40 More Haunting Halloween Songs

You can definitely have a little musical fun with Halloween, and last year I added a list of over 30 songs, plus a few album ideas to Dance Advantage.

This year I’ve topped that with 40 MORE songs that you can use for parties or for dance class. Go way beyond the Monster Mash with tracks from True Blood, The Ramones, David Bowie, and Kanye West. And check the widget below, for your immediate gratification, they are all available for preview and download via the Amazon widget below.

Mystical tree on the background of an abandoned house with orange pumpkins

Please allow me to introduce my… songs

  1. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
  2. Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band (or try Sugar Ray’s version)
  3. Pet Sematary – The Ramones
  4. After Dark – From Dusk Till Dawn Soundtrack
  5. Frankenstein – The Edgar Winter Group
  6. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (or try Adam Sandler’s rendition)
  7. Werewolf – Cat Power
  8. Disturbia – Rihanna
  9. Devil Inside – INXS
  10. Welcome to my Nightmare – Alice Cooper
  11. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  12. Vampires Will Never Hurt You – My Chemical Romance (get the Vitamin String Quartet’s instrumental version, too)
  13. Do the Vampire – Superdrag
  14. Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo
  15. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – David Bowie
  16. Boris the Spider – The Who
  17. Dream Scream – Death Cab for Cutie
  18. X-Files – Mark Snow
  19. Full Moon – Black Ghosts
  20. Full Moon – Brandy
  21. Zombie Zoo – Tom Petty
  22. A White Demon Love Song – The Killers (check out the piano instrumental)
  23. Wizard Wheezes – Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince soundtrack
  24. See You in my Nightmares – Kanye West
  25. Theme from Amityville Horror (Remix) – Horror Movie Madness
  26. Ghost I-IV – Nine Inch Nails (get the whole album of ambient instrumentals for only $5)
  27. That Old Black Magic – Rod Stewart (or your crooner of choice)
  28. Night on Bald Mountain (Remix) – Ultimate Halloween
  29. O Fortuna from Carmina Burana (Remix) – Halloween Dance & Party
  30. Trick or Treat – Otis Reading
  31. Bleed 2 Feed – CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis
  32. Bones – Little Big Town
  33. Looking for Dracula* – Charlotte Diamond
  34. When I’m Booin’* – The Backyardigans
  35. Howling at the Moon – The Ramones
  36. Prologue – Little Shop of Horrors
  37. Blood on the Dance Floor – Michael Jackson
  38. Haunted – POE
  39. Haunted – Evanescence
  40. Beauty of the Dark – Mads Langer

Especially kid-friendly tunes are marked with a star (*). But you can find more selections for children in the Trick or Treat Tracks article.

Preview the tracks here:

Oh, and check out these Hair-Raising Halloween-themed Dance Videos too!
Hard as it is to imagine, I know there’s more where that came from. Add to the list with your comments and suggestions below.

Chicago’s Menomonee Club Dancers Show ‘Why Dance Matters’

Recently the Menomonee Club, which has been improving urban life for children on Chicago’s north side for almost sixty years, spent a week in April focusing on the theme “Art matters to me” in all their arts programming. The Club offers a mix of supervised team sports, recreational, and social programs for kids ages 3 through 18, as well as select programs for adults. According to their website, the not-for-profit Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls is “dedicated to providing children from diverse backgrounds with quality recreation and enrichment activities that foster personal growth and skill development.”

Thanks to Performing Arts Coordinator, Lauren Warnecke, children in their dance program were given the opportunity to submit statements and drawings completing the thought,  “Dance matters because….” The wonderful sample below was selected for publishing on Dance Advantage. I am happy to share these with you during National Dance Week! I hope you’ve taken some time during this busy month of arts advocacy to celebrate at your own studios!



You may have recognized Lauren Warnecke’s name from a recent guest post, Watching Versus Doing In Dance Education. Lauren received dance training at Barat College, holds a BA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago and an MS in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She has more than ten years of teaching experience, and is currently seeking a teacher’s certification through the Cecchetti Council of America, which you’ll read more about tomorrow on the blog!

A few months ago, after our paths crossed online, I took some time to look at Lauren’s website, Art Intercepts. As a body-mechanic wanna-be :) I was drawn to her knowledge of both dance and kinesiology and the detailed way in which she presented the information. I discovered that Art Intercepts is a project developed during her graduate work which Lauren fortunately continued and seeks to expand. With goals of improving dance education, teaching practices, and overall health and wellness, I feel Lauren’s work and experience are a good fit for Dance Advantage. And so, Lauren will continue “bridging the gap between experience and evidence” in a regular column here. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her aboard!

