Dance Class Defined: What to Expect in a Jazz Dance Class

Dance Class Defined: What to Expect in a Jazz Dance Class

If you’re looking for a fun dance class for your child that is upbeat, high energy, and challenging, you may wish to consider jazz! Take a look to find out more about this popular dance class style!

What is a Jazz Dance Class?

Jazz dance has an expansive history beginning with African dance, continuing through the American jazz era in the 1920s, and into its present day forms. An ever-changing art form, jazz dance can pull a variety of techniques such as modern, ballet, African, Latin, and Caribbean dance styles. The music played in class can vary widely, from pop to instrumental to R&B. Jazz dance encourages personal style, body awareness, and is fun!

What to Expect in Class

A typical jazz dance class will include a warm-up, stretches, progressions across the floor, and choreography. Proper technique and body placement will be emphasized, and a progression of skills should be taught and mastered before moving on to more complex movement patterns.

Jazz dance technique includes many ballet-based movements such as pliés (bending of the knees) and battements (large kicks), so experience in ballet is recommended. Isolations of the body, footwork, jumps, leaps, and turns will be emphasized, and musicality will be an important component in class.

What to Expect at Your Studio

At some studios jazz classes can begin as early as 5 or 6 years and can continue all the way into adult ages. Classes can run for 30 minutes for beginners to over an hour for advanced or pre-professional students.

Some studios may also offer dance styles that incorporate strong elements of traditional jazz dance techniques including musical theater, commercial jazz, lyrical dance, and/or pom dance, so ask your studio director if your child is interested in those styles. You’ll also want to see if your child’s jazz class performs in a recital or showcase at the end of the dance season.

What to Wear to Class

There are a variety of jazz shoes, sneakers, and foot coverings that your studio may require for their jazz classes, so check with your studio administrator. Typical jazz dance attire can include leotards, tights, and/or jazz pants or shorts for girls and a T-shirt and comfortable pants for boys. Long hair should be pulled off of the face and neck into a braid, ponytail, or bun. No jewelry should be worn in class.

Where To Take Class

Are you interested in finding a great jazz class for your child? Click here to begin your search!

Watch a Jazz Dance Class

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