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Why DanceSport Music Remixes are controversial but necessary

Why DanceSport Music Remixes are controversial but necessary (1)

Although controversial, the DanceSport remixes are getting more and more popular, resulting in a 1 Billion (not Million) stream in 1 month on TIKTOK for the remix “Intoxicated Samba – DJ Sylz”. That is exactly the reason why it is necessary; It is the connection between DanceSport music and popular music. Not only dancers, but also normal (strange word choice) people can relate to the music.

The Best reason, however, is that music which is not usable for the DanceSport, can be remixed into a DanceSport music track. A good example is the remix made by Brent Thomas Mills, Unholy [Cha Cha Remix], which in its original mix is to slow. It is turned into a powerful Cha-Cha and it appeals Dancers and “Normal” people. Not only modern music can be remixed, on the album Giants of Latin; The Authentic remixes DanceSport DJs from all over the world remixed tracks from famous Latin musicians like Tito Puente, Pereze Prado, Machito and many more. The remixes kept the authentic sound but changed the songs, who had breaks, tempo changes and other issues into a DanceSport proof music track. Latin music can be remixed more easily, Ballroom music not so much.

Remixing Ballroom music is controversial. The first DanceSport DJ remixing Ballroom tracks was DJ Maksy on the album The Ballroom remixes vol. 1, which was very successful. The latest release in this album series, vol. 3 however, started a discussion amongst DanceSport DJs in a dedicated Telegram group. The Song that triggered the discussion is a Tango called “Pleasure of the Highest Sense [Peaky Blinders Tango]”, it contains a 8 bar modernized tango sound. All the steps in every dance are described in detail by all major DanceSport federations in their curriculum, but nowhere you can find anything about the music to the dance, outside of course the tempi.

Why is there no detailed description of the music that fits to the dance? (or is there?)

For Teaching, strict tempo is already killing, as teachers need slow tracks so people can learn the steps. In a discussion in the Facebook group Tanzschul Business (Germany) some good points were made about the tempi. So what exactly do we need from the music to make it fit to the dances?

A wider range on Tempi for social dancing and practice, strict tempo for competition dancers, Parameters like time signature, emphasis (accent), musical articulation and of course the characteristics of the music.  This triggers the question;

Should we describe the rules for the music in  a broader range (so that more music fits the dance and we keep connected to modern popular music) or should we keep it strict (and The DanceSport  might be only for the happy few)?

Please give us your thoughts…

Follow us for more on this topic ( The DanceSport Music Guideline)

For your reference, please follow the links below to the albums and songs mentioned in this article.


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Official Tempi Per Dance

Official Tempi Per Dance

The tempo recommendations  for various types of dances are listed below. The list includes tempos for International

and American Style Ballroom as well as Latin tempos, Country-Western tempos and some specialty tempos.


Smooth or Ballroom/Standard

  • Foxtrot – American — the recommended tempo is 120-136 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Slowfox (Foxtrot) –International — the recommended tempo is 112-120 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Quickstep (International) the recommended tempo is 192-208 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Tango – American and International — the recommended tempo is 120-132 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Tango – Argentine — the recommended tempo is 112 and 140 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Two Step (Country) the recommended tempo is 168-200 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Viennese Waltz – American — the recommended tempo is 150-180 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Viennese Waltz – International — the recommended tempo is 150-180 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Waltz – American — the recommended tempo is 84-96 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Slow Waltz – International — the recommended tempo is 84-93 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Waltz – Country –76-98 BPM (beats per minute)

Rhythm or Latin

  • Bachata the recommended tempo is 108 and 152 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Bolero (American) the recommended tempo is 96-104 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Cha Cha – American and International — the recommended tempo is 112-128 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Cha Cha – Country–the recommended tempo is 96-118 BPM (beats per minute)
  • East Coast Swing – American — the recommended tempo is 136-144 BPM (beats per minute)
  • East Coast Swing – Country — the recommended tempo is 124-142 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Jive (International)152-176 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Hustle the recommended tempo is 104-121 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Mambo (American) the recommended tempo is 188-204 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Merengue the recommended tempo is 58-64 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Nightclub Two-Step the recommended tempo is 54-64 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Paso Doble (International) the recommended tempo is112-124 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Polka the recommended tempo is 104-124 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Rumba – American — the recommended tempo is 120-144 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Rumba – International — the recommended tempo is 96-112 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Salsa the recommended tempo is 150-250 (TBR) BPM (beats per minute)
  • Samba – American — the recommended tempo is 104 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Samba – International — the recommended tempo is 96-104 BPM (beats per minute)
  • Sway the recommended tempo is TBD
  • West Coast Swing the recommended tempo is 102-128 BPM (beats per minute)


NDCA (National Dance Council of America)

