J is for Just Dance.
My 7 and 4-year-old currently see much of the world through what I think of as the Just Dance lense.
Any song that comes on the radio?
Mommy! That’s from Just Dance!
Any movie we watch?
Mommy! We can do that on Just Dance!
Spare moment at home?
Mommy! Can we play Just Dance?
Briefly, Just Dance is a computer game where you ….
… wait for it …
Can you guess?
You just dance.
The mother in me who loves music and figures this is an active step up from “watching TV” while indoors loves that my kids love this game.
Those who follow my blog know I do a lot of music posts. I do them with my dolly co-host Moody Blythe and we generally pick five songs on a theme.
So, in honour of that tradition, I thought I’d give you five Just Dance songs my girls are loving RIGHT NOW.
Given this song was released on October 11, 2016 I’m feeling almost current. Our game version gives us the video where they run around like a bunch of Pokémon Go characters, which won my girls over for life.
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean (2006)
Can my 4-year-old ever bust a move to this!
I wouldn’t have chosen it for her, but personally love it so it’s hard not to play it. And she pretty faithfully asks for it. Here’s the official video.
I’m guessing she’s not getting the finer musical points about it being a salsa / worldbeat song heavily incorporating Jean’s earlier single (Dance Like This) and trumpet samplings from another song that the above Wikipedia link will tell you all about.
Perhaps that musical appreciation will come over time.
I also love the fact that the song was initially written by Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Pras for a Fugees reunion and was called “Lips Don’t Lie”.
Hill was never satisfied with it, and so … Shakira! Shakira!
As for my 4-year-old? She just likes dancing and loves that it’s a GREAT dance song.
And it is. According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, it was the most-played pop song in a single week in American radio history.
Because I’m a wee bit of a Shakira fan, my kids also know she’s the Gazelle in Zootopia who sings at them to Try Everything. I love that song’s message to them:
I messed up tonight, I lost another fight;
I still mess up but I’ll just start again.
I keep falling down, I keep on hitting the ground;
I always get up now to see what’s next.
Birds don’t just fly, they fall down and get up.
Nobody learns without getting it wrong.
I won’t give up, no I won’t give in;
‘Til I reach the end and then I’ll start again.
No I won’t leave, I wanna try everything;
I wanna try even though I could fail.
They also know she sang the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Song Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) that my eldest came home from school singing two years ago because one of the boys in her class was singing it.
Speaking of school, they also play Just Dance there. I’ve mentioned they go to French School. So they play French Just Dance there. Here’s my eldest’s two favourites:
Sur Ma Route – Black M (Just Dance 2014) (2014)
The song is by French-Guinean rapper Black M and was released in 2014. The song became his first number-one hit in his native country and also hit top ten in Belgium and top forty in Switzerland. You can see the actual video here.
If you’d like to read the lyrics in English you can go here, but here’s a taste:
On my way, Yeah
There have been some movements, yeah
Some adventures in this movie
A modest life
On my way, Yeah
I don’t count my problems any more
Enough to drive you insane
A modest life
Danse (Pop Version) – Tal featuring Flo Rida (Just Dance 2014) (2013)
Tal is an Israeli-born French singer-songwriter and dancer. This song was released in June 2013 to promote her second album À l’infini.
2013 was a big year for her. In December at the 15th NRJ Music Awards, she was recognized as female francophone artist of the year. She was also a candidate on Dancing with the Stars on Season 4. You can see the actual video here.
And again, a little sample:
Let’s go! Let’s go!
Dance here in front of me
Dance and raise up your arms.
Rush that nothing be erased
In this world.
We’re dancing as loudly as possible.
We’re dancing that nothing be erased.
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
I give you one more wordless pick my eldest got from school (because I’m thinking they were running out of French songs based on my YouTube Just Dance search and, well, the teachers obviously thought this was awesome too):
On that note: