Poetry: Taylor

A photo of Taylor Swift leans against the wall on top of a cube-organizer.
She sits in a lawn-chair, in a flowered and white dress, surrounded by leaves and vines.
Her hair is beautiful and long, her feet bare.

At her feet sit my half marathon finisher’s medals:
My best efforts lay at the feet of something greater.
Her eyes and expression convey curiosity, peace, but also power and awareness.

She overlooks my living room from the frame, our eyes meeting each time I walk through the door. Her photo isn’t much
but it adds beauty to my living space in a way not yet meant to be otherwise.

Because here there is no company. There are, as of yet, no close friends to be teased by about her photo. Nobody to get coffee with at midnight or run snacks to.
There is simply an unending prison of time, and lots of work to be done while I wait.

Poetry: Anthem Of Age 27

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Today I am fast at play.
Not “hard at work” because to say “work”
would be to imply I resist what
I do.
I do not.
 
On my desk are notes
and a full page of verse I have been…
What’s the word? “Whittling away at”?
surely not “Working on” but perhaps.
Working on.
 
Behind me is a made bed with blue blankets
on my left. On my right
a freshly-erased dry-erase board
sticks to a wall. It is empty like a blank page
though I don’t believe there is actually anything empty about a blank page.
 
To my right is a coffee cup on my desk
with the inscription “The Adventure Begins.”
Further to my right is a lithograph of Taylor Swift in summer.
On the floor to my left is a blue yoga mat. The sky is blue as if in summer
though I know that scientifically, it isn’t actually blue.
 
All around I am surrounded
by beauty. From Taylor Swift
to the phone which lacks any new texts, even as I hope to get new texts.
And in front of me is a beautiful, blank piece of paper on a screen, not beautiful
Because of what already is, but beautiful because of what may yet be.
 
God is good!
I love Sundays.

Not Looking For A Ted Mosby Kind Of Love

I recently saw a post on one of my dear friend’s twitter-feeds talking about how he could see himself as a Ted Mosby type guy. It’s a comparison that’s occasionally been made similarly about me, especially others who have seen my hopeless romantic side.

And until this morning, I always thought I wanted that. Not to be him of course, but to find love like him: to have a girl I was destined to meet and fall in love with and to one day know the stars had nearly aligned so many times until ultimately they ran out of ways to keep from aligning perfectly, causing said girl-of-my-dreams and I to finally meet, fall in love at first sight, and know that we were right where we were supposed to be.

I also thought maybe it’d be like Ted and Robyn were, where they found love in each other so many times only to keep screwing it up until they finally gave up from angst, until they realized they hadn’t.

All of this I’ve long thought I wanted.

But as I walk around my apartment this morning with the fresh realization that coffee somehow calms me down and makes me sleepy, a fact likely to confuse my friends to no end, I have a realization that I no longer care how love comes.

I don’t dream of finding a Ted Mosby kind of love. I’m just excited to dream about what it’ll be like to find it again at all.

God knows I’ve failed enough times at this whole love thing. I’m terrible at going from friendship to boyfriendhood and I’m as awkward as they come every step along the way. God also knows I should fear love, and that in many ways I appear to fear people even though I actually don’t, except when I do. Still, somehow I want to believe in it. I want to write about it. I want to daydream about it. I want to imagine a girl one day getting as excited about random texts from me, and I want to one day make a girl happy instead of making her feel awkward when I tell her I love getting even the smallest, simplest of texts from her.

I can’t wait to find that, and somehow I’m too naive, too stubborn, and perhaps too pretentious to believe such a thing doesn’t somehow exist, even for someone like me.

I dream of it: the subtle, unexpected kind of love that doesn’t make its clichè, “love at first sight” appearance, but instead starts small and builds slowly, artistically, subtly. Not like the love novel, but like the waves.

Who knows. Maybe I am destined for that Ted Mosby type love. Maybe there’s no other option for someone as “cheesy,” frequently “over-affectionate,” and prone to overthinking as I’ve historically been.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to grow out of that last little bit.

