Improving School Dances with “Safe Music” and Responsible DJs

DJ’s interested in working with schools can join now to expand and improve their School Dance business


radio tower  8/3/17  Radio Headlines:
Top 40: Fonsi/Daddy Yankee/Bieber Hold #1; Mendes Soars To #2; Halsey Top 3; Khaled/Rihanna/Tiller (but are on the Do Not Play List), Niall Horan Top 10 

All Primecuts music numbers on our lists are edited for radio and school dances.


Listen to this week's new "Safe Songs"

new members are joining


Look at DJs new to the SDN:

BCDJ Sound-Young’s Entertainment
Mullinis DJ- Norman Mullinix
Rahshaun  Andrews
To Honor You… weddings and special events- Steven Ash
Klara Menaker




Your DJ Advertisement can go right here, upfront and boldly let schools know you are committed to age appropriate school dances.

Contact me now and become known as the “school friendly” DJ in your city.  

Ric Hansen 800 954 3535


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Comments, Concerns, Questions, Complaints

From DJ Member Robert Benton

Music Videos I DJ a lot of middle school dances and while the music may be appropriate I have found that the music video for many songs are NOT appropriate at all. I would not recommend the “official” music videos be played for any sets that you play for a dance. In my opinion I would rather have a light show and let the kids dance than be fixated on a video.

RE:  Totally agree Robert. The SDN does not recommend using videos.  They are next to impossible to edit, and almost always are not acceptable to school administrators.  Ric 


From DJ Member: Bob Fleischmann:

Great resource! I am a teacher and have been DJ-ing school dances for over 20 years. This site is a great start in finding appropriate music. Yes, kids can have fun while enjoying music with clean lyrics and content! I have a few articles on the Art, Science, and Economics of school dances that I will post later. * Rock on *

From Stephanie Larsen reacting to our Christian school safe songs list.

Ummm…… This playlist is not okay for Christian dances AT ALL. I suggest looking up Christian artist such as TobyMac or Capital Kings. Both have great beats for dances. If you look for them on Spotify and look at the related artists you can find more like them. Lecrae, Britt Nicole, Hollyn, Press Play, and Group 1 Crew are all great alternatives. hope this helps for someone in the future!

SDN response:
We know, understand and appreciate the great artistry of the artists you have listed above.  Frankly, they are some of my favorites. HOWEVER,  dancing at a school dance to praise and worship songs (despite the danceable beats) by these artists seems to me to be a bit incongruous.  Christian kids listen to and like secular music as well as Christian hits.   To assume or expect Christian students to dance to only Christian praise and worship songs is probably not very realistic. 

From Samuel Phillips  

Hi my name is Sam. I am one of the DJs for Ward Productions. We are looking the possibility of become members we just had one question. Do you provide a safe list for music videos?

SDN response:
Hey Sam.  Thanks for the note and considering being a member.   Unfortunately we do not have a safe music video list….we considered that at one point and in fact did some research, only to find that content in music videos largely is not age appropriate, at least to present in a high school or middle school.  Even songs that lyrically are okay, most times have a video that the administration would object to.  Frankly we don’t think we could come up with enough “current” safe videos to make a list.   Ric 


Just curious, what is the criteria for “safe music?” Thank you!

SDN response:

Age appropriate and edited music that is free of objectionable language and does not promote or or blatantly glorify sex, drugs, alcohol or violence. 


From: DJTJ

Thanks! Thanks for your posts! I’ve DJed 3 middle school dances and even after DJing for 10 years for “regular” events, I’m blown away every time I do a middle school event at the variety, and obscurity of middle schooler’s music tastes. They can go from the prettiest songs to the most guetto thug music in an instant so your top ten list was really helpful. Thanks again!

Mike Doria writes

Haaaaayyyy, Mike Doria of Technosound Music Service. Proud member of your service. It’s Great!!!!. One question. “23” by Miley Cyrus and “Pop Lock and Drop It” (Edited) by Huey. Can I play these songs on our upcoming prom season? Thanks. Keep up the wonderful work!.
Hey Mike “23” is a DO NOT PLAY ​song.  It didn’t make our DNP list because it is not a hugely popular song, but I will add it.  The reference in the song to “purp” refers to a certain kind of Marijuana and the song also references and glamorizes drinking.  (Get my Js on in the chorus, is a reference to Air Jordan’s, in case you are wondering.) 
“Pop, Lock and Drop it”  is an old song from 2009, never was a universal hit song, but it is a dance as well as song title.  The song features the lyrics “toot that thang” which is referring to a dance move that ladies do that basically sticks the “behind” out and shakes and rolls it.  It has never been reviewed by our dance panel (because it wasn’t that big) but I would suggest avoiding it, unless you have a liberal school. Nothing horrible about it, but promotes a relatively nasty dance move.  Good Luck . 
  Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.37.50 PM
Ric Hansen
School Dance Network.