  • “ND CA Rule Book” (8/30/11)
  • USISTD (United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing)
  • “Syllabi, Step Lists & Tempi”: “ISTD & USISTD Syllabus Lists”
  • Last updated Sep 3, 2011


  • “Modern Ballroom Dance Society Faculty: Syllabus Outline,” 31 May 2011
  • National Syllabus May 2011; and
  • “Latin American Dance Faculty: Syllabus Outline,” 30 Nov. 2011
  • Latin American Dance Syllabus Outline

WDSF (World DanceSport Federation)

  • Was ICAD (International Council of Amateur Dancers), then IDSF (International DanceSport Federation)
  • Status: Conclusion of 2011 AGM, Luxembourg, June 19, 2011

USA Dance

  • 5 MUSIC TEMPI in “USA Dance: Dancesport 2011A Rulebook,” Edition 13, Jan. 2011 (page 11):
  • “The tempi for each dance shall be as specified by the IDSF.”
  • USA Dance = IDSF tempo recommendations

WDC (World Dance Council)

  • Was ICBD (International Council of Ballroom Dancing)), then WD&DSC (World Dance and DanceSport Council)
  • WDC Competition Rules – June 2011

UCWDC (United Country Western Dance Council)

  • “The 2011 UCWDC Rules, Contest Procedures and Scoring Format,” Revised 2010
  • IHDA (International Hustle Dance Association)
  • Pro/Am Structure Guidelines for Competing, and Am/Am Structure Guidelines for Competing

Links to Ballroom Dance Organizations

  • NDCA (National Dance Council of America) www.ndca.org
  • USISTD (United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) www.usistd.org
  • WDSF (World DanceSport Federation) www.worlddancesport.org
  • USA Dance usadance.org
  • WDC (World Dance Council) www.wdcdance.com
  • UCWDC (United Country Western Dance Council) www.ucwdc.org
  • IHDA (International Hustle Dance Association) – IHDA website could not be found (December 2020)

Information on this post compiled by Rich Gross

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History of remixed DanceSport music

The DanceSport is the spotlight for dancing. The Dancing is fabulous, but the music is not always relatable to the greater audience with the extreme example of the music played at the most beautiful competition in the world “The Blackpool Dance Festival”.

In the late 80’s a first attempt is made to step away from Big Band music as used in the Dance Sport scene. Dancelife’s Best series were created with re-recorded popular music including an enhanced rhythm. This series was a huge success within the social dancing studios, but never caught on at the competitions. Reason: When dancers would go to a competition like “The Blackpool Dance Festival” they were mesmerized by the atmosphere at these events, which included this big band sound. The nostalgia took over and gave no chance to change.

In 1995 Erik Wegewitz, a dancesport music freak and founder of Casa music, Started  to use original non-big band music on compilation albums created for the DanceSport. This success was followed by Dancelife, with Dancelife’s Sambas pa-ti. Dancelife’s Samba’s pa ti was a big hit, but Casa musica scored a massive hit with their Best of Ballroom and Best of Latin series and became the dominant party on competition music. Ton Greten, as music freak, influenced both parties with music tips to increase the quality of both parties. Dancelife and Casa musica , the largest DanceSport music producers and distributors, kept on renewing with the DanceSport music, and in 1999 the first remixed tracks on the Casa musica made, “Latin Music-series” appeared. This was an inspiration  to, now, well-known DanceSport DJ’s.

In 2007 a disagreement between WDSF and WDC created a split in the dancing industry. The WDSF created competitions with more rules to the dancing. The music was played by DJ’s instead of Big Bands. The DJ’s did use re-recorded popular music including an enhanced rhythm and original music, but they were hungry for more. Some creative DJs like DJ Maksy, DJ DLVG, DJ Ice and Avera started to enhance original music with extra rhythms, which made a huge impact on the dancers  at the WDSF competitions. So now the nostalgia was create by the DJ’s. Of course it is not allowed to sell an original enhanced music track, so dancers could not enjoy this music outside the competition. Dancelife and Casa musica recognized the talents and quickly teamed up with these DanceSport DJs to create albums with remixed DanceSport music.

In the meantime the word “DJ” does no longer only applies to somebody who plays records, it is also a producer of music. By remixing the DJ can create a new composition based upon samples of known music incorporated with extra beats and melodies.  Johnny M, Watazu, DJ Sylz and Mattia Di Renzo are showing that a commercial sound can be used for the DanceSport and with that creating a connection to the greater audience with music they can relate to.

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About us

Dancelife Music, Dance Music United is a Cooperation between D-Sylz BV, a holding company of the music rights of the Dancelife Music Catalogue and The Source, one of the largest independent Music aggregators in the business and Casa musica a multi-media company aimed at the Dance Industry.



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The Source

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