Jazz


Jazz

Jazz dance is an umbrella term that can refer to several related dance styles. All of them are connected via common roots, namely tap, ballet, jazz music, and African-American rhythms and dance.

Jazz dance originated from the African American vernacular dance of the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. An early popular “jazz dancer” was vaudeville star Joe Frisco in the 1910s. He danced in a loose-limbed style close to the ground while juggling his derby, hat and cigar.Until the middle of 1950s, the term “jazz dance” often referred to tap dance, because tap dancing (set to jazz music) was the main performance dance of the era. During the later jazz age, popular forms of jazz dance were the Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Charleston, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, Swing dancing and the related Lindy Hop.

After the 1950, pioneers such as Katherine Dunham took the essence of Caribbean traditional dance and made it into a performing art. With the growing domination of other forms of entertainment music, jazz dance evolved on Broadway into a new, smooth style taught today and known as Modern Jazz, while tap dance continued to evolve on its own. The performance style was popularized by Bob Fosse’s work, such as Chicago, Cabaret, Damn Yankees, and The Pajama Game.

Today, jazz dance is present in many different venues and different forms. Jazz dance thrives in dance schools and remains an essential part of musical theater choreography; it is sometimes interwoven with other dance styles as appropriate for the particular show. Jazz dancing can be seen in some music videos, and even a number of Las Vegas showgirls are jazz dancers. Jazz Dance can also be seen on the hit show, “So You Think You Can Dance”, and is performed by dance companies around the world.Join Now