Music with Lyrics

Last month I wrote about the criteria I use to select music for class choreography. One aspect I forgot to mention was lyrics. I generally prefer instrumental songs but sometimes I come across a piece that really appeals to me with lyrics. This happened during my recent music search for my beginner’s class. I had acquired the song, Al Ragel by Ramy Sabry, after taking a workshop in the spring. The instructor used it for some drills and I really enjoyed it. The Arabic pop song fit all the criteria I seek for my beginners’ class – short (2:51), Middle Eastern, has a repeating pattern, and isn’t too fast. Pop songs generally have lyrics, and this one was no exception. Unfortunately for me, they were in Arabic.

If you plan to perform or use a song with lyrics for choreography in class, make sure you know what they are singing about. As I don’t speak Arabic, Google was my first stop. I looked at several options that were available, but about three quarters of the way down the page was an article from The National which caught my eye. Titled ‘Patriarchal pop: the latest sexist trend in Arabic pop music’, the author opens the article with a walk through some of Al Ragel’s lyrics and then on to other similar works that all seem to follow a similar misogynistic pattern. I encourage you to read the article as it very interesting and eye opening. Based on the lyrics, Al Ragel is not the sort of song I want to promote so I will not be creating a choreography to it. So the search continues…


Fundamentals – Please register online for Tuesday’s class. We will continue working with travelling foot patterns and chest isolations.

Beginners – The Fall 2018 Leisure Guide is now available online. Beginner classes run from Sep 17 – Nov 19 7:30-8:30 pm at the Glencairn Recreation Centre (See page 67 for class details). Registration opens Aug 31 at

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