General Information

What is Jazz Dance?

Jazz dance is a shared classification by many types of dance genres, and can be broken down into two different periods. Jazz styles before the 1950’s originated from the jazz age of music and the dancing that resulted from the upbeat rhythms and fun atmosphere of the new jazz scene. It was not until after 1950’s that jazz developed to include a more theatrical form suited for the flourishing film and live theater entertainment industry. Modern jazz has roots from Caribbean dance cultures, but has expanded and changed over time. With the theatrical genre of jazz, movements and styles include but are not limited to jazz hands, Fosse style movement , kicks, turns, leaps, and fancy footwork.

Famous choreographers like Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Jack Cole, Michael Kidd, and Bob Fosse helped shape modern jazz over the years. Some modern elements of jazz dance include ballet-based movements that became popular through Jack Cole’s theatrical works. Modern or contemporary jazz has also begun to incorporate elements of hip-hop while still utilizing the original technique, musicality, and style of original jazz.