How to Pick Music for a Debutante Ball


You're hosting a debutante ball and need great music to play to keep the party lively and the guests moving. If you're planning a traditional debutante ball, then you'll need some traditional ballroom waltz music. If it's a 21st century version then the sky's the limit with today's hot recording artists, iPod play lists and CDs. Read on to know how and what music to choose for that Cinderella evening!

  • Determine if the debutante ball will be traditional with formal ballroom dancing, or take on a modern twist with today's music and dancing. Be sure to consult the debutante for her choice and preference of music. If she can't waltz, there's no reason to expect anyone else can in her social circle can either.

  • Consider Viennese waltz music and you won't go wrong for a traditional debutante ball. The Naxos recording company has wonderful CD compilations of all the greats such as the Viennese waltz, polka schnell, polka francaise, polka mazur, quadrille and march. CD's can be ordered, then just add the DJ and you'll be waltzing the night away!

  • Look for other composers with some great waltz titles such as Josef Lanner's "Die Schonbrunne,r" Karl Komzak's "Badner Madln," Tchaikovsky's waltz from "Sleeping Beauty," Ivanovici's "Danube Waves," and Shostakovitch's waltz No. 2 from his jazz suite No. 2, for instance.

  • Select a small band or string quartet for live, traditional waltz music to entertain a more subdued, formal debutante ball. Live musicians lend more formality to a traditional ball, but may be limited in the selection of ball music they have to offer. Be sure to find out what type of waltz and ballroom dance music they can play throughout the evening. Search local ads, music schools and the Internet for a huge selection of entertainment choices.

  • Allow modern music if anything goes at the debutante ball. This is, after all, the 21st century and the debutante's party, and she may have a different motivation than just finding good marriage material from an aristocratic family, as was the case in 18th century England! She may not be the least bit interested in waltz music. Ask for her suggestions and a selection of music CDs and songs that she'd like played at the party, especially for that first, initial dance with her father.

  • Hire a DJ to keep the music thumping with a variety of songs the debutante has selected. Despite the popularity of "Dancing With the Stars," most young people might be intimidated by waltz or any type of ballroom dance music. A DJ will have an exceptional list of titles from today's hot artists to get the party onto the dance floor and keep them there.

  • Be specific about the music selections. You don't want a young lady's debutante ball turning into a bad rendition of a wedding reception by having the DJ play "YMCA" or the "Chicken Dance." Choose the play list with the Debutante based on her circle of friends and social class, and be sure the band or DJ abides by the rules. You want her and her friends to dance the night away into young adulthood for a happy evening to remember!

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