How I made a playlist for Galway Dance Co-op

Last night I went to the Galway Dance Co-op.  I don’t get to go very often. I would love to be able to go weekly but Toastmasters is also on Wednesday nights. When I lived in Edinburgh I used to go to 5Rhythms classes once and often twice a week. It has been a huge part of my life. The practice has massively informed my sense of self and given me a great deal of pleasure.  Here in Galway, we don’t have a 5Rhythms teacher or a regular class. What we do have is the Dance Co-op.  A couple of wonderful souls hire out a school class room every Wednesday night. Instead of a teacher, someone puts together a 90 minute playlist. People come from different traditions and with different levels of experience.

I took great pleasure yesterday in putting the playlist together. It’s not often that I put headphones and spent time searching through my music collection. When assembling the playlist, I tried to make sure I had a few strong tracks for each section.  I knew from the start that Work Bitch was going to be in there. I have wanted to dance to that in a group ever since I first heard it.  Most of the rest of the music choices came from my wandering through my iTunes library and selecting tracks that jumped out at me. Like It Or Not was suggested as a great track by my friend Catherine in Edinburgh. We were chatting on Facebook. I wanted to tell her how much fun I was having putting the list together and I sent her a few youtube links for the music I was enjoying.

When putting the music together there were a few tracks I tried to squeeze in.  I had to kill my darlings to make it work. Also, there are few tracks I deleted on the night due to time constraints. I don’t show them here.

Here is the Wave I created:


Every week at the Dance Co-op, the music begins at 7.15 for a 15minute warm up. I played Funky Requiem for that. Once that ended, I stopped the music. We brought a candle to the centre of the room and had a go-round checkin.  I think there were six or so of us to begin with. More dancers arrived during the check in and by the time we were moving there were 13 of us. The music plays until 9pm. I had a full 90minute playlist put together.  The check in took time out of that so I took two tracks from it to make sure we finished on time.

I would change a few pieces if I were to use the same music again. I really like the Snakefood track but I don’t think it gelled very well after the high energy of Work Bitch. I might reverse them but I think I’d find something to replace it.  Also, The Ting Tings didn’t work so well there. In its place I would find something more upbeat and playful.

The tracks that worked most well (judging by the movements of the other dancers) were Galway Rain, Glacier, Lose Yourself to Dance, Work Bitch, and Sweet Nothing.  They all go into my ‘to use again’ bag.  I didn’t intentionally choose a theme to work with but it felt to me like there was one, especially during the first half.  See if you can find a thread.

The night ended with the candle being returned to the centre. We sat in circle, shared silence and then chatted a bit about our experiences.

If you are in or visiting Galway, come along to dance. The dance happens every Wednesday from 7.15pm at St Nicholas Parochial School beside the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. The cost is €7 (€5 concession).


Galway Dance Co-Op on Facebook 

The opening track ‘Galway Rain’ is by the very talented Mister Ebby

My friend Catherine (mentioned above) teaches Movement Medicine in Edinburgh 

This is a piece I wrote in 2012 about movement as prayer and Druidry.


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