Learning to Listen to Music

So, I reached the point in my Zumba career (read: obsession) where it was time for me to create my own routine. I picked the song “Mundian To Bach Ke” remixed by Punjabi MC and if you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding you’ve heard it for sure. I’ve heard this song a million times and figured I would just be able to throw some moves to it and be done. I was seriously mistaken. Zumba is not like drunken dancing at a wedding reception or in a club, you actually need to think about the moves you are doing and how they work your body. After my failed attempt at slapping together some moves, I decided I had to listen to the song again, but this time really listen and find the beats I wanted to work with. With this particular song, I wanted to use traditional Bhangra steps kicked up a notch for a cardio workout. The first time I really listened to the song, I heard what felt like ‘The Flight of the Bumble Bee’, it was madness. But that was how I heard it and these were my notes based on that (where each number after the bracket represents a step):

After getting some input from my instructor, I was advised that I would probably lose people if I kept changing steps so quickly. So I listened to the song again (for the hundredth time) and I was able to hear the base drum beat that is in the background throughout the whole song. On advice from my instructor I just changed the steps based on a count of 8 or 16… instead of 4. I ran through it 40 more times and with some tweaks I think it’s finally done.

Lesson learned from this experience: listening to music to write a dance routine is COMPLETELY different from listening to music just to listen to it. There are so many beats you can use for your steps and choosing the wrong ones can completely throw you off. Coming from someone who knows nothing about music or dance, it was an awesomely frustrating experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

Below is the song if anyone is interested and you can catch my routine on a Friday night at Latin Beat Studio in Malden, MA.


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