Jazz is all about energy and the artful display of one’s physical prowess. It is said to be influenced by the popular American culture as well as African and Celtic dance forms. Jazz originated in 1800s and is a compilation of classical ballet moves blended well with tap and rhythm-and-dance of Afro-American styles. It is meant to entertain and amuse audience and dancers alike. The Jazz age was characterized by dance forms like Cakewalk, Charleston, Jitterbug, Black Bottom, Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop. This article entails several basic Jazz dance steps as well as tips regarding this dance form.
Jazz Dance Steps
To perform this move, you need to put your right foot forward, cross the other foot over, step back with the right foot and bring the left foot smoothly by its side. This can be done with either of the foot brought forward first. While doing this step, your torso should be swayed with attitude, exaggerating the total effect.
One of the prime skills you need to learn while performing Jazz dance is the ability to move your body parts individually. It is usually easy to do so while moving your hands and other extremities, but if you really wish to master the art of Jazz dance, you should be able to completely isolate your chest and hips as well and it should be done smoothly. This move forms an integral part of the warm up session of Jazz.
This move is influenced from the ballroom tradition of dance and is actually a chasing step. To perform it, you need to put one foot forward and the other should be brought behind it. Now the first foot is stepped off immediately and the entire movement feels like you are skipping.
This move is the one you usually see on posters and images, which convey the complete essence of Jazz. You must have noticed that the performer has one of the legs high up in the air, while the back is bent in an extreme position, the head is arched back as well and arms are extended. The performer must have both flexibility and a fine sense of balance while performing this step.
Jazz walk is really hard to describe and you would know about it only when you see it. Your personal attitude is reflected in this form. While performing this step, synchronization is the last thing to think of.
How To Learn Jazz
- Jazz is a highly energetic form of dance and you need to loosen up your body before you begin to learn it. Stretching and performing exercises which tone up your body is a great way to prepare you for Jazz. You should have a fluid body and your limbs should be flexible. So, the warm up exercises should be given due attention.
- Get hold of instructional dance videos either available on the internet or in the form of DVDs. These would help you master the basic Jazz steps. Steps like single rotation turns or split leaps come with a lot of practice and can be easily learnt by watching these videos.
- Observing professional Jazz dancers dance also helps a lot. Whether you want to pursue Jazz dance as part of your profession or just for fun, this would help you immensely for the starters. Even Broadway shows can be watched religiously to learn Jazz.
- Special workshops for Jazz dance are organized frequently in every city these days. Keep a check on the one happening in your city. Once you join, you’ll see how these workshops, meant both for beginners as well the advanced learners, can help you get acquainted with the professional lot of the Jazz dance world.
- If you’re too inclined in learning Jazz, why not get enrolled in the weekly classes held at your local college or community center? You would get one-to-one instructions and in no time you can master this art.