Maybe now I’m finally learning to avoid overthinking, and thus maybe I’m ready for something a little more unexpected. Something exciting by not seeming to exciting. Something that doesn’t need Taylor Swift love songs or William Shakespeare poetry to describe it, because it instead is best described with a simple, U-shaped curve of the lips.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

Unpacking Baggage, and Celebrating Swiftmas

In my senior year of high school, we performed a musical by Elton John and Tim Rice. It was called “Aida,” and its score entranced me so much that I ordered the bloody thing.

I have it to this day.

Song number one of the musical is called “Every Story Is A Love Story,” and this morning, I can’t stop thinking about that line.

I hear the recording of the original Broadway cast singing it. I haven’t actually heard the song in what must be at least six years. Still, it won’t be silenced within my head.

A couple of nights ago, I lay in bed in the dark. I had been doing something occasionally common of late: dwelling on my frustrations at romances lost.

I was deep in thought. About all the times I had messed things up. About all the times I had lost friendships by suggesting they become romantic. About all the times I let romantic relationships go too far only to eventually fail for other reasons entirely, and about all the times someone had simply chosen someone else.

The hobby of trying to figure out where I went wrong or what it was about me that made people shy away had become a favorite hobby, on par with dancing, and far surpassing poetry.

Yet as I lay there that night, in an empty room on a queen-sized bed in a basement apartment, a softer, gentler voice from somewhere deep within spoke up for the first time in a while.

“When are you going to finally let me unpack?”

It was the better part of me speaking, the hopeless romantic and optimist who I’d long ago exiled somewhere accidentally, and it was finally back, returning from exile like Napoleon.

As I lay there, I remembered something: carrying around baggage doesn’t help anyone, least of all us.

And that’s why I have to write this today.

To some degree, every story really is a love story. Every interaction we have, regardless of sexual preference or affiliation with the other person, is a page in the way we treat others. When the Bible tells us “Love your neighbor as yourself” it does not mean “as long as you can be with that person romantically.” It means period. It means “take care of one another.” It means “trust one another, build one another up.” “If I don’t love, I am nothing” does not mean that the person who dies single at age 120 lived in vain, unless they never took care of those around them.

Every story is a love story, with or without romance.

Still, on a more personal level, I realized the other night it was time to unpack. I was sick of carrying around regret and sorrow at things that had failed.

I will no longer remember the wrongs or the failures. I choose to remember only the lessons and, above all, the hope of finding her, my “one,” who these lessons have prepared me to love every bit as gracefully as she deserves.

Muddled together in the suitcase of my past life had been clothes I ruined on the chaotic seas of my previous adventures into romantic love. Clothes of personality traits that I wore until they no longer served to assist or protect me from the hard winds and cold rains I had battled and, at times, danced in.

But mixed among the ruined clothes of my memories were the mementos of the lessons I took from each. Not sorrow-filled or sadness-affiliated ones; just… happy ones. Sure, my heart had been sore at those I lost, chased away, or had to be left behind by, but hidden among all of those memories, once I decided to unpack them all and stop dragging them everywhere with me, were little gems of hope.

My first girlfriend in college introduced me to the soundtrack of the musical “Spring Awakening.” I’ve never seen it, but one lyric from one of the songs comes to mind:

“Those you’ve paid, they carry that still with them. All the same, they whisper ‘All forgiven.'”

This week, as we look ahead to the holiday season, I encourage you to take a second and unpack. We all have it, and though I’m certain I’ve unpacked all of mine, I know someone reading this likely has baggage they aren’t ready to unpack yet.

That’s OK. All I’m saying is remember to go easy on yourself if you haven’t found your “one” yet, especially in a season during which everyone around you might appear to have everything you’re still looking for.

In a season full of holidays that include probably getting new clothes, let us wash the clothes of our memories clean and hold on only to the helpful lessons, the mementos, of that which we’ve left behind.

It’s “Swiftmas” everyone. On this day 27 years ago, a girl was born who, as a child, would write some of the truest literature about love to ever be written in any language.

Don’t forget to love a little childishly today.

