What is jazz dance?
Jazz dance is a common form of dance used in musical theatre and the commercial and entertainment industries. It has its roots in social dance and is heavily influenced by African-American traditions. Jazz dance technique is based on elements of ballet and modern dance and incorporates syncopation and isolations of the body.
If you’d like to read more about the history of jazz dance, click here.
Students of all levels work on gaining strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, musicality, and performance skills. Classes include a warm-up, technique exercises, across-the-floor exercises, choreography, and stretches. Various styles are covered throughout the term: Broadway, funky, lyrical, contemporary, thrash, and everything in between. Above all, Cadance classes allow students to work on their jazz dance technique in a fun, no-pressure atmosphere!
Jazz shoes are recommended, but not required – socks or bare feet can also work. Wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in – nothing too baggy.
Wanting to practice some of the technique exercises and combinations from across-the-floor? Check out the tutorials playlist on our YouTube page!
Introduce basic jazz movement vocabulary, dance terminology, and exploration of different styles of jazz dance technique. Focus on musicality, body placement, and isolations. The beginning student will learn fundamentals of chaîné turns, pirouettes, basic ballet barre exercises, and other loco-motor movements, such as ball change, jazz square, chassé, and cross ball change.
Expand jazz movement vocabulary and dance terminology, continuing to explore the different styles of jazz dance technique. Build performance skills, working on more complex choreography and across-the-floor combinations. The skills the intermediate dancer should have include single jazz pirouette, chaîné turns, jazz pas de bourrée, isolations, contractions, and flat back.
Continue working on different styles of the jazz technique, learning stylized combinations that focus on style and performance. The more experienced dancer should be able to execute split leaps (grand jetés), center split leaps, double and triple pirouettes, and other advanced tricks such as kicks, leaps, and turns.