Let me teach you how to dance sheet music

▷ When You Taught Me How To Dance Sheet Music from Miss Potter by Katie Melua | PDF Download

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  • Level 48/100 (Ambitious)
  • Scoring Accompaniment
  • Category Movie Soundtrack
  • Availability Download available Not available

Audio samples for When You Taught Me How To Dance by Katie Melua

  • Katie Melua - When You Taught Me How To Dance (Official Video)



  • Miss Potter - When You Taught Me How to Dance - Piano Solo


    Instrument Cover

Sheet music information

When You Taught Me How To Dance
Katie Melua
Composed by
  • Nigel Westlake
  • Mike Batt
  • Richard Maltby
Movie Soundtrack
  • Piano
  • Voice
  • Guitar
  • Singer-Songwriter
  • Movie Soundtrack
Calm Vibes
Miss Potter
Film Songs
Arranged by
A Major
Dramatico Entertainment Ltd

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Nigel Westlake - Composer Interview with focus on Miss Potter

This interview was conducted by telephone on 4th January 2007, with Jim Paterson speaking to Nigel Westlake about his musical background and the (soon to be released) film Miss Potter which covers a key period in the life of Beatrix Potter.

An audio version of this interview is also available for download as an mp3 podcast (23Mb).

Musical Background

JP: The Miss Potter film and soundtrack is going to be released shortly in the UK. I've a number of questions about the music, but first I'd like to understand a little bit more about your musical background and how you came to work in film music.

NW: I began my musical career playing the clarinet. My father was the principal clarinettist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and he taught me to play from about the age of 10, and for many years I aspired to become an orchestral clarinettist and follow in his footsteps. In my mid-teens I started experimenting with composition, and became quite interested in the process of composing and its impact on my interpretation of existing classical music, namely the music I was studying at the time, that being the clarinet repertoire of great concertos and so on. I began to write little pieces for my friends to play, a very diverse collection of instrumentalists from jazz, classical and rock backgrounds. We formed a band and we toured with the band for a few years along the East coast of Australia with some success. Through that experience I began to get invitations to compose music for Radio and Theatre and Circus, and by and by I became involved in film.

My mother found a little ad in the paper one day which she cut out to show to me, which was asking for applicants to sign up for the first ever music and film course at the Australian Film and Television School based in Sidney. I applied for it thinking that I didn't have a chance of getting in but I did, and my work was noticed by some producers who were involved in the course and I was subsequently invited to write for some documentaries. During this time I was maintaining a career as a clarinet player. So I had for quite some time a dual career existence as a composer of television and media music, and on the other hand a classical career as a clarinettist in various chamber music ensembles. It was about 11 years ago that my composition career eclipsed my playing career and I started to get some fantastic offers to write film scores. But really it did interfere with my performing career, so at that point I began to concentrate fully on composition and I actually stopped playing the clarinet. So that's where I've come from. I'm a self-taught composer and gained a lot of my skills working as an instrumentalist with other instrumentalists, with a keen interest in contemporary music.

JP: That's very interesting. You say that you were self-taught but you did attend that course in Sidney.

NW: Well that was a short couse, about 8 weeks long, and it was more to do with the mechanics of fitting music with film. It wasn't a composition course as such but about applying music to film. I had as my tutor a brilliant American composer called Bill Motzing, who's been involved for many years now in a number of feature scores himself and more recently he's been doing a lot of teaching and orchestration for other composers. That was a wonderful introduction into music for film. I've also had a great opportunity to take my scores to other composers whose work I admire, and get them to commment on the work and give me feedback in a more informal situation. So "self-taught" is a bit of a long shot, but it has been more an informal approach to composition.

JP: Yes, so you didn't study composition formally for 3 or 4 years at University. In your film music you mentioned a number of documentaries but, to my mind at least, you are most familiar as the composer for the Babe films.

NW: A lot of the documentaries I've done have been for lesser known television presentations, but more recently I've been involved in Imax films, which in a sense are documentaries. I've done 5 Imax film scores to date, and that's a wonderful format to work in which is very different to the standard drama feature film score.

Miss Potter - music box theme and song

JP: So going back to Babe then, the first Babe film was directed by Chris Noonan just like Miss Potter. Have you formed a particular close relationship with Chris?