Let me know if you need anything.

A Sick Beat To Start Your Sunday :)

Hey Everyone!

Something I’m going to work on doing more on this site from now on is sharing neat dance videos when I find them (and I usually find lots of them). I haven’t done that a lot, but I want to. This site is, and always will be, primarily about the beauty of life, and dance :).

Here’s a little bit of both! This deserves to be the first offering toward that commitment :). This is the type of sick beat that Taylor Swift said we should be getting down to :P. Enjoy!

Really Great Interview with boxer Cam Awesome on Highly Questionable :)

Hi Everyone,

One of my favorite shows on ESPN is Highly Questionable. They do great interviews and Dan Le Batard alongside Bomani Jones is one of my favorite journalist combos in all of sports media. Yesterday, they did an awesome interview with Cam Awesome, a professional boxer hopefully representing the United States in the 2016 Olympics. Spoiler: he calls himself the “Taylor Swift of boxing” in the interview. :P. Check it out 🙂

MTV Music Video Voting….Sometimes choices are harder than they seem…

So being a subscriber to Taylor Swift​’s fanmail list, I got an email reminding me to vote for her for her MTV music video nominations.

Among the categories she’s up for is “Video Of The Year.”

As much as I want to vote for “Bad Blood” for sake of fan loyalty, I’m not as much a fan of that song as many others seem to be. Still, the video is great.

But one video also up for the category is giving me fits as I try to choose between it and the “Bad Blood” one. How the video below ISN’T nominated for “Best Choreography” blows my mind. In any case, this is tough for me as I try and separate my inclination because of fan loyalty (which gives Taylor a vast lead) and my love of the song and the actual choreography (both of which give Ed significant ground).

And the reason I am saying all this at sunrise on a Thursday morning is to get y’all’s takes, because I’m every curious and love hearing from y’all. And the reason I’m putting so much thought into all of this, as I prepare for two separate geology finals in the next 24 hours, is because I feel like who you vote for in such cases is one of many methods of self expression.

Here’s the video I’m struggling to choose Bad Blood over:

Country Music and Numbers

So I’m big into significance of numbers, but I don’t know everything, and thus I need help from any of you music fans out there.

If you had to affiliate country music with a single or two digit number, what would that number be and why?

I’m trying to create an iTunes playlist on my phone, and I number my playlists to keep them in the same order. Well, I need a country music one, but I don’t know what number would be representative of country, alas, this post. 🙂

Dance goals 2015

In December, I got a chance to audition for the K-State Tap Ensemble. How it went isn’t as important as the result the preparation had on me is. For it, I had to prepare a minute of choreography. I could use any song or no song at all. So in typical “I don’t know how it’ll work but I might as well be true to myself” fashion, I picked the song I consider my theme song: “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons. 🙂

The Audition

In the interests of that though, I submit to you my goals for 2015. These are things that I took most of New Year’s Eve and the months since my birthday in August to come up with. So with that in mind, here we go! 🙂

Dance Goals 2015

1) Earn the right to keep our spot in Tap Ensemble for the next year, and survive “boot camp.” As I mentioned before, that audition went well. Whether I have to audition again in April or not, my first dance goal is to hang in there. There’s an old saying that says a performer should be ready on a moment’s notice to audition again for any spot they hold. Well, I don’t know if that’s how things actually work, maybe I just made that up, but in my case I’m going to sharpen that audition material I used before. Which leads me to goal number 2.

2) Choreograph “On Top Of The World” in Tap style. Yes, I already got a third of the song done, but I want to both sharpen that minute and make it really crisp, as well as finish the entire song in a way that I’m not bored with it. Which means very little repetition with lots of variation in both speed of movements and the movements themselves. In Tap, and really in dancing, there are only so many different movements that exist, so to make something truly unique can be a challenge. And it’s one I want to go for. That leads into goal 3.

