Jazz dance is a style of dance that originated in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. It was created by African American dancers who started mixing traditional African dance steps with European styles of movement.
Like jazz music, jazz dances are also centered heavily around improvisation. Dancers are given a fair amount of freedom to truly express the connection between the music and their bodies.
Because of its long history and reliance on improvisation multiple different styles and variations of jazz dance have appeared over the years. Some of the more popular styles are:
How difficult you’ll find jazz and how long it can take you to become good entirely depends on yourself and where you decide to learn! It is normally a good idea to find a teacher or a group you can dance with. Watching experienced dancers move will make it much easier for you to learn just by watching them. Furthermore, it's always useful to have someone looking at you so they can tell you if you’re making a mistake.
Jazz dancing itself varies from style to style. Some styles are more frantic with quick movements, jumping and high levels of energy while others are much more structured. Regardless, it's always a hard workout. You don’t have to be in top shape to start dancing, but you have to be prepared for a good training session. It’s a great way of toning the whole body.
Jazz dancing can help improve an individual's concentration, flexibility and stamina. Regardless if you’re a complete beginner or not, as long as you’re enthusiastic and having fun, learning will seem like a piece of cake!
Absolutely not! Although starting any type of activity at an earlier age will make learning easier, there is no right time. Regardless, if your parents signed you up for lessons when you were 3 you decided that you want to try out a new hobby in your 40’s, you can always learn!
The most important part about jazz dance is to find a good environment to practice at. Look for a good teacher, a studio where you have friends who also go, or just a friendly group to practice with! Learning jazz will take time and effort, but if you’re surrounded by a good group of people and you’re having fun, the time will fly by.