NW: Yes, we formed quite a close relationship. It was a very healthy composer-director relationship that we established on Babe, and we always said that we would look for another project to work on together. Chris has been very busy the last 10 years or so developing a number of film scripts, several of which he'll now be bringing to the screen over the next few years. But Miss Potter was one that he felt would be interesting for us to work on together, so I was invited to submit some ideas for this score. In fact one particular idea which is in the centre of the film is a very touching scene where Ewan McGregor who is playing the part of Beatrix Potter's publisher, Norman Warne, is taken up to Beatrix's bedroom one Christmas Eve in order for her to present him with a beautiful painting that she has done as a Christmas gift for him to show her appreciation for his support of her work, in the publication of her first children's book "The Story of Peter Rabbit". He notices in the corner of her room a little music box. He picks it up and it begins to play. He says "Oh yes I know this tune which is "Let Me Teach You How To Dance"." He says he's a terrible dancer but the words are rather sweet. Beatrix says to him "Oh, you know the words. Can you please sing the words for me." and then Ewan proceeds to sing this song.

Chris rang me up several says before they were due to film this scene and said we've got this song and we haven't got a tune for it. I think I'd like you to write me a waltz in the style of the popular genre of the period circa 1890s. It should be very formal, very sweet like a parlour song. This was of course a new venture for me having never written anything like this before, but I quickly dashed off a tune and sent it through to Chris on email as an mp3 file, saying "is this the sort of thing that you want? And if it is I'll keep developing it to make it better for the shoot". He wrote back a couple of days later saying "Yes, we've shot the scene and the tune worked beautifully, thank you very much. Would you like to come to London and write the score? Because I think that this theme should be incorporated as part of the score of this film and you're obviously the person to do it. So it was with great excitement that I packed up and moved to London for several months and worked very closely with Chris on the score. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in London with fantastic, top-of-the-tree session musicians. I had the great priviledge to work with people like Maggie Rodford at Air-Edel and of course Mike Batt and Katie Melua who came on board at the very last moment.

JP: So how did that happen? Were you involved?

NW: What happened was I got a call from Maggie a couple of days before I was due to leave London to return to Sidney, because the score had all been recorded and the job had wound up. Maggie said "Look, the producers are interested in turning the music box tune into some sort of pop song for the end credits." Of course my immediate reaction was "It's a waltz. When was the last time a waltz was like a popular song? Maybe 80 years ago or something." She said "I think you should give it a go, and I think the perfect person to work with would be Katie Melua, and Mike Batt. " Of course I'd known of Mike Batt's work for many years, his work on the Wombles and his music theatre piece "The Hunting of the Snark". In fact my mother played in his orchestra when he toured to Australia with that show. She brought home a CD of his work and played it to me, saying here's a distinguished chap who's doing some good stuff. So I was really quite familiar with Mike's work.

So I went up to his studio one morning and he said "OK we've got the band booked at midday and the orchestra's coming in at three, and Katie's coming in at six, so where's the song?" I said "Well here's the music box tune. Basically we have to turn the lyrics around." Because in the film it's sung by a male: "Let Me Teach You How To Dance" a sort of patriarchal male gesture. In the case of Katie singing it, Mike turned the whole thing around and in 40 minutes and re-wrote the lyrics for this beautiful song "When You Taugh Me How To Dance". So that in a sense becomes the spirit of Beatrix Potter reminiscing on her early days, and her first romantic encounter with her publisher Norman Warne. When I played it to the editor of the film, Robin Sales, he said it's just like Renee Zellwegger actually singing it in the style of Beatrix Potter as it encaptulates the spirit of it, the slightly eccentric, quirky yet warm spirit of Beatrix herself. And it happened in 12 hours!

JP: So no time pressures then!

NW: No, you know what it's like in film. So it was great to have Mike there. He works so closely with Katie and understands her voice. To write those lyrics so quickly, he's just a genius you know. That was great. We sent the finished tape along to the mixing session, and all the producers were absolutely overwelmed with the response. They were very excited by it, and so it becomes this prominent song at the end of the film.

JP: I've heard the soundtrack obviously, but I've not seen the film as it's not been released yet.

NW: As you'll see Jim that theme is a recurring theme throughout the score, and in a way it becomes Beatrix's theme that accompanies her through this labyrinth of emotional turmoil that is encapsulated within this six years that cover that period of her life.

Miss Potter - other aspects of the score:

JP: Other than this key theme then, what kind of direction did Chris Noonan give you? What kind of guidance?

