Time to Retire!

A List of Overused Songs… that Are Desperately Begging for a Reprieve

When opening your competition weekend program, you know there are a handful of songs that are listed over, and over, and over again. Consider hearing those same songs multiple weekends of the competitive season (and, for some of the songs, their popularity has lasted for multiple years). Yikes!

 Granted, we have all used a song that we know is on the ‘overplayed’ list. Sometimes, we know that’s the price we pay for using a particular song. But, undoubtedly, finding a piece that is innovative, unique, and creative will make your piece stand out. When choosing a piece, consider what you/your dancer(s) offer the song, routine, and choreography? What will make it stand out in comparison to other pieces that have performed the same song?

We surveyed Dance Exec readers from around the country and compiled this list of songs that are ready for a rest:

Anything by Adele

Amazing Grace (LeAnn Rimes)

Americano (Lady Gaga)

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy


Burlesque (anything from the movie)

Chicago (anything from the musical)


Cotton Eyed Joe

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Din Daa Daa

Don’t Rain On My Parade


Feeling Good-Michael Buble



Hairspray (anything from the musical)

I’m Cute

It’s All About Me

Jailhouse Rock

Let’s Get Loud

Material Girl

My Boyfriend’s Back

My New Philosophy

My Strongest Suit (from AIDA)

Pop, Drop, & Roll

Popular (from Wicked)

Proud Mary


Send in the Clowns

Seven Nation Army

Sing, Sing, Sing


Steam Heat

Some Like It Hot

Thrift Shop


Took the Night

Turning Page

Turn to Stone

Where Have All the Children Gone

Wild Horses

Winter Song

Some other tidbits of advice from our readers include:

  •  Stay away from Top 40/songs that are heard on the radio.
  •  For Broadway songs, if a non-theatre oriented person recognizes the song, it is too popular to use on the competition circuit.
  •  Lay the ballads to rest for a bit. The past few years have brought an influx of Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston routines. These songs are great, but they are being overused. Let’s give them a reprieve and revisit in a few years.

Take these tips and suggestions and use them as you are planning your upcoming competitive season. Let’s commit to making this year’s competition season the freshest, most innovative, and most artistic to date!

overplayed music