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Music is a contentious subject in many contexts. For example a person who enjoys classical music would take some persuading to sit and listen to the latest death metal onslaught by a band with an unpronounceable name. By the same token a fan of Scottish traditional music might not appreciate the subtleties of modern jazz music. And so it is with ballroom dance music.

This is because ballroom dancers like any other group of people are a diverse bunch. Some prefer the older more traditional tunes played in the style of such great proponents as David Last, a long time favourite of Sequence dancers, and others prefer the classic big band sounds of Count Basie and the like. There is no right or wrong and the only requirement not up for debate is the music being strict tempo.

In my view the four ballroom swing dances require great swing music to bring out the best in a dancer. For this reason I prefer big band swing music and we draw heavily on the Ultimate Ballroom series of CD's at our events because of this. Equally when it comes to latin I believe the best latin music is played by latin musicians and again we draw heavily on the Ultimate Latin series of CD's for this reason.

As a younger man I played in a pop group. The most difficult gigs we ever played were wedding receptions. A wedding reception is a time of joy or more accurately a time of family joy. Everyone from the new born baby to the aged aunt will be present and the band's job is to entertain them all, although the babies rarely had a say! This task was always fraught. The music would be too loud for some and not loud enough for others. A tune would be too fast for one group and not fast enough for another and so it went on. The MC of a ballroom dance event is faced with this same dilemma and the real skill is keeping the majority of dancers happy most of the time.

So next time you are dancing and the MC plays a tune you don't like remember, his or her job is a delicate balancing act and you may hear one or two tunes in an evening that wouldn't be top of your own personal favourites.

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