NW: The score works on several levels. The other thing we spoke about in great detail was the fact that you're dealing with characters from the Victorian era, very straightlaced, people never said exactly what they were thinking. It was a very cloistered and repressive environment. All the time there's these deep emotional undercurrents underpinning the action on screen. You're not actually looking at that on the screen but you know that it's there because of the dramatic context of the work. So Chris wanted the music to take on this almost subliminal aspect, and try and support the undercurrents of the dramatic context that was happening between the various characters. So the score in some instances is working on that level, and then in other instances you've got the beauty and wonder of Beatrix's imagination, the creative spark that helps her create these wonderful characters in her books. That in itself is another strand of the score, where a particular theme is used, orchestrated with celeste and harp to give a sort of magical quality to the work.

JP: As I've said I've not seen the film, but trailers from the film have been shown on TV, and some of the characters in the illustrations in her books are animated. Is there a lot of animation and did it require a special approach to the music?

NW: No, I'm not sure that I've seen that particular trailer but the characters only come alive for very brief moments and not very frequently. So more often than not there might be a very subtle musical reference to their actual movement when they're animated. It's more a case of the music supporting Beatrix's inner life, her fantasy world. So there's no great slabs of time where the characters are interacting with her. You only get the occasional blink of an eye or character running off a page or something like that. It's not an animation in that sense, in the traditional understanding of the word animation. Certainly animation is used very effectively but very subtly as part of the film. It wasn't like working on a cartoon.

JP: Yes. It's sometimes hard to get the impression of what a film's like from a trailer because it emphasises particular moments. The other thing I wanted to ask you about is that Rachel Portman is credited with 3 of the tracks on the album. How did that come about?

NW: That was a directive from the producers. They felt that she had a certain approach that was appropriate for several scenes in the film. So it came to be that she wrote a theme which is used on a number of occasions for Beatrix's involvement in the Lake District. Towards the end of the film Beatrix moves to the Lake District and buys up a lot of farm land up there and becomes very attached to this place, because that's one of the great heritages of her life as she left all this land in its original condition to the British people. So it was seen as appropriate that Rachel become involved. I guess she had a particular approach or sound that they were looking for, so she wrote a few tracks for the film.

JP: It seems to blend quite well together on the CD.

NW: That's good, I'm glad you said that, Jim. We didn't actually collaborate at all, we were working quite separately. She was being supervised by producers so I wasn't really sure what they were up to. She had been listening to my score when she started work on the film, so she followed a very similar pattern in orchestration.

JP: Yes, that's right, the instrumentation is obviously very similar, just strings and woodwind with piano, and you mentioned harp and celeste.

NW: Yes, that's right. We had pretty much an identical orchestra between us.

JP: Were there any other aspects of the film that you saw as being key to the music, or particularly difficult to score.

NW: I guess the most challenging aspect of the score was dealing with transitional passages in time. For instance there's one track on the score which is track 9 on the soundtrack which is "Beatrix and Norman", which is basically establishing Beatrix's relationship with her publisher. She is forbidden to marry him by her parents because he is seen to be a tradesman and beneath them. So the parents say we're going on a vacation for 6 months. If at the end of that time you still love him then you can proceed and get married. There's this wonderful scene, a big romantic emotional peak of the film where he comes to see her off at the station on her way to the Lake District for her vacation. As you'll see in the picture this has to traverse some very interesting, emotional moments, and either side of that railway sequence is a bunch of footage of Beatrix and Norman together. That was quite difficult to make those transitions between those quite intimate scenes and then lightening up into a larger orchestral palette for the farewell at the station and situations like that. Once I had the thematic material at my finger tips it was then a matter of fitting it to picture and making those transitions seemless and as effortless as possible which is always a challenge. So that was the most challenging aspect of it.

Next Steps:

JP: I'll look out for that scene in the film when it comes out. So what's next for you musically. Have you got other projects lined up, or maybe you're already in the middle of some projects?

NW: Yes I've got many things lined up over the next couple of years, several orchestral commissions for local orchestras here in Australia and some chamber music works. And I'm looking at a few film scripts at the moment, one of which is with Chris Noonan again, based in South Africa, a film called called Zebras. This is a very exciting script, and he's going into pre-production shortly on that one. It will involve a lot of traditional African music as well as orchestral underscore. So I'm very excited about that. We'll see if that comes off, you know how it is with films: You never know until it's actually in the can. So plenty of work which is great.

