Each week for the summer, our fabulous counselors will be contributing to a Spotify playlist with songs that they love and want to share with you – and that apply to the week’s theme! And each week, we will publish some of their thoughts about why they chose their songs.
Here’s the playlist to Week 5: Get Creative!
And here are the wonderful counselors:
Love (by DJDS, Empress Of)
Africa (by Toto): Bridge 2014, along with everyone else in the world, loves this song. Pan flute is unbeatable.
Everyday People (by Sly & The Family Stone)
Thriller (by Michael Jackson): One of my favorite activities to lead is teaching the Thriller dance in Performing Arts! Learning choreography AND impersonating zombies, what could be more fun?
Shut up and Dance (by Walk the Moon)
Uptown Funk (by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars)
Blinding Lights (by The Weeknd): This song sounds straight out of the 80s with its grounding drum beat (very similar to Take On Me by a-ha), synth flairs, and yells (“hey! Hey! HEY!”), but, as I’m sure most campers know, was released in late 2019 to immediate popularity. I actually really enjoy driving to this song, because of the consistent, upbeat mood throughout, and those characteristics also make running to it a blast.
All We Got (by Chance the Rapper): I might not work out to this song, but I will frequently listen to it right beforehand. Like many of the other songs I’ve added, I appreciate the horns at the intro and how dynamic the song is at different points. The song builds throughout and as it does, I can feel my own energy building, getting me ready to go take on whatever I’m about to attempt. In my first year of teaching, this was one of my go-to songs to hype myself up on the mornings I wasn’t feeling it. It’s also a celebration of music, so could easily have been a contribution for last week as well. I love the line, “Music is all we got, so we might as well give it all we got!” Whether about music or whatever else you hold dear, the message of giving it your all is an essential life lesson.
Level Up (by Ciara): This song is three minutes of pure fire. Play it and I swear your body won’t be able to stop jumping, moving, dancing. During quarantine, when I was forced to do at home workouts, this song made cardio bursts soooo much less brutal. I actually loved doing jumping jacks, squats, high knees to the beat of this song.
Higher Love (by Kygo and Whitney Houston): Okay, I swear this song is magical. Whenever I’m running and I reach a hill, I play this song and seriously get transported to the top. I’m not kidding. It’s so uplifting, it physically moves me.
Valerie (by Amy Winehouse): A great song to bop around to, and when it comes on my workout playlist I always get an extra burst of speed!
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (by Whitney Houston): The title says it all.
Disco Dancer (by Kiki Gyan): Kiki Gyan was a keyboardist from Ghana who recorded many of his best hits as just a teenager. In the 70s he got into disco and did some amazing records. Unfortunately, he had trouble handling his fame at such a young age and died very early.
Dance Monkey (by Tones and I)
We Can Work It Out (by Stevie Wonder): Though originally written by Lennon and McCartney, this version by Stevie is just sublime – considered the best ever recorded. He sings both lead and background vocals on the tune, and plays keyboard, harmonica, and drums. There might not be a more talented musician in the history of pop and soul music. Stevie Wonder was nominated for a Grammy for his performance of this song.
Lean On – Major Lazer, MO, DJ Snake. This song came out and was huge summer of 2015. One of our last Brookside free evenings we had a water dance party with Woodside. The sun was blazing hot and everyone danced for like two hours straight, this was one of the last songs of our dance party and any time i hear it i think of Westcott stood on the roof of the main house screaming ‘Who wants the water’ in a german accent as he throws buckets of water down on everyone.
Die Young by Sylvan Esso. My sister and I have been doing HIIT workouts together. I would not make it through them without Sylvan Esso.
Modern Love (by David Bowie): Great song to kick off a run (as a bonus, you can pretend you’re Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha, which is hopefully a reference none of you get).
Nanã (by Polo & Pan): A good friend once called this “a perfect song.” She was right!
Piano Man (by Billy Joel): Okay, this one is a weird (but I promise true) story. As a Lakesider, I was super into Billy Joel (I still am I make no apologies he’s dope fight me). I had a bunch of his albums memorized and sang them to myself when I was doing all kinds of things – including long distance swims. In 2014, I swam every morning with Donny Mac and at the end of the summer I did the Purple Albatross. The thing about the Albatross, which you only know if you’ve done it: it gets kinda boring after the first hour. You’re just in a lake with nothing to do but swim and avoid overthinking it. So what did I do to keep myself entertained and to push past the cramps? I sang “Piano Man” to myself, over and over and over. Does it make sense as a hype-up song? Not really. Was I hyped? Yes. Enjoy this classic, timeless, beautiful song about a ton of things that have absolutely nothing to do with physical exercise. It’s hype if you make it hype.
Jungle (by X Ambassadors): This was my bonfire song – my heart rate still goes up upon hearing the open notes. This song bops.
Move Your Feet (by Junior Senior)