Jazz Dance Classes
Jazz has a long rich history. Both jazz music and jazz dance evolved together. Various styles of Jazz dance have evolved and become standards over the decades. These styles reflect the expression of performers, choreographers, and teachers as jazz relates to the music and social conditions of each period. Some established jazz styles are: classic jazz, musical comedy, lyrical, Latin, blues, rock, funk, modern, hip hop and other forms of street dance.
A jazz dance class focuses on proper body alignment, coordination and retention of movement, and trains students to be rhythmically articulate. In any given jazz class there are three objectives which are the focus of the class:
• Strength and Flexibility
• Locomotor movement combinations
• Specialized or Technical combinations
Strength and flexibility exercises are included in the jazz class warm-up. The focus of this section is on increasing flexibility while teaching proper body alignment and strengthening the muscles to prevent injury.
Locomotor movements are across the floor progressions. A series of locomotor movements makes up dance combinations. The repetition of any single movement or combination of movements, teaches the student continuity, the ability to move through space, and technical proficiency. The repetition of movement sequences is important for learned muscle memory.
Specialized technical skills are specific body positions or specialized movements that are used both in warm-ups and movement combinations. Jumps, kicks, leaps and turns are examples of specialized technical skills.
While covering the three main objectives of the jazz class, the students also have the opportunity to explore the many different styles of jazz. By the end of the year, the jazz class has covered the basics, and is able to incorporate the different styles of jazz in an annual dance performance.