To cut, or not to cut a long song?


The national dance list/fun dance challenge has left me with a dilemma: do I cut long, repetitive songs to better fit into performances, or leave them as they are so my teammates and I can nail the routines at fun dances?

It hasn't been an issue until now: "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" is 2:34 at regular speed, while "Fishin' in the Dark" is typically danced faster than regular speed, shortening it from the standard 3:23 length. "Bad Moon Rising" is only 2:20, while "Callin Baton Rouge" (My favorite!) takes 2:41. Other routines learned for the challenge so far haven't been at any extreme beyond our usual performance dance length.

Upon request of two teammates, Fancy Free Cloggers started learning "Mamma Mia" (choreographed by Jeff Driggs) as our next routine in the national dance list/fun dance challenge! The enthusiasm level for this dance is high, making it even more fun than usual to teach. It helps that another teammate already knows the dance, so she can stand in the back and lead when we turn around. (Thanks, Laura!)

This dance has tons of variations, which is to be expected when hand movements are involved. If your team has a version of this routine posted online, I probably watched it during an enjoyable trip down the YouTube rabbit hole. Bravo to all of you!

"Mamma Mia" clocks in at 3:44 at regular speed, which is pretty peppy. Slowing it down a tad may be advisable to allow more dancers to perform it cleanly. On the plus side, this dance has so many parts it doesn't feel as repetitive as one might expect from a song lasting almost four minutes. With parts A,B,C,D,E,F, and a break, the toe steps in a circle repeat the most and are the greatest source of variation besides the hand movements - some teams move those toe steps all over the place!

I haven't put it into practice yet, but I have a compromise in my head; for now, I am teaching the full routine as choreographed so everyone is at least exposed to it. Later, I will probably cut the music to better fit with our other performance pieces. This means we'll all screw it up at the cut spot during fun dances, ha-ha!

What do other teams do about this? I know cutting songs from workshop teaches is common practice, but does the same apply to fun dances?

If you already have a good cut version of "Mamma Mia," I would love to hear it!