3) Choreograph some piece, in a Tap style, using moves starting laying down or things I’ve never seen anyone do yet. Come up with something extremely fun and unconventional just to show off and have fun with. I grew up running, playing ultimate frisbee, doing pushups, all kinds of random stuff. I think throwing something crazy together would be a blast. Maybe coming up with some way to tap while in the full pushup position in a really neat way. I’ve got lots of ideas. My intention is first to have fun, and second to do something flat out insane and ridiculous that just makes people either say “wow” or roll their eyes. Which leads to our next goal 😉

4) Choreograph “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift in a Tap style. Lol I giggle to myself as I see that, because that idea’s so goofy that only I could justify it. Most of my friends will seriously roll their eyes at this one. This’ll be my “I need to make everyone laugh forever” type piece. For those of y’all who don’t know, I’m a big time Taylor Swift fan. I just like the way her voice sounds. I don’t care about the drama in her life, I just know that at some level she’s a complete hopeless romantic, and like the bulk of people who like her music, I empathize with that. Additionally though, this song is a really neat, extremely rhythmic and up-tempo! It’s basically the perfect song to tap to. So for the raw fun of it, I want to choreograph this one as well. Believe it or not, I’ve already got most of what I want to do written down with time blocks drawn out in a notebook of mine. This goal, only two weeks into the year, is probably as much as 60% done :).

5) Perform, baring injury, in both Springdance and Winterdance 2015. That show I auditioned for that I mentioned in The Newbie Chronicles was Springdance 2015. Every year, the dance division faculty and students put on two shows, one in spring and one in fall. You get the gist. Well, I made it into Springdance, so now I simply have to watch and make sure I don’t get hurt and then audition later this year for the second show. Alright, you’ve made it this far, keep going! Last goal

6) Come up with a 3-minute ballet routine for an ballet related audition I may encounter. This is kind of a self-defense type goal, the type of thing I want to have just in the highly unlikely chance I’m every asked on a whim and can use it. Do I ever believe such a situation will arise? Absolutely not. But I’d rather have it and not need it, then one day see the perfect audition opportunity where they want a guy who looks just like me and everything, but requires a pre-planned ballet piece. I don’t know if such auditions exist, but I’m going to be ready in case they do and in case I every need to go through one.

So that’s it! Those are the six things I’m trying to accomplish this year as an aspiring dancer. Feel free to chime in if you have any similar one or have any thoughts; good, bad, or critical, about any of mine 🙂

26. Sounds Of 2014

I started a new tradition this year with my iTunes. Over the course of the year, I put every song I downloaded onto one playlist. I titled it “26. Sounds Of 2014” and made it a point of keeping it updated every time, just so I could look back at the year and know what I downloaded. For those who don’t know, I number all of my playlists. This keeps them in order, but also can add significance to them for me. For instance, my “Christian Jams” playlist is number 1, while my theme songs playlist “Anthems :)” is number 2, quite deliberately. Not all numbers matter by themselves to me, some do though, like 13 which is my favorite number. So with that all said, Here are the songs I added to my library in 2014. Not all of these are “new” songs, some I just assumed I had but when I wanted to play them I realized I didn’t. For instance, there was a day when I had to wear all black for a dance performance a few weeks ago, and “Back In Black” seemed an appropriate song to listen to as I walked to class for it. Surprise! I didn’t have it. That had to be fixed.

Otherwise though, many of these are new. I’ll add an occasional note here and there, but I’ll bold the song names. Also, these aren’t in any order except for the last one, which I felt was appropriate since my mom is a fan of Madonna and that particular song is amazing. Otherwise though, pay no attention to order, since I shifted for listenability at various points. Feel free to just scan and make comments based on what you see or don’t see if you’d like. Did I miss anything vital you think? All told there were 63 I added. Let’s see what 2015 is like. 🙂

26. Sounds Of 2014

“Wild Wild Love (feat. G.R.L) by Pitbull – Like so many of Pitbull’s songs, I’m embarrassed that I like this so much because it’s vulgar. But the chorus summarizes too perfectly how I feel about dancing, Yoga, and Journalism: For better or worse, a blessing or a curse, I love what I do. That’s why I love this song. The chorus, for me, doesn’t apply to any relationship as much as to what I’m passionate about 🙂