Complete your own “Dance matters because…” statement in the comments below!

And while you are in that zone, take a moment to reflect on the great impact you make as someone in the dance community, and the responsibility we all have to ensure that others receive the same opportunities to enjoy and experience dance.

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Teacher’s Top Three: Little Movers

Maria Hanley holds a Master’s degree in dance education from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in dance performance from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She is an independent dance educator around New York City and is currently a teaching artist in public elementary schools for New York City Ballet. In addition, Maria teaches tap and creative dance at Mark Morris, she is a movement specialist for 2-3 year olds at York Avenue Preschool and teaches the ballet program for young families at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Recently, Maria has started her own creative ballet classes called Maria’s Movers for young children.

You may remember the feature I did on Maria’s blog Move.Create.Educate., one of my favorites because Maria is journaling her daily experiences, inspirations, and challenges as a teacher. This time, I wanted to pick her brain a bit and find out which three CDs she just couldn’t live without in her work with young children. Here’s what she had to say:

“If you are a teacher you probably know how hard it is to find great music to use in your classes that are all on the same album. Here are my top 3 picks that have it all. They are creative, inspiring, and leave a don’t-forget-it-at-home impression on me. I am always looking for new music to spice up my classes, so I hope these will help you! I tried to feature a little something for everyone!”

Maria’s Top Three

by Pamela Conn Beall, Susan Hagen Nipp

1. Wee Sing and Pretend

This is my all time favorite. I use this in all of my preschool classes, creative dance classes, and baby ballet classes. It has everything from a dinosaur dance to a song about a washing machine. Every song takes young dancers on a new adventure, or to a new place. I love it most because it gives room for their imaginations to grow, my philosophy as a teacher of young ones.

Note from Nichelle: Incidentally, I happen to use this CD with my little ones too! The variety of topics is a really nice feature. To adult ears, I have to say they may not seem like much, but my kids got really attached to the ones I used in class most often — particularly Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Jack-in-the-Box.

by Steven Mitchell

2. pas de tot

This CD is a great addition to a PreBallet class. I use it for everything from teaching the positions to across the floor steps like chassé. There is a song for every exercise and it even repeats the song over for teaching the other side or repetition of a step. I love to use the Reverence song to end my class. It’s such a refreshing CD to have on hand whenever you are looking for the perfect song!

by Kimbo Music

3. Tap Your Troubles Away

I love this CD because it has something for every level. I use it for the little ones, right up through the teenagers. I find it to be progressive through the exercises and many of the songs have an even beat for counting purposes. I love to choreograph combinations and parents day showings to this CD. A well rounded CD for any tap teacher!


Maria couldn’t resist sharing a few more recommendations. Check these out too!
Baby Jamz: Nursery Rhymes, Vol. 1: Solange Knowles
Wake Up and Wiggle: Marie Barnett

Do you teach little movers?

What are your Top Three?

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Helping Dancers Deal With Disappointment

It’s happened. Maybe you were afraid of this. Or, maybe it blindsided you but… it’s happened. Your daughter didn’t make the dance team. Your son was passed over for the scholarship. Your child didn’t get the part or solo or moment in the sun for which he/she worked so hard.

Now what? Your son is hurting. Your daughter comes to you crying. S/he may look to you to make it all better.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt


Parent your child through this setback and support them in becoming a more resilient and confident human being. When your child is faced with a letdown, you have a great opportunity to encourage your son or daughter to face and rise above the obstacles that come their way. It may not feel like a gift but it is.


Fix it. As a parent, your first instinct may be to try. However, just as it is a parent’s role to help his baby become proficient in feeding himself, assist her preschooler in learning to use a potty, and teach her grade-school child to tie his shoelaces, it is a parent’s often unhappy duty to give a blossoming young adult the tools they need to cope with disappointment.


That’s Life

This article from Parent magazine is meant for parents of young children. However, as I researched this issue across age groups, the methods for helping children deal with disappointment listed in the article, were corroborated. I have adapted many of them to fit the situation your pre-teen or teen dancer may be facing.

A. Gauge Your Child’s Resiliency

Does your child tend to take things personally? Does she usually have a positive outlook? This article, Helping Kids Handle Rejection & Disappointment, has a handy 5-question quiz that will help you place your child’s resiliency.