JP: I think we're coming towards the end of our allotted time, I want to thank you very much for your time. It's been very interesting listening to you and I'm looking forward to seeing the film when it comes out.

NW: Great, Jim, great to talk to you and I hope you enjoy it.

JP: Thanks very much and best wishes on those future projects that you talked about including Zebras.

NW: Thanks very much, Jim, and best wishes to you also.

JP: Thanks very much and goodbye.

Brief code of ballroom etiquette, part 4.

Invitation to dance

By default - unless otherwise announced - the gentleman invites the lady to the dance. Nowadays, it is not considered shameful to do the opposite, but the ladies still prefer, if possible, to make it clear to the gentlemen who are interested in them that they want to be invited without saying it out loud.

The gentleman who invites the lady should approach her, wait until she pays attention to him (without interrupting her if she is talking to someone), bow and ask her to show him this honor. Appropriate variations of phrases (so as not to repeat the same one over and over again) will be here, for example: “Let me know what kind of dance I can hope to dance with you”, “Let me have the honor / pleasure to invite you to ...”, “Do not refuse me the pleasure of dancing with you..."

A lady can refuse a gentleman in three cases, or rather (we are talking about practice, not theory!) - under three decent pretexts: she categorically does not know this dance, she feels bad or too tired, or she already promised this dance to another gentleman. In all but the last case, after the refusal, she must not dance this dance with anyone else. "Excuse me, I need to make a phone call" - this is also a decent excuse, but after that the lady will have to leave the hall in order to at least imitate the indicated action =)

A rejected gentleman should not immediately invite a neighboring lady - by this he demonstrates that he generally does not care with whom to dance, and any lady in the depths of her heart hopes that the invitation is addressed to her, and not "any abstract partner" .

A lady who refuses a gentleman can recommend him to invite her friend if she doesn't mind. An attentive gentleman in this case will try to follow this recommendation. You need to use this method with caution - nowadays ladies are sometimes offended by such "matchmaking" from their girlfriends, and other gentlemen consider it an encroachment on their freedom of choice. However, I believe that this method should be introduced into ballroom use in relation to ladies debuting at balls, who are afraid to invite, not knowing their dance level.

A less risky, but also completely historical way of unobtrusive "advertising of the ladies" - when a gentleman who knows them hints to his fellow gentlemen that they would be very kind if they would pay a bit of attention to the ladies accompanied by him. Such a friendly request is not considered excessive, its execution is not obligatory, but, of course, it is conditioned by the degree of respect for the person who applied.

With whom and for how long?

Ideally, a gentleman should not dance more than three dances with the same lady (and in a waltz - more than two circles). In the 19th century, an exception was made for spouses and brides and grooms, today it is traditionally permissible for the lady with whom the gentleman came to the ball as her companion. However, to dance the entire ball with one partner is to show disrespect to the other guests of the ball.

Despite the fact that it has long been considered shameful to invite a completely unfamiliar lady to a dance, very often we observe situations at balls when gentlemen invite dance after dance ladies only from a small circle of their acquaintances. This is only appropriate if the familiar ladies do not enjoy the attention of gentlemen for one reason or another.

If the ladies with whom you have come are successful, it would be great if you would pay attention to the ladies remaining around the perimeter of the hall. To maintain the atmosphere and give more historicism to this act of generosity, you can show a little ingenuity and find someone who can introduce you to the chosen lady. A little hint: the hosts of the ball have the right to do this, even if they see both you and the lady for the first time in their lives. To do this, you just need to introduce yourself to them, perhaps in the form of “Let me pay my respects to you. I am so-and-so,” and ask them to grant you this courtesy. The rest is in your hands.

However, if we are not talking about a big ball, but about a dance evening or a stylization of a provincial ball, then a dance with an unfamiliar lady will be completely within the framework of the historical decorum of the 19th century. In a situation where the guests are potentially well acquainted, the etiquette of the 19th century did not require a special introduction, and the ladies could dance with any gentlemen.

At the same time, modern etiquette quite allows you to invite an unfamiliar lady. To get acquainted with her before, after or during the dance or not to get acquainted at all - it's up to you.

