Inspiring Music For Inspired Ballet Classes

Richard Maddock - Inspirational Ballet Music

Richard Maddock is a professional pianist/composer and has accompanied dancers for thirty-nine years. He has composed several CDs for ballet classes, choreography and relaxation.

We’ve featured Richard on the site before. His CD’s are among Nichelle’s personal favorites for class. Here’s a little about Richard’s process as a composer for ballet:

When you compose music for class, Richard, what is your primary goal? 

When composing music for class, my primary goal is to inspire both the dancers and teachers with the melodies. Of course, you want the music to be suitable for each exercise with appropriate tempos and rhythms, but I also feel that it is very important to create music that evokes passion within the dancers and teachers.

How do you decide what goes on the CD? 

I try to make sure that my CDs have a wide variety of exercises so that they will be suitable for any standard ballet class. The tracks on my CDs have been given ballet exercise titles, but this is only meant as a guideline. Most of the tracks could be used for a wide variety of exercises depending on what the teacher requires, and what style of ballet they are teaching.

The Giveaway

Richard is giving away ONE Ballet Studio Inspirations: Volume Two CDs to THREE readers.

Two swans on a woodland lake are featured on the Ballet Studio Inspirations, Volume Two coverBallet Studio Inspirations: Volume Two (retail: $23) has 45 tracks, which includes 14 Exercises for Pointe.

Richard recorded this CD in his home in 2008.  “I sat down at my piano with the intention to create a beautiful ballet class CD,” says Richard. “Each exercise was composed and recorded in the moment without editing, so what you hear would be no different to how I would compose for a free class in the ballet studio.”

How do you create without dancers or a teacher, Richard? 

“I honestly cannot answer this question! I push record, close my eyes and the melodies arrive. I personally believe that the music comes from somewhere that is impossible to define or explain.”

“Richard Maddock produces ballet accompaniment of such high quality; it is almost as if he is in the studio with you when you are dancing, as the lyricism of his pieces reach out to you on so many different levels. ‘Ballet Studio Inspirations: Volume Two’ is certainly a CD that has been aptly named, for it promises to be an ‘inspiration’ to all who dance and all who have the pleasure of teaching dance.” – Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan (Senior Lecturer in Dance and Education Studies at Bath Spa University, UK)

“Richard, my students and I have been enjoying your CD’s immensely. Nothing really compares to a live accompanist but because since your music is so good, it’s the next best thing. Your Studio Inspirations One and Two have been a real treat for my Intermediate and Advanced level students. I feel I get a higher energy level from my dancers when I use your CD’s and am anxiously looking forward to Inspirations Volume Three!”
– John Bishop – Artistic Director – Northwest Ballet Theatre – Washington/USA

This giveaway is open to those Worldwide and will close Wednesday, December 5 at Midnight CST.

Contests must be restricted to those 18 and up. If you are under 18 and would like to win, please have an adult enter and comment for you.

Winners will be drawn and contacted one week from today. I hope you’ll be one of our lucky winners!

Once contacted via the email used to comment, winners have only 48 hours to respond and claim their prize. Each giveaway is treated as a separate contest.  PLEASE READ our giveaway policy before entering.

How To Enter:

ONE: Sign-in to the form below.

Click for more opportunities to win!

TWO: Leave a comment responding to the following:

Describe a time when musical accompaniment made all the difference in your class.

Commenting is the only mandatory task for entering!

THREE: Go back to the form and click that you Did It!

That’s it! Easy as 1-2-3!

Optional: Earn more entries

The form above includes several more tasks you can complete to earn additional entries in the giveaway, including being (or becoming) a Subscriber PLUS member.

Do any or all of them to increase your chances of being a randomly drawn winner.

More giveaways to come!

Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world.
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)
Nichelle (owner/editor)

Latest posts by Nichelle (owner/editor) (see all)


  1. The right music can make you want to dance even when you are dead tired.

  2. I once came to the studio without my regular CDs. I quickly downloaded the first several Ballet CDs I found online and hooked up my laptop to the stereo. My students commented on how fun it was to have new music and how much different class was – I had no idea I had been teaching slight variations on the same combinations for weeks!

