Good songs for Jazz Dance

February 6, 2017

Music for jazz class 2013

The Telegraph picked their top 50 tunes to get you on to the dancefloor. From Aretha Franklin to the Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin to New Order, groove to our choice of top dancefloor tunes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at Auntie Val’s wedding or at home by the kitchen radio – some songs are guaranteed to make you leap to your feet and strut your stuff.

• 50: Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher, Jackie Wilson (1967)

A supremely passionate live performer, Wilson left a legacy of dancefloor favourites, including this spiralling classic. It's not the easiest of songs to dance to, but once you've clicked into its groove, it is inescapably ecstatic.

Dance Tip: Moving from the hips, shoulders swaying, arms outstretched, fingers clicking, head tilted. DC

• 49: Tease Me, Chaka Demus and Pliers (1993)

The premier Jamaican vocal duo MC Chaka Demus and singer Pliers were responsible for huge hits such as Murder She Wrote and Twist and Shout as well as this Caribbean favourite. The drop from Pliers's laid-back intro to Chaka Demus's foot-stomping, bum-wiggling "Tease me tease me" section is always a great moment on the dancefloor.

Dance Tip: The Bogle – wind up your waist, dancehall style. GDW

• 48: The Payback, James Brown (1974)

You could run a list of "50 James Brown songs to make you dance", but this vigorous grunt-and-groan workshop is the one to go for. In bar one, Brown's drummer whacks the snare so hard, it makes you jump; seven-and-a-half minutes later he's whacking it harder still. "Can I get some hits?" screams Brown presciently at 6'40", almost as if he knew the internet was coming.

Dance Tip: Grow a moustache, moonwalk backwards, faint, be carried off by minders. TH

• 47: Hold On, En Vogue (1990)

R&B girl group En Vogue broke through with this club classic. A piercing a cappella rendition of Motown standard Who's Lovin You leads into a hip-hop beat with a funky bass line, horn and piano stabs. "You've got to hold on, to your love", the girls proclaim, and it is their powerful singing that carries this one.

Dance Tip: Whatever it is, synchronise for maximum girl group effect. GDW

• 46: Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand (2005)

The Scottish art-school boys wanted to make guitar music "girls could dance to" and they hit the bull's eye with this audacious track that morphs from angular new-wave stutter to monster glitter stomp.

Dance Tip: A very slow running man with sharp knee and arm-bends. BM

• 45: Respect, Aretha Franklin (1967)

Soul queen Aretha Franklin's re-working of Otis Redding's 1965 song has become a floor-filling favourite. With Franklin's gutsy, proto-feminist delivery and the stonking, upbeat Stax arrangement, it's one that's guaranteed to get the girls on the dancefloor. The words "What you want..." have an electrifying effect.

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Good jazz songs to dance to
Good jazz songs to dance to

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