At this time, it may also be a good idea to make a mental note about how YOU feel about your child’s setback. As the above article so rightly states: “Your attitude can make a huge difference to how a child reacts. If you see rejection or disappointments as problems then your child will be hamstrung by this view.”

B. Tailor Your Tactics

When it is a BIG Deal

1. Validate the emotions.

“I know you are disappointed. It’s okay. I would be too.”

2. Help him recognize what can and cannot be changed.

What can be changed, of course, are the things regarding self, including one’s attitude. What cannot be changed are the actions and decisions of others. Despite hard work and determination and talent sometimes you just don’t get what your heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. Those that move on and continue to work hard are the ones that fulfill the adage that “if you work hard or set your mind to something, you can be anything you want to be.”

3. Redirect her attention toward something in which she is (or is likely to be) successful.

She will likely see through empty or untrue sentiments about why she was unsuccessful or how she was wronged. No matter how small, a real boost to the ego will be much more effective. What comes easily to her that doesn’t for everyone? What has she been recognized for in the past? What activity might be more suited for her qualities and talents?

4. Don’t punish or belittle his negative reaction.

After all, everyone needs to let it out sometimes.

5. Offer choices or alternatives

Help her realize that though she didn’t make the team or get the part she wanted, that she still gets to dance. She has the freedom to take some extra classes elsewhere, or in another style, or during a summer workshop. These are things that may improve her chances next time but, more importantly, they will strengthen, improve, and challenge her. Alternatively, she may have time to spend on favorite activities or pursue other interests outside of dance. Ask what she wants to do now. How does she want to proceed from here? What can be most disruptive about disappointment is the feeling of having no control over a situation. Choice can help your child regain that feeling of having a say.

6. Put it in perspective

Volunteer at a hospital, help her organize a dance performance at a nursing home, work together at a soup kitchen, walk for charity. Find or do something that helps your child recognize how fortunate they are and reduces her “big deal” to its proportional size in the scheme of things.

7. Let her solve it on her own.

Once again, resist trying to fix things. Even if she wants you to come to her rescue, resist the urge to pacify her hurt by taking action or dwelling upon things that cannot be changed (a studio director’s decision, the reality of another child’s skills or talent, the criteria for recognition by another…). This is not easy but children are often more resilient than we give them credit. Though kids of all ages may be quick to dramatize their displeasure, many bounce right back. Look carefully at your child for cues, don’t bring up their disappointment if, by the next day, all seems right with the world again. Accept that your child may have recovered more quickly than you have!

Want more coping methods? Try How To Overcome Disappointment


Your good example will make a world of difference

Watch what you say: “I’m sorry you didn’t get 1st place at the competition. What did the 1st place team do well? What do you think you’ll work on for next time?” (What to avoid saying: “I can’t believe you didn’t win! You were the best dancer there! The judges are clueless.” or “Next time you need to point your toes. Your pirouettes were the worst I’ve ever seen you do. What were you thinking?’)

Tell what you did: Share your experiences with disappointment, what you learned from them, where failures led you, how you felt and what you did to overcome.

Be careful what you do: How do you react when you face disappointment or failure or frustration? Do you throw a tantrum at the checkout when the clerk makes a mistake? Do you gripe about your boss when you don’t get a promotion? Do you quit when the going gets rough? Behavior like this sends a message to your child.


When to step in

Is there a time when you should step in to solve something for your child? My short answer is almost never.

If you feel like you absolutely must act on his/her behalf, you may want to read How to Discuss Problems With Your Studio Director and Be Heard.

When it comes to decisions about roles or teams, however, it is important to realize that work ethic and even abilities are not the sole criteria from which directors cast their shows or teams. You may disagree with the specifications but it is within a director’s right to select and judge based upon a standard of his/her choosing.

You might approach him with a desire to know and understand his process but demanding he defend a decision does not put you or your child at an advantage. (Think about it: How or under what circumstances would you demand this of a prospective employer that passed you over for a job? What about your current employer if you were not selected for promotion?)

When your son/daughter receives a “no thank you,” your goal is to gain understanding so that you might help your child cope with the decision. The director will see through attempts of getting your child on the team or winning your dancer that role if that is your underlying ambition and you’ll hit a roadblock if it is.


When hard work doesn’t pay off

(I’ll repeat) Occasionally, despite hard work and determination your child may not always get what her heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. You and your child both must accept this truth and look for the positive in every disappointment.