“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift – Is there a better song to get you over failure? I doubt it. Of course, Taylor Swift is one of only two artists who, whenever she comes out with something, I buy it. I like her voice and lyrics that much. The other is Imagine Dragons. This was just the first culprit. What’s scary is this isn’t even my favorite song by her on this list. Her album 1989 threw it down

“Shower” by Becky G – This is one of only two I actually regret getting. Thought it sounded good, then got over it really quickly. There’s only one other song I regret on this list I got tired of, but this one while good wasn’t what I hoped. Otherwise, I love most of these songs

“Classic” by MKTO – Yes, I actually like this song. Besides the opening music, which is amazing until lyrics start, the chorus itself is both true and representative of every girl I’ve ever had a crush on, including Caitlyn 🙂

“Love Me Again” by John Newman – Dance teacher had this in her cool down for one of my classes. Now I affiliate it with her class and how accomplished they make me feel just to survive them. There’s a few songs on this list like that

“Love Alone Is Worth The Fight” by Switchfoot – Stumbled on this via iTunes Radio. Maybe the truest message of any song on this list

“Boys ‘Round Here (feat. Pistol Annies & Friends)” by Blake Shelton – Heard it, got hooked. That opening music is brutal, and his voice is really cool, as is the chorus. I also really think it’s cool that his last name is my first. I’ll never know what that means, but I think it’s cool 🙂

“The Man” by Aloe Blacc – Because sometimes, you just have to let yourself bask in your own success. No better song on my list for that 🙂

“Levels” by Avicii – From the Swedish composer who did “Wake Me Up” came an even better instrumental song. It’s so fast, but constant. It’s a great song to wake up to, especially when played right before this next one

“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors – I simply describe this song as playful, and childlike. It’s also a great way to start your day, with the hope that “this is gonna be the best day of my life.”

“Burn” by Ellie Goulding – Her techno music style and kind of abstract lyrics are really cool.

“Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz)” by Jason Derulo – First heard it in Zumba, and it helped that the teacher had awesome choreography to it. This is, plain and simple, a song to dance to. Hate that I like it, because like other songs here it’s vulgar. But man it’s catchy

“Prrrum” by Cosculluela – My first Spanish song here, I admit I have no idea what any of it means, so it’s probably horrible. But it’s catchy, so ignorance is bliss for me. Plus, it’s not like I listen to it with the windows down and the system up or anything lol

“Let There By Cowgirls” by Chris Cagle – I’m not in love with a cowgirl or anything, but man this country song goes hard. One of the longest opening instrumentals on this list, but it’s amazing 🙂

“Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men – Reminds me of why I love literature. Not sure why I like this song, but I love that it’s a duet (in a sense).

“Cha Cha” by Chelo – Dance song. Reminds me of the 20’s.

“A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton – I know it’s not a “NEW” song. Her voice is pretty, the lyrics are kind of timeless about love, no matter if you’re a guy or a girl.

“The Monster (feat. Rihanna)” by Eminem – I’m not a fan of Rihanna’s voice. Makes me rare I guess among those who like some of the music I do, but there’s something catchy about Eminem’s flow. Also, one of my favorite lyrical lines in all of music comes from this song: “Now I ain’t much of a poet but I know somebody once told me to seize the moment and don’t squander it, because you never know when it all could be over tomorrow…”

“Team” by Lorde – Her music has such weird appeal sometimes! This song is fun to walk into dance class to, with the lyrics “Now bring my boys in…” 🙂 That’s probably weird, but whatever 🙂

“Compass” by Lady Antebellum – No song exemplifies 2014 for me better than this one. Man I love this song. THIS actually is the song with the truest message on this list. Probably the most inspirational song I downloaded all year. This band just composes so well! Their lyrics, their music, their harmonies! All of it 🙂

“Pompeii” by Bastille – No real notes on this one

“Echa Pa’lla” by Pitbull – Good dance song, great Zumba song. My 2014 trainer Mitzie got me hooked on this one. So much fun lol

“Limbo” by Daddy Yankee – Another up-tempo Spanish song. It was kind of a theme this year 🙂

“Good Life” by OneRepublic – Nothing to add, it’s just a great song 🙂

“Ways To Go” by Grouplove – Stumbled onto this one via iTunes radio. The chorus is really great on this one 🙂

“Back In Black” by AC/DC – One of the greatest rock songs of all time. That’s not even disputable. Nor is the fact that AC/DC is one of the best bands ever of that genre.

