Jazz Dance Techniques and Movements:
Basic Steps Every Beginner Should Know:
- Jazz Walks:
- A stylized walking step with a characteristic jazz flair, often involving a rolling motion through the feet.
- Side-to-side steps with a sliding motion, frequently used for quick and dynamic footwork.
- Pliés and Tendus:
- Borrowed from ballet, these foundational movements involve bending the knees (plié) and stretching the foot along the floor (tendu).
- Jazz Square:
- A four-step movement that creates a square pattern on the floor, involving a combination of steps and crosses.
- Pas de Bourrée:
- A quick and small stepping sequence, often used for intricate footwork and transitions.
Technical Skills from Broadway:
- Emphasis on performance quality, facial expressions, and engaging the audience. Broadway jazz often requires dancers to convey characters and tell a story through their movements.
- Sharp and Clean Execution:
- Precise and well-defined movements are crucial. Clean lines, controlled turns, and synchronization with fellow dancers contribute to the professional look associated with Broadway-style jazz.
- Incorporating jumps and leaps to add dynamic and visually impressive elements to choreography.
- Ability to adopt different characters and styles depending on the theme of the Broadway production. Dancers may need to convey a wide range of emotions and personas.
Influence of Ballet and Modern Dance:
- Ballet Influence:
- Turnout: Many jazz movements incorporate a turned-out position of the legs, a fundamental aspect of ballet technique.
- Elevated Jumps: Balletic jumps and leaps contribute to the dynamic and airborne quality of certain jazz movements.
- Arms and Port de Bras: Jazz often adopts graceful arm movements and port de bras influenced by classical ballet.
- Modern Dance Influence:
- Isolations: Modern dance’s emphasis on isolating different parts of the body has influenced jazz dance, contributing to its dynamic and expressive nature.
- Floor Work: Elements of modern dance floor work may be incorporated into jazz choreography for added versatility and creativity.
Choreography and Improvisation:
- Jazz dance choreography often involves a combination of stylized steps, turns, leaps, and dynamic movements set to music. Choreographers may draw from various jazz styles and techniques to create visually engaging routines.
- Jazz dance values improvisation, allowing dancers to express themselves spontaneously. Improvised sections in routines often showcase a dancer’s individual style, musicality, and ability to respond to the music in the moment.
- Structured Improvisation:
- Some jazz choreography includes structured improvisation, where dancers are given a framework or set of movements to improvise within. This allows for a balance between planned choreography and individual expression.
In summary, jazz dance techniques encompass a diverse range of movements and styles, incorporating elements from ballet, modern dance, and various jazz subgenres. Whether learning the basics or performing on Broadway, dancers in the jazz genre benefit from a combination of technical precision, expressive qualities, and the ability to adapt to different choreographic styles.
If you’re passionate about jazz dance, our website is a treasure trove of resources. Delve into our comprehensive Jazz Dance Workshops, where beginners and seasoned dancers alike can learn new techniques and refine their skills. These workshops are designed to cater to a variety of skill levels, ensuring everyone can participate and grow. For those looking for a more immersive experience, our Jazz Dance Intensives offer a deeper dive into the world of jazz dance. These intensives are perfect for dancers who want to challenge themselves and achieve new heights in their dance journey. Both programs are taught by experienced instructors who are dedicated to helping you excel to your fullest potential.