Fit Mama Monday: Play Lists and a Giveaway!!


If you close your eyes and remember the last time you really grooved to a song or experienced a deep, soulful connection to music, which song or musician is linked to that memory? I think everyone has that ONE song. The one that gets your head bobbing and foot tapping, or maybe even gets you out of our seat to dance, whether or not you’ve had any liquid courage. What is your one song? I have one. I remember dancing to it in high school and hearing it acapella on my college campus. It remains the one song that will take me away from even the most engaging party conversation directly to the dance floor without passing go. It’s this type of song that I try to include in each of my class play lists, the kind of song that stirs emotions and invokes memories.


At face value, a play list for an exercise class is just a list of songs – beats to move to. Should it really matter what songs are on the list? Darn straight it does. My barre class play lists are much more than songs I like that get thrown together to get you all “in the zone” for a good workout. I carefully select every song to match each segment of class. Because barre classes are choreographed, instead of cranking up Pandora or Spotify (as great as they are), I need to curate my lists, coordinating music with movement and mood to give you a high quality experience in class. I evaluate each song for beats per minute (does this song match the tempo of the movement we’ll be doing?); length (is the song long enough for us to do repetitions on both legs, or will I need two songs of the same bpm?); movement quality (will Lady GaGa be a good match for yoga stretches? um, no, but for squats, sure!); and “make me happy” factor (will I want to listen to this song 50 times while creating the choreography and playing it in classes?). I also choose a theme – 1980s, World Music, Hard Rock, etc. – and compile the songs to match my class plan. I strategically choose songs that will distract us from the hard work and motivate us during the most challenging parts of class (like when your thighs are trembling in earthquake mode). The songs that make me tap my foot or nod to the beat are always ones that make it onto the short list. I want that reaction in class, to get you grooving before I even show you the movements.


Reading this you may think I’ve got a bit of OCD. Well, who knows? That may be true, but on the few nights over the last 3 years when I’ve had to rely on Pandora to deliver a random play list, I’ve made due, sometimes skipping songs that don’t quite match the movement, but I don’t think those have been my best classes. I can roll with improvising in those situations, but I’d rather stick to putting in the effort ahead of time. I think it makes for a better class. And I’m always happy when someone enjoys the music enough to want to listen to it outside of the gym, or when I get a request in class for a specific play list. After all, with all the effort that goes into making my class play lists, I love to hear feedback that you enjoy them. It makes the effort worthwhile.


Enjoy the lists below. And if you don’t, I take requests for new ones! Name your favorite songs for class in the comments section because I am doing a giveaway for those of you who comment on this post!  By telling me your “ONE” song or artist, you could win a copy of the national bestseller Born To Run by Christopher McDougall. Even if you’re not a runner, this is an excellent story about a hidden tribe, super-athletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen. It’s a not-to-miss summer read that will teach you something about anthropology, history, Mexican geography, human perseverance and endurance.


MIX MIX 2016 – soon to be renamed “Julie’s Mix Mix” 😉 

Alive And Kicking by Simple Minds

Gettin’ Over You (Extended Version) by David Guetta & Chris Willis

Devil Inside by INXS

Show You How To Love by Pentatonix

Telephone (featuring Beyonce) by Lady GaGa

Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

Let’s Get It Started (Spike Mix) by The Black Eyed Peas

Hey Mama (featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack) by David Guetta

Naughty Girl by Beyonce

Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie

Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band

Satellite by Dave Matthews Band

Hallelujah by k.d. lang



Tempted by Squeeze

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk 3

Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield

Life In One Day by Howard Jones

Like A Virgin by Madonna

White Wedding by Billy Idol

Video Killed the Radio Star by The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police

Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar

Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

We Belong by Pat Benatar

The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

No On Is To Blame by Howard Jones

Into The Groove by Madonna

Your Song by Elton John

We Do What We’re Told by Peter Gabriel



Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley And The Wailers

Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Bamboleo by Gipsy Kings

Brown Girl (Suga Plum) by Jurassic 5 & Brick & Lace

Dale by Zumba Fitness

Batucada by Bebel Gilberty & Vinicius Cantuaria

Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons

Ari Ari Part 2 by Zumba Fitness

Pompeii by Bastille

Lagos Boys by Olamide

Hey Mama (Feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack) by David Guetta

Is Your Love Big Enough? by Lianne La Havas

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye

Maintenant by Rupa And The April Fishes

Light Of My Soul by Ajeet Kaur


(I do not own the rights to any of this music. Many are available for purchase on



One thought on “Fit Mama Monday: Play Lists and a Giveaway!!

  • Megan Foster

    My one song is a result of your classes! It’s “hey mama” by David Guetta featuring Nikki minaj. Love it!

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