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What is Jazz Dance?

Jazz dance is a dance style that originated in the early 20th century in African-American communities. It draws its roots from African, Caribbean, and European dance traditions, tap dance, and other popular dance forms of its time. Jazz dance is known for its syncopated rhythms, improvisation, and expressive movements, often reflecting the music's melodies and themes.


Jazz dance is a vibrant and energetic form of artistic expression that has captivated audiences and dancers for decades. With its dynamic movements, syncopated rhythms, and rich history, jazz dance offers an exciting and diverse experience for beginners exploring the world of dance. Whether you're drawn to its rhythmic complexity or the freedom of self-expression. Take a look at a jazz dance from this past IMDP dance season. 


One of the most exciting aspects of jazz dance is the opportunity for self-expression. As you become more comfortable with the foundational techniques, don't be afraid to experiment and infuse your movements with your unique style. Jazz dance encourages individuality and creativity, so let your personality shine through your dance.


Jazz dance is closely intertwined with jazz music, and the relationship between the two is integral to the art form. As you progress in your dance journey, take the time to listen to different styles of jazz music and understand how the rhythms, melodies, and emotions can influence your movement choices.


Basic Techniques and Movements


Jazz dance often involves isolating different parts of your body to create sharp contrasts and visual interest. Practice isolating your head, shoulders, ribcage, hips, and feet to develop control and fluidity in your movements.

Jazz Square

The jazz square is a fundamental step that involves crossing one foot in front of the other, stepping to the side, crossing the back foot behind, and then stepping to the other side. It's a versatile move that can be incorporated into various choreographies.


Pirouettes are elegant spins performed on one leg. Start with a single turn and gradually work up to multiple turns as you build balance and technique. Focus on a spot in the room to help maintain your balance.


Leaps and Jumps

Jazz dance often includes dynamic leaps and jumps showcasing agility and energy. Popular jumps include the "jazz leap" and the "split leap." These movements require power and proper technique to execute safely.

Contractions and Extensions

Contractions involve curving your spine and bringing your torso in, while extensions involve stretching your limbs outward. These contrasting movements add depth and texture to your dance sequences.


Jazz dance is a captivating journey that invites dancers to explore the world of movement, music, and self-expression. With its rich history and diverse techniques, jazz dance offers an exciting opportunity to learn and grow as a dancer. Remember that the key to success lies in dedication, practice, and a willingness to let your creativity flourish on the dance floor. So put on your jazz shoes, embrace the rhythm, and let the magic of jazz dance sweep you off your feet!

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