“You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC – Another one I thought I had, didn’t, and decided to get 🙂

“Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony – One of the few Spanish songs I actually understand the words to (somewhat lol). I actually like this song for what it means, but I was introduced to it via Zumba and liked it before the meaning made me like it even more

“Sing” by Ed Sheeran – He has a neat voice. He really started to get on the American scene in 2013 by opening with Taylor Swift (who he duets with in one of my favorite songs of all time), but has since shined with the way he can flow. In a sense, he raps, but it’s hard to group him into the “Rap” genre since it’s evolved away from his style. This song is amazing though, no doubt about it

“King of the Dancehall” by Beenie Man – This guy’s voice sounds so foreign to me, but in a weird way it adds something to the words. Don’t know how to explain it, so just give it a listen if you’re curious

“Belly Danza” by Don Omar – It’s probably vulgar, but it’s in spanglish with Spanish, and so I don’t know what I feel about it. I just know that Don Omar’s music tends to have this weird whistle component, and it actually adds something, as does the well-defined beat, evidenced well in this song

“Hall of Fame (feat. will.I.am) by The Script – will.I.am gives this song a Black Eyed Peas feel with music that sounds like it’s by The Script (see “breakeven” for an example of their sound as I know it). The lyrics are really hopeful through and through. The song never seems redundant like a lot of other hopeful sounding songs do. Just beautiful through and through

“Oh Nelly” by Nelly – This one is vulgar in English, so I’m not proud that I like it. But you have to give it to Nelly, few people can be as pretentious in their music as he can. In a weird way, that’s fun to listen to sometimes

“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea – First things first, I’m the OPTIMIST, not the “realist” but I have to admit, her sound is really cool. She actually (as I listen to the song while I write this) reminds me a bit of another classic female rapper: Missy Elliot (see who I’m talking about here) who I grew up hearing as my dad liked some of her music. Interestingly, after looking up Iggy on iTunes, it turns out she was influenced by Elliot. If you like either, check out the other. Whatever the justification, this song’s just amazing 🙂

“Good Time” By Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen – I’ll never affiliate another other song so closely with Tap Dance as this one, and in 2014 I discovered my love to Tap. My tap teacher had a mix that included this one to warm up, and I got hooked one day. Couldn’t get the song out of my head for three days actually. Now it’ll go on another playlist I’m working on titled “3. Let’s Dance :)” which will be what I walk to her classes listening to. I had one playlist for all dance classes in Fall, but now I think I’ll put one list together to get me in the right mindset for each teacher. This will be one on Julie’s 🙂

“Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips – Just a great song. Cool sound, kind of uplifting.

“Bailamos” by Enrique Iglesias – I feel weird liking this song, but it’s good. Comfortable song to listen to while you work out or listen to. Kind of mellowing but still fast enough to want to move to a little bit.

“Am I wrong” by Nico & Vinz – Cool drum utilization, simple words, but I really like how they did this one 🙂

“La Camisa Negra” by Juanez – My Spanish 1 teacher Sophia got me hooked on this one. Lol no idea how else to describe it

“Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher – In a year where I didn’t characteristically listen to as much Christian music as I normally do, this one was one I ran into that I’d heard previously but realized I really wanted. It’s got an incredible meaning, and a great chorus which includes the line “and I’ll, be, my brother’s keeper, so the whole world will know that we’re not alone.” 🙂

“Loca (feat. El Cata) by Shakira – Introduced by our Spanish 1 teacher, this song just has a cool flow to it, like so many of Shakira’s. Very fast, probably good belly dancing music, if you’re into that kind of thing.

