All due respect to “Time After Time,” but the typical high school dance playlist has us feeling a little sleepy. DJing is a serious business, particularly for a night as highly anticipated as prom. You want to set the right balance between songs people like to dance to with their friends, crowd favorites, and, of course, the obligatory slow dances. We set out to create a 10-track playlist to get you in the mood for prom, and maybe to inspire some DJ booth requests, as well. Listen to it while you’re browsing websites looking for the perfect dress, while you’re testing our that flawless celeb-inspired beauty look, or when you’re packing up your prom survival kit before heading out to the dance. Even better, dance around your room to these songs in your PJ’s and prom shoes—you want to make absolutely sure those bad boys are broken-in when it comes time to break it down on the dance floor.
SKY FERREIRA – “EVERYTHING IS EMBARRASSING”
One of the “It” songs of the year, Sky Ferreira’s “Everything is Embarrassing” is a great ice-breaker. You’re a little nervous to get out there on the floor and start just breaking it down, and you DEFINITELY don’t want to start with a slow jam. Might as well just acknowledge the fact that you’re feeling a little bashful, own it, and get on out there.
SOLANGE – “LOSING YOU”
Another song of the year, Solange’s “Losing You” is a tune that basically everyone can sing along to, and the groovy, Madonna-inspired beat makes it easy to dance to either alone or with your date. Sure, the lyrics are a little sad, but prom brings up feelings. Feel them. While you dance your heart out. (Listen, we said the SONGS wouldn’t be cheesy, we never said anything about OURSELVES.)
CHARLI XCX – “YOU’RE THE ONE (LIVE)”
Gettin’ a little more down and dirty, Charli XCX’s “You’re the One” has a versatile beat suitable for either a romantic sway or a more raucous bump-and-grind (but keep it clean, kids). This is your chance in the night to make eyes at your crush and drag him or her out onto the dance floor. BE BRAVE!
HAIM – “DON’T SAVE ME”
Haim’s “Don’t Save Me” has become something of an anthem for us this year. Take some inspiration from the sisters Haim and break out those throwback ’90s dance moves, and never be afraid to sing along.
FRANK OCEAN – “THINKIN BOUT YOU (LIVE)”
This had to happen at some point. The ultimate slow jam. You’re gonna want to grab your dance partner and snuggle up for Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You.” We’ve already given you a chance to loosen up, now it’s time to tell ’em how you really feel.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE – “DOG DAYS ARE OVER (LIVE)”
After a slow dance, it’s nice to shake it out a little, and Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” is one of the biggest dance floor crowd pleasers in our bag of tricks. Jump up and down, shout out the words, and generally have fun with your friends. Now is the time to really let loose. Do you, girl.
PHOENIX – “LISZTOMANIA (LIVE)”
If The Breakfast Club came out in 2013, we can bet that the dancing scene would be soundtracked by Phoenix’s “Lisztomania.” This is another group dance number, so you won’t have to even think when transitioning out of your “Dog Days”-induced revelry.
JESSIE WARE – “WILDEST MOMENTS (LIVE)”
All that jumping around might have you feeling a little tired, so we want to slow it down a little. A slow jam without being TOO slow, Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” is one of the most romantic songs to come out in recent years, and it’s a good precursor for what’s coming up, which we think is the #1 slow jam for prom 2013.
MIGUEL – “ADORN”
Ah yes, Miguel’s “Adorn.” The thing about this song is that it’s not so slow that you can’t have a little fun with it, but it DEFINITELY turns up the romance. Is there anything better than smiling while you’re dancing close with your crush? We don’t think so. Get carried away, the night is almost over.
ROBYN – “DANCING ON MY OWN”
Whether you’re bringing a date or flying solo dolo, everyone can get REALLY down with Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” A million bonus points if you know the entire dance routine (also, please be our friend), and if you perform it in front of the whole school like in a ’90s high school movie. Remember that prom is the last time you’re all going to be together like this, that the big wide world awaits, and just have fun!
+ MTV STYLE’S PROM PLAYLIST