  3. I music for many of my classes whether its ballet, creative movement, etc. I think dancing to music is extremely important for the full developement of a dance. I think music is a large part of my everyday classes!

  4. We would love to have these at our studio!

  5. Music is so important for ballet class. Students learn from an early age to listen and find the rhythm. I love bringing new CDs to class. Students are always excited and challenged with new music.

  6. I love have that in my collection

  7. Music stirs the emotion and draws a personal performance from the dancer.

  8. We are always looking for new music to keep our dancers motivated. A new track can really make a difference in the amount of effort you get in return.

  9. Was so happy to finally use my Christmas music for class!!

  10. Choosing just the right music makes all the difference…once when I first introduced Richard Maddock’s Creative Movement CD, one of my young students said, “this is like real ballet music”…(I’m not sure what she thought we were using before) but it inspired her!

  11. I downloaded a Richard Maddock CD from Amazon and it is my favorite CD to practice to! Having the right music makes it so much easier to stay on the count and get the energy of the movement into your body.

  12. Sometimes, I need to switch up “traditional” ballet music with something more “popular” with my students, depending on their age. This helps them to change their thinking. Every now and then, doing plies to Lady Gaga can totally change their perspective on what it means to “dance”.

  13. Love live musical accompaniment but a great cd can be just as good imo!
    Especially love live for African styles. Music must inspire students to move!

  14. Jessica R says:

    Once, when we came back after having canceled class due to deep snow that shut down our city, we did our usual first exercise to “Snow Day” by Trip Shakespeare. We ended with a mimed snowball fight, followed by spontaneous applause.

  15. When I use new music that inspires me, I’m able to teach a better class. I develop more interesting combinations. Plus I see my students smiling more when they enjoy the music.

  16. When I teach my special holiday classes, I use lots of fun music – sometimes rock n’ roll Christmas songs, or Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett. Dancing classical ballet combinations to non-classical music changes the dynamics of the steps and brings new inspiration for the students.

  17. My students loved “Christmas music week” last year…it was instrumental music and they held contests to see who could identify the song name first…fun!

  18. The music must speak to you. Having the right music tells you what routine, steps, combination you are going to choreograph. having music that students can hear the steps amongst is the key to develop their sense of rhythm, timing and love of dance. Music must be felt in order to become one with the music, quality composed arrangements can always be felt. Without music there is no dance, without being able to feel, there is no music.

  19. This would be perfect since I’ll be taking over a sabbatical in the Dance Dept. I love to incorporate music and rhythm to what I teach. I feel the music typically communicates to me what we want to choreograph. The task of letting go and just listening to the music will create the most beautiful movements. Music is a must!

  20. says:

    My students know how strongly I believe it’s important to gain an appreciation and respect for all things ballet if you are taking class to learn to dance. The right music can make the class and I’ve had kids turn to me and say how much they love a song after we finish the barre exercise! While dancing in class little did I also know how this was inspiring my own son, who is now in college as a Music major and is 1st Chair, Principle Trombone! Music, in my opinion, keeps the world turning.

  21. Great music like any recordings of Richard Maddock are essential to a great dance class. Great music can motivate and move us.

  22. When you feel down or just don’t want to move, music can help you out, to move you and get you going!

  23. Always appreciate new music.

  24. Sometimes the girls think that ballet barre is boring, a new piece of music can excite them.

  25. Confused what to do with the subscriber “secret” code.

    • No worries, I took care of the entry for you, Vivette! But for future reference, in Rafflecopter when you click on the Be/Become a Subscriber option, there is a field to enter it there, then you click Did It, like the others. Sorry it was confusing! 🙂

  26. In class with my littles, music can make or break class! The best music gives cues and helps transition them from one activity or location to the next.

  27. Music inspires me to create new movement and choreography! The students love when I bring in new music to class! This would be absolutely perfect!

  28. I posted a comment before and tried to return to the how to enter and my computer froze. So I am trying again. Teaching with great music is inspirational not only for the teacher but student also.

  29. I was fortunate to be able to take a few open drop in classes at the Pacific Northwest Ballet school in Seattle, while on vacation. It was a wonderful experience with the live music providing the “icing on the cake”! 🙂

  30. Dance is a medium for music . Music always makes all the difference to the class