Sclerosis brings not only good news

In any case, if you invited a lady to a dance in advance, it would be blatant rudeness to forget about it, especially to invite another to the same dance. If you are not sure about your own memory, write it down. Yes, right on the program, if the ball does not provide for comfortable ballroom carnets. I suggest - pens and pencils can almost always be found in the salon, where they play cards and so on.

It is also better for ladies to write down, although from the point of view of historical indulgence, it is still easier to forgive them for such absent-mindedness. Although gentlemen, by the way, are still offended and remember such forgetful ladies very well.

End of the dance At the end of the dance, the gentleman should ask the lady where she will allow him to take her, bring her to the specified place, bow, thank for the honor rendered, and only then leave. The lady left in the middle of the ballroom is the shame of the gentleman. It is also worth showing human attention and ingenuity. For example, after a lively or difficult dance, a lady would probably like to refresh herself with a drink. In this case, the gentleman may offer to take her to the buffet.

Ladies, if a gentleman suddenly asks where to take you, don't get lost. If you don't care, say, for example, "Back to my friends, please," or suggest any direction, fanning it and remembering to thank.

If a conversation, even such a short one, seems too difficult for you, you can take the lady back to where you got her from =) But you still have to bow and thank you, so practice and fight shyness.



Why should I teach my belly dance, or be an Eastern beauty easy! | Beauty and health

Believe me, it is bellydance - an improved harem dance, slightly Americanized, almost European, but not losing the zest of the East - what you need.

Many come to oriental dance courses for company or just to take time. A rounded feminine belly, firmness of the chest, a smooth gait with alluring swaying hips, the grace of a goddess and the confident (!) look of a seductress - these are the few that they acquire. It is worth noting right away that you will not be able to lose a lot of weight, get rid of cellulite with the help of dance alone, but you will learn to love your body, admire it and teach others to do it. Isn't that the main thing?

How to get started?
Simply find an oriental dance studio in your city, come and join a group of beginners. This is the first step, let it be the hardest. If in doubt, bring a friend with you! Together, learning is more interesting.

What if there are no oriental dance courses in your small town?
No problem - study at home. You can search for simple belly dance video tutorials on layouts and download clips from the Internet of world-famous Dina, Rakia Hassan, Nur and such famous Russian dancers as Natalya Fadda (Strelchenko), Maria Shashkova, Irina Popova etc. On the World Wide Web, you can find entire master classes where every oriental “pa” is literally chewed.
Music can be easily found in any music stores. Fortunately, the fashion for the east is in full swing. You also need a mirror - preferably in full growth, and understanding of relatives.

What is hard to do without?
As for me, the main attribute in the classroom (except for the competent instructions of an experienced teacher, of course, and perseverance if you study on your own) is a Turkish or Egyptian loincloth with monists. I advise Turkish, Egyptian coins crumble very quickly. It will help you beat the rhythm with your hips, monitor the clarity and correctness of movements, and simply delight your ears with its sonorous strumming. Be sure to need pants with a low waist and a short top. Shawl, veil, veil - optional. Hands, stomach should be bare, loose hair is approved.

When I started dancing, I noticed that I became partial to golden bracelets, too beautiful (for everyday wear) jewelry. They will also come in handy for us - we are Oriental women! Feel free to wear them to class.

When your progress is visible (how soon this happens is up to you), you will need at least one performance suit. You can buy it or sew it yourself: a chiffon skirt, light bloomers, sheathe the bodice with brocade. If you don’t want to spend money on a suit, an ordinary scarf with a fringe, coquettishly tied around the hips over trousers, or a belt with coins will add “orientalism”.

When and how often should I exercise?
Depends only on your desire. You can dance every day, or several times a week. By the way, you should not dance immediately after a hearty lunch, it is better to wait 2 hours. The main thing is that you need to start dancing in a good mood, with a smile on your face. Playing with your face and dancing not only with your hips, chest, but also with your hands is an important component of bellydance.

What to do if there is absolutely no time?
I would venture to object that you can always carve out an hour. Whether you are peeling potatoes, washing dishes, watching the news on TV. Don't be lazy, release the senses, do a shoulder shimmy, a slight belly wave, a reverse figure eight with the hips. Many of my friends, observing the changes in me, said: “You know, I have long wanted to dance like this too!” But the desire did not go further, laziness destroyed all plans. But you are a purposeful person, aren't you?

Where is belly dancing useful?
Dance at home for your family or loved one when the children are asleep.

Learn more