Russ Wristen writes

What’s with the BS prom dress story? I thought this was a site about music for DJs and school administrators. Are you soliciting this now to school-age children? If I want to read about crap like this I will go to my local garage sale posts. I think if you Are going to report on any articles at all it all to be about our profession as entertainers, equipment reviews, lighting suggestions etc. I don’t know if I’m the first to read your article but I didn’t see any “likes” so far. That’s my two cents from a 40 year 60-year-old radio and entertainment multi-op veteran. I’ve been doing this business 40 years and I like your site but if it’s going to turn into a teen magazine forum, forget it.

We are a School Dance site…for all parties interested in what going on surrounding school dances.  We are not a DJ site (there are plenty equipment and marketing news sites for DJs).  DJ’s and administrators who are focused on school dances might (should) find stories relating to prom attire an interesting blurb.  Sorry it wasn’t the case with you. 

Joe Cooper writes

Great website I struggle with finding clean songs I can play at high schools and keeping up on the latest dance craze. I have been doing this for 32 years and it gets harder to keep up. Great to find this site. Everytime I go to a school dance after some time away I get a lesson on whats hot. I have found that as long as the songs are edited they do not have a problem with me playing songs but there are some that I will not play that are too bad even edited!

 Tom Entwistle

As always when I DJ, I always pay special attention to the music I play. I do my best to be mindful of my choices. I just renewed my membership to the Safe school dance network. Young people today are something else and very demanding. Many requests that will come at a school dance are simply not playable. I compiled a list of some of the biggest requests and songs that I have seen pack the dance floor.
I just played a homecoming this past Saturday. It really helped me that I had an awesome partner to handle and take the requests. I have played these at two large high school events and was not questioned. The biggest requests and 10 songs that have worked for me seem to be …….
1. I-heart memphis – hit the quan (clean version only, the dirty version has the word Ni**e$ in it. I did DL this from Youtube as I am not sure it has a major label yet. But the kids will ask/demand this and know it and sing it. They will not leave you alone until you play it. That does not mean it is OK or not OK. You will have to use your judgement. I watched the video and it appears to be two young boys doing a goofy dance to a trendy song. I have played (clean version) at two high schools with no problem. ‪#‎floorfiller‬)
2. Silento – Watch me #floorfiller
3. The Weekend – I can’t feel my face
4. Sean Mendes – Stitches
5. Dimitri Vegas – The Hum
6. Darude – Sandstorm
7. Justin Bieber – What do you mean (teen girls love this song, I played this as a double shot with his song Baby and they sang both songs.)
8. Zedd – Clarity
9. Cupid – Cupid Shuffle
10. Mr. C – Cha Cha Slide
As always I try to use ethical and thoughtful judgement and be considerate of where I am and who you I am playing for when playing a song that may be questioned. What me be ok in one scenario may not be OK in the next. And there is never anything wrong with asking someone in charge for their opinion and approval if in doubt or not sure.

pamela deihlPamela Diehl  

From: Pamela Diehl
Subject: Uma Thurman
I am responsible for the morning announcements at my school, and I was just looking up positive songs to incorporate. I guess you think that these lyrics are ok…. “The stench, the stench, of summer sex And CK eternity, oh hell yes divide me down to the smallest I can be. Put your,  put your venom in me.”   Wow….I’m glad I checked for myself before trusting your site. And I work for an inner-city public school.
SDN:  Our review team tries to make their best call and it is never perfect.  We watch for lyrics that PROMOTE sex, drugs, or violence.  

