'Stayin' Alive Has Right Beat To Restart heart, Study Shows

  Stayin alive might be more true to its name than the Bee Gees ever could have guessed.  At 103 beats per minute, the old disco song has almost the perfect rhythm to help jump start a stopped heart.
  And in a small but intriguing study from the University of Illinois medical school, doctors and students maintained close to the ideal number of chest compressions doing CPR while listening to the catchy song, sung in falsetto tune from the 1977 movie "Saturday Night Fever".
  The American Heart Association recommends 100 chest compressions per minute, far more than most people realize, study author David Matlock of the school's Peoria Ill. campus.
    And while CPR can triple cardiac arrest survival rates when properly performed, many people hesitate to do it because they're not sure about keeping the proper rhythm, Matlock said.
    He found that "Stayin Alive", which has a way of getting stuck in your head, can help with that.
    His study involved 15 students and doctors and had two parts.  First they did CPR on mannequins while listening to the song.  They were asked to time chest compressions with the song's beat.
  Five weeks later, they did the same drill without the music but were told to think of the song while doing compressions.
  The average number of compressions the first time was 109 per minute and the second time was 113. That's more than recommended, but Matlock said that when it comes to trying to revive a stopped heart, a few extra compressions per minute is better than too few.
  " It drove them and motivated them to keep up the rate, which is the most important thing", he said.                               The Associated Press

Opinion: Great Ballroom Music is an art form.

What makes Ballroom music great instead of just so so?  Over the years we have become known for having above average music for ballroom dancing.  Why?  Well, it boils down to knowledge and experience.  Our knowledge comes from being dancers first and DJ's later on in our dance life.  We became thoroughly familiar with the character and essence of each dance.  That alone helps us to pick music that is correct and inspirational for each of the various dances.  Too many times someone will decide to DJ and not have the slightest knowledge of the dances themselves.  You can get away with this at the typical wedding but it's a disaster for a room full of trained dancers.  We are also fussy about what we record and play.  There are thousands of foxtrots to pick from, for example, but we don' t use just any and all.  The tempo may be wrong, the music may be dated or it just may not be fun to dance to.  Musicians are not dancers and they are in the business of producing music and if we can dance to it, so much the better.  That's part of the reason I don't care for live music.  Bands simply cannot give you the variety we need and crave at a Ballroom dance.  When a band specializes in a particular genre such as Salsa, that's great if you want to dance Salsa for 2 hours!  But a typical ballroom dancer will be headed for the door in under 30 minutes.  

As I mentioned before, experience also comes into play.  Whenever we are in a new venue we watch what the dancers respond to and play accordingly.  Senior citizens get more Foxtrots and Waltzes but not as many Hustles and Cha Chas as we would normally play.  Plus we mix the slow and fast dances so you don't end up dancing Jive after a Quickstep after a Bachata.  After 25 years of Ballroom DJ work we are still learning and observing.  Like dancing, the lessons of music go on for as long as you want them to.  

I also know that everyone's taste in music is as different as each individual.  (I guess that would partially explain rap music).   Therefore, making everyone totally happy during a dance is not possible but you can get close if you try.  We do listen to suggestions and will dutifully check out those recommendations for possible use in a future dance.  We also attend competitions and check out various ballroom CD's and youtube music for the latest and greatest available at this time.  We never stop updating and chasing the ever-elusive perfect music for dancing.  Come check us out at a dance real soon!

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