Dance Music Examples

dance music examples

Dance music is a musical genre composed solely for dancing purposes. This can include everything from disco to drum and bass music genres.

DJs must adhere to a specific formula in order to create danceable music, thus splitting songs up into bars with specific beats per minute.


In the 1970s, disco emerged as one of the most beloved genres of dance music. Combining rhythm & blues, funk and soul with more recent electronic dance music (EDM) styles, disco quickly gained worldwide acclaim and is considered an iconic form.

Disco is distinguished from traditional rock songs by a faster beat, accenting unexpected beats using syncopation, and featuring more intricate drum patterns (usually featuring both straight and syncopated beats as well as playing cymbals on offbeats) than typical rock songs, creating an energetic soundscape. Furthermore, disco songs typically use 16th note division of quarter notes (corresponding to four beats per measure in four-to-the-floor time) in order to produce an upbeat rhythmic atmosphere.

An essential element of any dance song is the hook, which should be memorable and catchy enough to stand out amongst its other elements. A hook may include lyrics, melodies or instrumental motifs which are repeated throughout its performance.

Dance songs stand apart from other genres with the addition of the bridge, usually only appearing once and acting as an intro or transition between sections of a song. A bridge may feature different instrumentation or lyrics than those found elsewhere in its body.

Dance songs usually include a breakdown, which is a brief period wherein the tempo slows and features more subdued beats. Eventually, however, this section usually leads into the drop which provides loud energy-packed excitement at its conclusion.

Dance songs must end with an unforgettable bridge that brings all its elements together into a coherent whole. Disco was one of the first genres to transcend ethnic boundaries with both black and white singers enjoying success within this genre, such as Village People’s iconic YMCA as an example.

Disco was one of the first genres to promote sophistication as desirable, while rock had become more of a sit-down medium with stars performing up onstage in bright lights and audiences sitting backstage, disco turned this around by placing its audience center stage. This trend would later be further refined in rave scenes of the 1990s where minimalist music would gain a dance beat and become Psy Trance while house music carried on its tradition with disco divas.


Trance music emerged during the 90s and quickly gained widespread appeal. Combining classical, rock, and electronic beats into an energetic soundscape, artists like Ferry Corsten, Paul Oakenfold, and Tiesto helped popularise this dance music style. Berlin-based label Masterminded for Success or MFS played an early role by publishing Tranceformed from Beyond compilation in 1992 which included many timeless tracks like Oliver Lieb’s “Two Full Moons and a Trout”, Microglobe’s “Sunglasses at Night”, Microglobe’s “Sunglasses at Night”, Harald Bluchel (aka Cosmic Baby).

At the turn of the millennium, MFS no longer dominated trance charts; artists such as Armin van Buuren, Faithless, ATB and Paul Oakenfold began taking over dance floors worldwide with their brand of hypnotic beats and upbeat melodies known as trance music – it quickly becoming known for its global reach and hypnotic soundscapes reminiscent of classical compositions; taking cues from classical composition they created an original form known as “anthem trance”.

Vocal Trance was another important step forward for dance music’s mainstream acceptance, used to transition between choruses and breakdowns in songs with vocals being used to transition smoothly between them. Breakdowns typically contain less intensity than Choruses or Hooks but build to an epic Drop; which are the highlights of any dance track.

Quench’s Dreams provides another striking example, featuring captivating female vocals that add emotion and beauty. When combined with its pulsating rhythms, epic Breakdown and memorable Drop, this song will certainly hold listeners’ attention from start to finish.

Trance music aims to provide listeners with a continuous energy flow that takes them on an emotional journey. A producer should aim for smooth transitions between parts of a track by employing loops which will familiarize each section and help listeners feel like it has evolved organically over time.


House emerged out of disco’s popularity during the ’80s and quickly become one of the world’s most beloved dance music genres, popular on club culture and mainstream as evidenced by Madonna, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue including house elements into their music, an indication of its mainstream acceptance. Techno, rave, jungle – these and more remain among its subgenres that continue to draw dance floors worldwide.

This classic house track from British duo Shapeshifters showcases vocalist Alison Limerick to add a soulful sound. It shows how house can combine with other genres to produce something truly new and engaging.

American DJ Claude VonStroke’s track, Perfect Dancing Music is another song designed for dancing. This darker track boasts an incredible synth sound that really stands out. Listening to this tune can help you relax or unwind, as well as get you dancing.

Next on our list is a track by Masters at Work featured in the movie Trading Places, it is sure to have you singing along and dancing within moments! This track showcases just how diverse house music can be while still maintaining the familiar 4/4 beat that many are familiar with.

Pete Heller has produced an exquisite house track in “Big Love.” It spans over 10 minutes long, featuring warm vocals with texture that make you feel as though you are floating through space. Perfect for dancing and relaxation alike, Big Love serves as an exemplar of how house music can create such peaceful environments.

Frankie Knuckles, known as the Godfather of House Music, created one of our final tracks as part of this list – it is an iconic classic by him! It shows what can happen when mixing house with rock and other genres for something completely new; an excellent way to demonstrate how house can serve as an instrument in other forms of music and evolve and develop over time.

Drum n’ Bass

Drum n’ Bass music, commonly characterized by its pulsating basslines and heavy drumbeats, is best experienced through high-quality sound systems with deep frequency response. Its rhythmic beats emphasise the lower frequencies to produce an energetic dance experience for dancers; moreover, Drum n’ Bass draws heavily upon disco and house influences as well as featuring vocal tracks in many tracks.

At its roots, jungle music fuses earth-shaking bass of reggae soundsystems with rapid sampled breakbeats and gruff dancehall MCs for an electric experience. Jungle is one of the original UK styles which would go on to influence everything from dubstep and dub techno to trance, gabber and garage music genres.

Over time, drum n’ bass has evolved into more diverse genres such as liquid funk, neurofunk, jump up and half step; however, its roots remain firmly in London and Bristol’s hardcore rave scene in the ’90s. Even after experiencing various bass mutations over time, its signature breakbeat-driven sound remains key component of dance music today.

As with house music, Drum n’ Bass boasts an enormous diversity of artists who produce this genre’s music. However, only those that stand out through certain key characteristics often reach the top.

One of the UK’s premier Drum n’ Bass producers, LTJ Bukem has been at the forefront of this musical movement for three decades. Contributing significantly to shaping drum and bass into what it is today, he has collaborated with various DJs and producers in creating some of its most acclaimed works of drum and bass music history.