In addition, when it comes to hard work, attitude, or any other virtue, what a person deserves is not always what he will get. Thank goodness I don’t always get what I deserve because sometimes I don’t deserve what I get!

Accomplishments ≠ Who We Are

It is sometimes easy to confuse our accomplishments and awards with who we are. In our culture we place a lot of emphasis on the achievements for which a person has been recognized – she is a two-time Olympic medalist; he is a famous actor who has won numerous stage and screen awards. These things say little of who a person really is. In addition, these recognitions only look back never forward.

Who is this dancer becoming?

In children especially, where one is going should matter a whole lot more than where one has been. Accomplishments and met goals are how we develop self-confidence in our abilities, however, we are not defined by our achievements. In fact, often we are shaped more by our failures. They are a good test of how badly we want something. They can also set us on new, more appropriate paths. It is despite and sometimes because of obstacles or disappointments that we become a dancer, a doctor, or something completely opposite but all the more right than whatever it is we want (or wanted) to be.


What disappointments have you or your child faced recently?

How did you deal with them?

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Confessions of a Busy Dance Mom

Do you have one of ‘those’ moms at your studio?

You know, the one who doesn’t read the notices about payments due, rehearsal schedules, or performance times?

Or do you have one who drags their feet and doesn’t sign up until the last minute?

What about the mom who calls you all the time, emails constantly or has a million questions?

You might have more than one at your studio!

Communicating with parents is one of the most frequently reported challenges and problems that dance teachers and studio owners face when it comes to running a successful business.

Guess what? I am one of those moms!

I’m probably a great example of some of the moms at your studio. A mom who can barely find the time to get the lunches packed and get to school on time, let alone read the many papers and emails and notices that come home on a regular basis.

Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • My 3 year old daughter recently refused to go to dance class in anything except her fleeced footed PJ’s and absolutely freaks out at the idea of me putting her hair in a ponytail.
  • My minivan is what I call my ‘mobile office’. Some days it seems like I get in and out of my van to drop-off, pick-up, drop-off, run errands, pick-up about 20 times.
  • I get invited to dozens of events by email: pampered chef parties, scrapbooking events, birthday parties, girls nights out, volunteer days at my kids school, parent committees, the list is endless. If I can RSVP to half, I’m doing well.
  • My dining room table on most days serves as a place to fold laundry.
  • I run from work to soccer practice then to music class. We have school and dance class and work again. Then it’s over to the studio, back to my home office, and school again. My google calendar looks like a puzzle of appointments!

It’s no wonder that communicating with parents is a top concern and complaint of dance teachers and studio owners!

Can you relate? There’s good news here…

Teachers and Studio Owners, increase your success in effectively communicating with parents by keeping them engaged and involved through a variety of modes of communication.

  1. If there is an important date or deadline that I should know about please deliver that communication to me in a variety of ways, more than one time.
    • Post announcements in the studio, announce it after class, post it on the studio website, email me. I need more than one reminder and it’s not that I don’t care, it’s that sometimes I just cannot record that date into my calendar at that moment or the form could be lost among many others.
    • Thank you for going out of your way to let us know about important dates and deadlines.
  2. Ask me what I can do to help. Seriously.
    • Believe it or not, even in the midst of the chaos with a couple of kids most moms want to be involved and help out.
    • Do you need a parent volunteer at the show?
    • Need someone to steam costumes or maybe email moms I know to let them know spots are still open in dance class on Tuesday mornings? If you don’t ask, I think you have it all handled, by all means ask. If I can’t help this time around, I’ll make sure next time.
  3. I’m looking to the internet first, you should be too.
    • With my busy life, one thing has made my life easier: the internet. I like to register my kids for their activities at off hours, I check my email from my smart phone, I Google everything and I’m communicating with my friends and work colleagues on social media.
    • Thanks for keeping your website up to date, posting important news, and keeping in touch online. It really helps me know what is going on at the studio. Even better, I like to let my friends know and I’m happy to share it with them.

Lastly, and MOST importantly: Thank YOU

I am one of ‘those’ moms who may not say it often enough, or perhaps even at all.

Thank you. All I want for my child is to see them succeed and be happy. Thanks for making dance class fun for my kids. I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you show with your enthusiasm and praise.

Dance class is a highlight of the week for my child. You create that moment each and every week.

From all those moms and parents out there that may not say it, thank you for all that you do to keep the joy and magic of dance alive in the world.