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What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by Oswin Targaryen
11/10/2018  9:37:00 PM
My friends recently asked me what dance they could do the song "I'll be seeing you" by Billie Holiday, but the time signature is 5/4! I don't know of any dances that work for that other that just swaying! If they want to do something more creative than that, I was thinking of suggesting that they could do a foxy and have it not phrase out. Thoughts on this??
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by olderpartner
11/15/2018  5:29:00 PM
None of the sheet music I have ever seen for "I'll Be Seeing You" by Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain shows a 5/4 time signature. It is all either 4/4 or common time. The 1944 rendition by Billie Holliday is extremely slow in tempo. A foxtrot would be very taxing at such a tempo but it could be done if choreographed to accommodate the rubato. There is a Frank Sinatra recording with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra that is an excellent foxtrot.
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by SocialDancer
11/16/2018  12:29:00 PM
"but the time signature is 5/4!"

You should not believe everything you read on the internet - Abraham Lincoln
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by olderpartner
11/16/2018  1:19:00 PM
Have fun in 5/4!
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by Oswin Targaryen
11/16/2018  6:01:00 PM
Thanks, olderpartner! I was actually thinking of doing a Foxy not a Foxtrot. It won't phrase, but the slow pace shouldn't be an issue in a Foxy.

Social dancer - clever; although I fail to understand the relevance in this circumstance. 5/4 time is tricky for sure - many dancers have enough trouble finding the one in 4/4! I really enjoy 5/4 music though. 5/4 is simply 5 quarter notes in a measure instead of the usual 4 (or 3 in waltz's) giving a song an asynchronistic feel. It became popular in some Jazz songs in the 20th century with the influence of the composer Stravinsky. I highly recommend taking a music theory course to learn more about it. If you're having trouble counting 5/4 music, try saying the 5-syllable word "hippopotamus" instead of using numbers; it helps to prevent you from getting lost. Learning a musical instrument will do wonders to improve your rhythm, too. Once you have a strong foundation in music, you don't have to rely on the internet for your information! That being said, the internet is an excellent source of knowledge as long as you have developed strong critical thinking skills and the ability to evaluate sources. ~Best wishes and happy dancing!

If anyone has more suggestions on what you would dance to this beautiful song, let me know!
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by olderpartner
11/16/2018  7:56:00 PM
I did misread your Foxy reference. It's not one with which I'm familiar.

However, your 5/4 reference got me thinking. I came across it a few times when I was in music school along with a few other obscure time signatures. If you are into humorous use of rhythms you might take a listen to the Mason Williams tune called "The Last Great Waltz" which ends with a whimsical use of 5/4.

I can visualize modifying a bolero to fit. Hmmm!

I enjoy doing show dances to unusual music.

Good luck!
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by prodnzr
12/20/2018  2:00:00 AM
Hi, I have a student who is a musician. She wanted to do something REALLY different. She pulled out Dave Brubeck's Take Five. Before I would attempt it I looked up what others had done to that piece. You Tube has a few. Once I got to where my brain would count that time signature it was fun. We were able to transpose a lot of international foxtrot after we slowed it down a bit
Re: What dance do you do to 5/4 music?
Posted by olderpartner
1/19/2019  3:02:00 PM
I would love to see video of that performance.
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