dance With You George Strait Cha Cha
Pennsylvania 6-5000 Glenn Miller Swing
Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison Rumba
My Dream Is You Suzy Bogguss Slow
Tennessee Waltz Unknown Waltz
Some Kind of Wonderful Little Milton/Delbert McClinton Swing
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life Stevie Wonder Rumba
I’ve Got You Under My Skin Rod Stewart Foxtrot
It’s Now Or Never Elvis Presley Cha Cha
Blue Tango Unknown Tango
Fine Cindy Morgan Swing
Moon River Henry Mancini Waltz
Sway Pussycat Dolls Rumba
Boy From New York City Manhattan Transfer Swing
I’ve Got The World On A String Michael Buble Foxtrot
Old Time Rock And Roll Bob Seger Swing
Waltz Across Texas Willie Nelson Waltz
Fly Me To The Moon Frank Sinatra Foxtrot
Big Bad Handsome Man Imelda May Tango
In The Mood Glenn Miller Swing
Kokomo The Beach Boys Rumba
Mambo Italiano Ray Gelato Mambo
Beautiful Day For Goodbye George Straight Waltz
Oye Como Va Unknown Cha Cha
Mustang Sally Rascals Swing
Route 66 Natalie Cole Foxtrot
La Cumparsita Alfred Hause Orch Tango
Neon Moon Brooks & Dunn Rumba
The Best Is Yet To Come Michael Buble Foxtrot
The Last Waltz Englebert Humperdinck Waltz
Watermelon Man Julie London Swing
Oh, Pretty Woman Roy Orbison Cha Cha
Don’t Stop Gin Wigmore Swing
Smooth Santana Rumba
If You Don’t Know Me By Now Teddy Pendergrass Waltz
Jalousie Alfred Hause Orch Tango
Moondance Michael Buble Foxtrot
Wild, Wild West Escape Club Cha Cha
Girl From Ipanema Big T and the Badda-Bings Rumba
South Side Stomp Jenai Swing
Forget You Cee Lo Green Cha Cha
Could I Have This Dance? Anne Murray Waltz
Stuck On You Lionel Richie/Darius Rucker Slow
Mack The Knife Bobby Darin Foxtrot
Spanish Eyes Al Martino Rumba
Open Arms Journey Waltz
Save The Last Dance For Me Michael Buble Cha Cha


  1. Knowing nothing about no ballroom dancing I was eager to read through your playlist. Some really nice tunes in there but I was surprised to see Mustang Sally. Wouldn’t there be a lot of tripping and falling trying to dance to that?
    Oh, never mind. I just sampled the Rascals version. I was thinking of the Wilson Pickett version.
    What about Proud Mary? You know… the one where everyone dances their tables.

  2. Actually, the consensus is that we should use the Wilson Pickett version of “Mustang Sally” next time, the Rascals arrangement being a bit on the slow side.
    “Proud Mary” makes for a mean cha cha. It could appear on a future list.

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