One of the most important things in ballroom dancing is being able to follow the music. You can have the best footwork, the best expressions, the best whatevers, but if you're not on time with the music, your dancing is off. And that's bad. And noticeable. Do you want to be the one bobbing up on the dance floor when everyone else is dipping down? Going fast when everyone else is going slow? Thought not.

Let me tell you a story. During the summer of 2014, I was in an area where there was a very good ballroom studio. And I had the opportunity to sit in on a lesson. The couple being taught was late highschool. Follower clearly had some form of ballet experience; leader moved quite well. I would estimate their skill to be at High Silver, Early Gold. And they were doing a Samba routine with complicated moves and head twists and all sorts of that. Except, despite the difficulty of the moves, even at my experience of 1 year, I couldn't see the beat of the Samba. In fact, the leader seemed to have no idea how the Samba beat went.

Here's the funny thing. To be fair, the music being played at the time was Rumba. So, the head of the studio comes in (instructor was an associate instructor). Head of studio changes music to Samba. Here I am, expecting to see a really great Samba routine to the music. You want to know what happens?

The leader is completely off time. The beats are totally out of sync. You could see the high-level moves, but since not a single whit of it was to the music, it was a little like sea-sickness. Studio head wasn't pleased to say the least. And being of the strict Russian sort, there was some pretty rough shouting.

So, the moral of this story? Listen to music when you have time (who doesn't like listening to music?), and when you do, try to insert some ballroom stuff. The more music you listen to and the more time you listen to ballroom songs, the more you'll be acclimated to them so that at competitions, you know exactly how a song goes and you won't be surprised.

Below is a list of dances and accompanying tracks. At competitions, you will often hear these tracks being used. If you have difficulty following the musical beat, try listening to lots of music. That way, you'll eventually pick up on it.

Cha-Cha
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Smooth by Santana
Banca Banca by E-Type
Don't Stop the Music by Rihanna
Es por Ti by Juanes
Gangnam Style by Psy
I Need to Know by Marc Anthony
Just Dance by Lady Gaga
Poker Face by Lady Gaga
Rumor Has It by Adele
Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction

Rumba
You Give Me Something by James Morrison
Let's Stay Together by Al Green
Whatever Happens by Michael Jackson
Cuando Pienso en Ti by Jose Feliciano
GoldenEye theme by Tina Turner
Aicha by Outlandish
Come As You Are by Jaci Velasquez
Emotions by Destiny's Child
Have I Told You Lately that I Love you by Van Morrison
I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden
Just Give Me a Reason by Pink
No Me Ames by Jennifer Lopez ft. Marc Anthony
Si No Hubieras Mas Dias Que Hoy (Nooit Meer Een Morgen) by Denise Rivera
Stickwitu by Pussycat Dolls
Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
Te Quiero by Mestizzo
Tu Amor by RBD

Samba
Rhythm Divine by Enrique Iglesias
I'm Alive by Celine Dion
Copacabana by Barry Manilow
Hips Don't Lie by Shakira
Whenever, Wherever by Shakira
Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias
Baila Baila by Angela Via
Bumpy Ride by Mohombi
Drummer Boy by Debi Nova
Mi Chica by Sarbel
A Mi Manera by Raul Fuentes
Sor by Serdar Ortaç
Temptation by Arash ft. Rebecca

Jive
Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham
Candyman by Christina Aguilera
Do the Cha Cha Cha by Alex Swings
I'm a Believer by Smash Mouth
Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry
Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley
Only You by Captain Jack
Pack Up by Eliza Doolittle
Right Round by Flo Rida
The Boy Does Nothing by Alesha DIxon

Foxtrot

Don't Cha by The Baseballs
Hit Me with A Hot Note by Tami Dappan Damiano
Maddest Kind of Love by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Pink Panther Theme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrCeMWSzQCM
Sweet Dreams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWPFCxiobCo

QuickStep
It Don't Mean a Thing by Herman Brood
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Let's Face the Music and Dance by Nat King Cole
Istanbul - Not Constantinople by Swing City Giants
It Don't Mean a Thing by Matthew Morrison
Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing) by The Benny Goodman Orchestra
You're the One that I Want from Grease
Part Time Lover by Stevie Wonder
Umbrella http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75dEjWe3qCA

Tango
Anything by the Gotan Project
El Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge
Just Give Me a Reason by Pink (yes, this is both Rumba and Tango!)
Libertango by Yo-Yo Ma
Please Mr. Brown by Alma Cogan
He's a Pirate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Toh7T9Eo9A

Waltz
Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra
Fascination by Nat King Cole
Illusion by Nat King Cole
Andre Rieu from Romeo and Juliet
Flying by Cait Agus Sean
Garden of Graves by Rua
If You Don't Know Me by Now by Simply Red
It Is You (I Have Loved) by Dana Glover
Lasso the Moon by Art Garfunkel
Oborozukio Inori by Kiko Makashima
Once You Had Gold by Enya
Open Arms by Journey
Run for the Roses by Dan Fogelberg
See the Day by Girls Aloud
Take it to the Limit by the Eagles
Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie
Un Giorno per Noi by Josh Groban
Wednesday's Child by Matt Monro
其实你不懂我的心 by Angus

Viennese Waltz
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Cry by Faith Hill
Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter
I'll Be by Edwin McCain
Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
Kiss from a Rose by Seal
Little Susie by Michael Jackson
Once Upon a December from Anastasia
Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton
Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter
A Sunday Smile by Beirut
Waltz No. 2 by Shostakovich
When I Said that I Do by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman
When You Taught Me How to Dance by Karen Winter

Albums, Remix artists, etc.
http://www.youtube.com/user/icykoong
http://www.youtube.com/user/StandardBeppe
Cartoon Songs for Dancing (Tanz Orchester Klaus Hallen)