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.15.56 PMDJ Voltron writes:  

Please put Fetty Wap “Trap Queen” on do not play list. Very popular song in the south.
Its all about Sellin Drugs, Using Drugs , Buying Expensive Cars, Stripper Poles, etc
Dj Voltron
 SDN:  Good Call Alan.  It is not getting a lot of play Nationally, but if you’re in the South…Make sure you avoid this one at schools.  Voltron is right on.  It’s being added to the DO NOT PLAY List. 

uptonw funk you up

 Josh Weeden writes:   Not sure why uptown funk is on the safe list? Lot of references to alcohol. 3/18/15

 SDN:  Thanks Josh for your input. We only detected one casual reference to alcohol.  Our goal is to provide a list that is relevant and usable at school dance events.  We look to eliminate songs that overtly promote drugs, alcohol, sex or violence.  Just a reference to “liquor” is not enough for our our panel to flag it as un-playable.  As always though we offer our opinion only as a guide and your judgement takes precedence at your events. Thanks for your input.

Wait a minute
Fill my cup put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign a check
Julio! Get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi
If we show up, we gon’ show out
Smoother than a fresh jar of skippy

dj keith bryan        DJ Keith Bryan from Orlando writes:   Thank you for the awesome work!!!  3/2/15

          SDN:  Thanks Bryan…you made my day!

music-video-banner21Music By Julie  Writes:  Hello, Just wondering if your paid service/listing also provides a safe-listing for music videos? Thanks.


Sorry, Julie.  No we don’t offer an evaluation for music videos.  Our experience has been that even those songs that have acceptable audio tracks and lyrics, many times (most) have videos that are over the top to be played in a school environment.  Sad but true.  2/16/15

jamn car

Keith Bryan Writes:  Dude, you sent an awesome letter and T shirts? You didn’t have tot do that. That was above and beyond and way cool and awesome. Thank you!!! Also, thank you for your efforts in getting the list up and running so that we had them for Friday night’s middle school dance. We had complements on the good clean music from a rep from another school and she took our business cards. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!!!!. YOU DA’ MAN!!!!!!

Thank you,

Keith Bryan

SDN:   THANKS!  Always anxious to help make school dances safe, fun and age-appropriate.  We appreciate quality operators like you, going the extra mile. 2/16/15
BTW…Love your Jam-Mobile

radio editTim Tippins Writes:  I am new to dj-ing school parties, got my first one next week. Can you suggest a place where I can download clean radio versions of songs? Thanks for your help.

SDN: There are a few services that provide clean edited versions of songs…We use Prime Cuts Music, they predictably provide clean and some times what they call “squeaky clean” versions.  If you are serious about doing schools I always recommend signing up for a service to provide the edits, saves a lot of time and grief.  You will find that on our weekly “Safe Songs” list there are several songs are only safe if you are using edits. BTW, you can not count on songs from I-tunes to be edited appropriately, I have had several guys download from I-tunes, only to have an unusable version.  1/23/15

miguel fontMiguel Font from A-1 Entertainment (Florida) Writes:  

Ric,  You really make my events life easier!!
Thank you for all you do!

Micah Birchfield: Bloomburg ISD writes:  

Clean lyrics, subject matter… not so much While some of the “Safe Songs” certainly don’t contain major swear words (though in my neck of the woods, “damn” is still not acceptable, either), it should be pointed out for those not in the know, sometimes the ideas and actions mentioned in the songs may not be appropriate for a school venue. I don’t think this is necessarily stressed strongly enough when listing the weekly songs. This weeks “safe song”, “Uptown Funk” is a prime example. Ignoring the fact that the chorus repeatedly says “hot damn” in the first 40 seconds of the song, there’s a line that says, “Fill my cup put some liquor in it.” I’m not sure about your school, but mine would certainly frown upon me setting that example. So please, folks, be sure and listen to these songs first. This site is an awesome resource, but there’s still no resource like the one between your ears.  November 19 2014

Our guide at the SDN is to eliminate songs that promote or glorify, sex, drugs/alcohol or violence.  Just references to them is not enough to eliminate the song from the “Safe Songs” .  But as Micah states, every school, region and administration has a different  standard.  

bertDJ Bert Lindsay writes:  

Keep up the great work and give us more!!! Ric, I am SO stoked about being a member of SDN. I haven’t had any inquiries from my listing, but the offerings I receive each week for DNPs as well as the Safe Songs Top 30 give me great information. I ALSO utilize much of your content to pass along on social networks or my blog. I would encourage the SDN staff to post MORE of the school dance stories for sharing. Be it stories of DJs who don’t use good judgement in playing for schools or other stories regarding content like twerking, panty checks and etc. — by reposting this via other members, I believe the membership of SDN can help increase awareness of this organization among concerned parents as well as school (& church) leaders and administration. Keep up the fantastic work! — This e-mail was sent from a contact form on school dance network  November 8 2014

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