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Who got the #Strictly Week 3 good tracks?

Is there anything to the idea that you’ll do better dancing a samba to a samba track and a waltz to a waltz track? We’ve looked at every track from Strictly Week 3 and given it our very own paddle score.  means it’s the best it can be and  means “why oh why are they dancing to this track??” Eyes down, best tracks first:

Judges score 35. Aston & Janette danced a Cha Cha to Can’t Stop The Feeling! from the Trolls movie – great choice! The original tempo for this track is 113bpm, but the band took it up to the perfect cha cha cha tempo of 120bpm on the night. It’s been cha cha cha’d in TV dance shows in France, Germany and Poland.

Judges score 32. Joe & Katya danced the Viennese Waltz to Somewhere My Love from Dr Zhivago. A nominal Viennese waltz is 180bpm but that’s often much too fast for beginners, so it’s really sensible that they took it down to 149bpm on the night.

Judges score 33. Alexandra & Gorka danced the American Smooth to Wouldn’t It Be Lovely from My Fair Lady. It’s a great Foxtrot and so suited to the American Smooth. At a tempo of 115bpm on the night perhaps a teeny bit slow, but very enjoyable

Judges score 15. Ruth & Anton danced the Rumba to Diamonds Are Forever from the James Bond movie; it’s a great rumba and on the night the band played it at 97bpm,  keeping the tempo of the original track.

Judges score 29. Debbie & Giovanni danced a Quickstep to Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off by Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers from Shall We Dance; this has a good quickstep feel but at 176bpm it’s slow. On the night the band played it at 198bpm, close to the perfect quickstep tempo.  Interesting to note that some people credit the track to Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, but that version is a foxtrot at a tempo of 126bpm!

Judges score 31. Gemma & Aljaž danced a Charleston to the Jungle Book’s Bare Necessities. At 206bpm, this is more of a quickstep, but the band played it at 232bpm which made for a great Charleston.

Judges score 30. Mollie & AJ danced the American Smooth to Climb Every Mountain from The Sound Of Music. They took the tempo down low from the original’s 104 to 87bpm. Perhaps to give Mollie time for the complicated lifts?

Judges score 25. Davood & Nadiya danced a Samba to Stayin’ Alive from Saturday Night Fever. Surprised that on the night the tempo went up to 110 from the original’s 104bpm – a much better tempo for the samba.

Judges score 22. Brian & Amy danced the American Smooth to If I Only Had A Brain from The Wizard Of Oz; in the original only some sections are a good foxtrot, so wisely that’s what they kept to in this dance. They lowered the original’s tempo and it was great for Brian to dance to.

Judges score 14. Rev Richard & Dianne danced the Paso Doble to Flash from the movie; surprised that the tempo was kept at the 106bpm of the original, rather than heading towards 120bpm of the nominal paso doble. Had a slow static feel about it for a paso doble.

Judges score 26. Jonnie & Oti danced the Paso Doble to The Raiders’ March from Raiders Of The Lost Ark; very dramatic and at 138bpm on the night they’ve taken the tempo well away from the 120bpm nominal.

Judges score 19. Simon  & Karen Clifton danced the Quickstep to You’ve Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story. This track’s normally a foxtrot at 115bpm. Here the band had re-arranged it and sped it up to 192bpm. The vocalists could hardly fit the lyrics in at this tempo. Dancing With The Stars USA did the same thing a few seasons ago – perhaps it’s catching!

Judges score 20. Susan & Kevin danced a Samba to the Wonder Woman Theme. It’s a cha cha really and at 117bpm isn’t a good samba tempo. So Susan did incredibly well to hear the samba rhythm in her mind’s eye as well as dealing with the fast track.

Judges score 17. Charlotte & Brendan danced the Tango to Danger Zone from Top Gun; the original track has a tempo of 157 and would be a jive. So choosing it as a tango – normally at 132bpm and only taking the tempo down to 144 for the show is strange. Charlotte did well as it hasn’t got a good tango feel.

 

 

Discover why Susan Calman is the real Wonder Woman

Last week Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton danced a Samba to the Wonder Woman theme. Her scores weren’t too bad at 4-5-5-6=20. But consider this. The Wonder Woman theme doesn’t have the samba beats in it – it’s more of a cha cha. So Susan had to imagine those beats for herself. Making it even more tricky, a samba tempo is 100bpm. Go much slower and it can be dull and lose feeling. Go faster and it can become manic as you try to do the technical moves in a shorter space of time. On Saturday the track was at almost 20% faster at 117bpm. So Susan managed to get lots of the technical moves in even though the track was very fast, and she had to imagine the samba beats within the music. Wow! Wonder Woman indeed!

 

Strictly Wonder Woman

Waltz tempos – two for the price of one!

A waltz is in 3/4 time – isn’t it? You’d be surprised! In the world of music and dancing it’s not always easy to decide. Take “The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” by Andy Williams that was used in Strictly Come Dancing as a Waltz. Listening to it you’ll discover you can count two different tempos in 3/4. One at 60bpm and one at 180bpm.

The reason for this is that it’s time signature is 9/8. For the higher tempo you’re counting on every one of the 9 quavers. For the slower tempo you’re counting every three quavers and so the tempo goes down to a third. So it’s a good tempo for a viennese waltz, but too slow for a waltz  – a waltz has a nominal tempo of 90bpm. For Strictly they sped it up to 88bpm to keep the feeling of a waltz – Letitia Dean and Darren Bennett got a great 35/40 score.

Letitia & Darren waltzing to ‘The Impossible Dream’

 

In DancePicker we rate the track as it is, and even allowing for a wide tolerance on the tempo, 60 is just too low to make it a waltz. If you disagree with this, and want to waltz at slow tempos, you can find tracks by using the ‘Waltztime’ filter combined with a tempo selector of say 50 to 70. And of course, you can always speed them up too!

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