All That Jazz Dance

Jazz Dance:

  • An American art form full of life, energy, rhythm, and story telling infused by different cultures and styles.
  • Jazz is a great way to develop individual artistic expression in a fun high energy way.

What do you do in a Jazz Class?

In class you will begin with an upbeat, high-energy warm-up to get you body ready for the rest of class. Next will be across the floor combos including tilts, fans, turns, leaps, and sharp hitting movement to fun Christian music. Finally, the dancers will put these steps and movement into a combination that tells a story with the rhythm and lyrics of a song.

What are the benefits of taking Jazz?

Dancers need to be well rounded! Taking a variety of dance classes, like jazz, helps dancers to become versatile - able to adapt to all different styles of dance, including a wide variety of distinct body coordinations, accents and other nuances. Jazz also builds strength with the cardio and abdominal workouts infused in the warm-up. Jazz can also increase dancers' flexibility with the across the floor movements in leg extensions and jumps.   

What is fun about Jazz?

The rhythm and energy of Jazz is contagious! When you hear an upbeat song and you can’t help but do a little dance or tap your toes Jazz Class is perfect fit for you. Jazz dance is all around us in Broadway - think about “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars”.  At Ballet 5:8, jazz is similar, but we typically dance to Christian contemporary artists, creating praiseworthy movement that is uplifting and fun for our God.

Fun Facts About the History of Jazz

How it began

The roots of Jazz dance came from the African American vernacular dance: social and culture based dances used in everyday spaces for slaves as an emotional and physical outlet during the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. The steps and movement took on my different influences of European, African, and American culture with a big impact from the birth of American Jazz music.

Pioneers of Jazz

The father of Jazz dance is Jack Cole. He was the first dancer in the mid 1900’s to formalize a technique and style that became known as Jazz. His movement took on emotion, excitement, and theatric elements and influenced other artists to create their own technical style of Jazz, including Lester Horton and Katherine Dunham.

From there, the style continued to develop and evolve. Some of Modern Jazz legends whose techniques are still taught and admired in films and Broadway shows today include:

·      Matt Mattox- a protégé of Jack Cole developed a angular and sharp technique

·      Luigi-  a fluid and strong style

·      Chicago Native Bob Fosse- for his films and shows that still perform today

·      Joe Tremaine- after a performing career of his own started Tremaine Dance Convention