“Tennis Court” by Lorde – Like I said before, she has a weird appeal. Can’t figure out why I like this song in particular, except for the chorus.

“This Is How We Do” by Katy Perry – No comments here

“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift – Another great one on the 1989 soundtrack, this one’s chorus really stands out, which I seem to be saying a lot today, but her trademark imagery really stands up here too. The chorus contains a weird combination of drums and vocals.  Still, one of my favorite sounding lines in music starts at 2:27. Listen to it, it’s beautiful in every way.

“Do It Well” by Jennifer Lopez – I know it’s an older song, but it’s a great one. I love it though. So strong and fast.

“Welcome To New York” by Taylor Swift – Her imagery adds a personal touch of her currently having a place in New York now. It’s a good reflection of where she is.

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift – So many memorable lines come from this one and show up in Memes and other places. It’s a fast, strong song about the energy of love and about it’s transience sometimes.

“Dis Iz da Life” by St. Lunatics – Such a funny song about how success changes people, but from the artist perspective.

“Como Yo Le Doy (feat. Don Miguelo)” by Pitbull – Let’s be honest, it’s vulgar and I don’t like it at all. But that said, it’s catchy. Don’t you just hate how that works sometimes.

“Fireball” by Pitbull – Finally something by him I’m not embarrassed to like. Fun song, and I’m told lots of people use it to tap to

“Bad Wings” by The Glitch Mob – An ode to my friend and teacher Michelle who led us in this one in a “Student Spotlight” piece. I’ll never forget this experience, this person, or how it impacted me. Neat kind of retro sound as well.

“We Own It (Fast & Furious)” by 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa – This song became one of my theme songs this year. Few songs energize or excite me as much as this one. I always think of my fellow dancers when I hear the line in it shortly after the first chorus: “And the same ones that ride with be the same ones that I die with, put it all out on the line with, if you’re looking for me you can find with.” Basically though, this song is a fight song about being confident in yourself and what you have to do an where you’ve come from to have to do it.

“Moviendo Caderas (feat. Daddy Yankee)” by Yandel – Really fun song! Love dancing and moving to this one. Great song to get yourself ready for a dance class

“Bartender” by Lady Antebellum – This band composes well across the board, and their way of telling a story in a song is almost unmatched in my opinion. It takes some time to get to their chorus sometimes, but then the chorus delivers and it’s amazing.

“I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons – My favorite song of 2014, by the only musical entity besides Taylor Swift who I download from automatically. The Las Vegas based group nailed it on this one, with a chorus that’s loud and is always led into with a gentle little set of guitar chords before hitting your eardrums with drums and vocal harmonies. It’s amazing 🙂 2015 is going to be an amazing year for them.

“Saturday In The Park” by Chicago – Arguably the greatest song ever composed, this one includes some of the pretties piano chord sequences in all of music. Yeah, I said it.

“Grow Up (feat. Bust Rhymes)” by Cher Lloyd – I downloaded this one after hearing it on iTunes radio the night I auditioned for Springdance 2015. It was the day of an audition I was embarrassed by, but it was such an easy one to dance to in my place that I wished I had prepared those moves ahead of time, even on the chance that I could use them lol.

“In Your Arms” by Nico & Vinz – The combination of vocals in this makes me smile. It’s a cool song to sing about anyone you love, as I often do.

“I Know Places” by Taylor Swift – While I downloaded her entire 1989 album, this one was the last that initially stuck out, though in days since a couple of others have jumped out too. Those will be on next year’s list. For now this one has some really cool lines, just like her others.

“You Be Killin ’em” by Fabolous – This song wakes me up and excites me. Great song, energetic one about all the independent women out there, and since I love girls like that, this one is one of my favorites.

“In My Head” by Jason Derulo – Most awful song on this list, but it’s got a good, smooth sound. So that’s something.

“4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)” by Madonna – Fittingly 4:04 long, it sounded fun to have a Madonna song as my last one, plus like so many others on this list, it’s exciting and will get you moving.