A variety of jazz styles will be taught including Luigi, Matt Maddox, West Coast, Fosse and Giordano. Students will gain strength, flexibility and coordination through technical jazz exercises (based on ballet technique). Classes include warm-up exercises followed by movement across the floor and choreography. To excel in jazz dance, the dancer must master ballet technique.

Jazz is great for maintaining fitness!

Jazz dance is a form of dance commonly used in Broadway shows and movies, by the Rockettes in New York and on MTV. Jazz is a more contemporary kind of dance as compared to ballet. Some traditional musical jazz numbers are All That Jazz and Chicago.

The essential roots of jazz dance come from Afro-American culture from the late 1800’s up till the mid 1900. Pioneers took theJazz essence of Caribbean traditional dance and made it into a performing art.

In jazz dancing the movements are big and exaggerated and there is usually an attitude the dancer conveys to the audience.

**Students should perform all steps ACCURATELY before moving on to the next level. On average, students will remain in a level for 2-3 years. All Jazz students are evaluated by the Dance Creations faculty in the fall to determine correct class placements. Studying Ballet technique is essential to excel in Jazz and lack of Ballet classes may affect advancement.**

Criteria for Placement in Jazz Beginning-Advanced

Beginning 1 (ages 7-10)

  1. demi plie in 1st, 2nd & 6th positions
  2. grande plie in 2nd position
  3. tendu and degage from 1st and 6th positions
  4. chasse w/ alternating legs and arms
  5. jazz basics (lindy, jazz square, 3 step turn, grapevine, kick ball change, pivot turn, step clap on beat)
  6. simple isolations
  7. passé skips
  8. cross drag
  9. pirouette preparation
  10. flat back sauté in first position
  11. conditioning (stretching and crunches)

Beginning 2 (ages 8-10)

  1. chainee preparation
  2. port de bras with the jazz basic steps (High & Low “V”, “L”, diagonal and 2nd position arms)
  3. port de bras across the floor
  4. triplet across floor
  5. pas de bourrie (crossing under)
  6. CLEAN single pirouette (en de hors)
  7. small leaps with a chasse preparation
  8. accurate grande battement (front)
  9. passé sauté
  10. conditioning (stretching and crunches)

Beginning Teen/Adult Jazz (12+)

  1. complete syllabus from beginning 1 and beginning 2

Intermediate 1 (ages 9+)Jazz
All from beginning 2 plus:

  1. demi plie with diagonal, high and low “V” arms
  2. 1st position grande plie
  3. 3rd position demi plie, tendu and degage
  4. laterals & tilts
  5. port de bras with passé sauté and double tuck jump
  6. releve with forced arch & hinge (at barre & later in center)
  7. developpes (at barre)
  8. accurate grande battements to the side & back
  9. parallel assemble
  10. combinations / progressions across the floor
  11. pas de bourrie over
  12. pas de bourrie turn
  13. hitch kick front with accurate port de bras
  14. chainee turn (continuous)
  15. jazz walks
  16. break down of leaps (grande jete)
  17. pique preparations
  18. stag hop
  19. syncopation of steps
  20. conditioning (stretching, crunches and push-ups / upper body work)

Intermediate 2 (ages 12+)
All from intermediate 1 plus:

  1. demi plie with laterals, high release and contraction
  2. 5th position demi plie, grande plie, tendu & degage
  3. Adagio (focusing on developpes w/ laterals & high release)
  4. Pencil turn
  5. Compass turn
  6. Ronde de Jambe a terre and low en l’air w/ laterals
  7. Grande battements with laterals & high release
  8. CLEAN double pirouette (en de hors)
  9. CLEAN single pirouette (en de dans)
  10. Coupe turn
  11. Pitch turn preparation
  12. Pique turns
  13. Layout
  14. Floor work (rolls / falling to floor/ jazz splits)
  15. Good use of space (ability to travel)
  16. Turn & leap combos
  17. Side leap
  18. Side and Reverse hitch kicks

Advanced (ages 12+)
All from intermediate 2 plus:

  1. Balances on one leg
  2. More complex port de bras in plie
  3. Faster tendus & degages
  4. Grande ronde de jambe with tilts and layouts
  5. Complex floor work (shoulder rolls, hinge to floor etc.)
  6. Smooth floor transitions
  7. Double attitude jump
  8. CLEAN double pirouette en de dans
  9. CLEAN multiple pirouette (3+) en de hors
  10. Fouette turns
  11. Forced arch turns
  12. Combine turns
  13. Turns in 2nd position
  14. Turning leaps
  15. Dancing / turning in a circle
  16. Reverse leaps
  17. Side leaps