Theatre jazz, or theatre dance, is a style of dance which includes traditional jazz dance technique with the addition of storytelling through acting. Jazz dance by itself sometimes includes elements of storytelling, but in theatre jazz, it is required.
Street jazz is a lively, eclectic and unique form of jazz dance that focuses on movement that evolved outside of a studio setting; “in the streets”, if you will. Drawing from an individual form of expression, street jazz includes elements of house, vogueing, wacking, locking, popping, and improvisation for a high energy class.
Lyrical Ballet or Lyrical Jazz? Are they different types of dance or the same? Ironically they are the same but different! Lyrical dance can be more ballet or more jazz. It can be more contemporary or even more hip hop. So if a style of dance can be both Ballet and Hip Hop what exactly is it?
Jazz fusion is a unique style of jazz dance that does just what its name implies – fuses together multiple styles of dance for a hybrid class all its own! Drawing inspiration from classic jazz, street jazz, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary, a jazz fusion class could truly be anything the instructor chooses, which is the beauty of this style.
Jazz Ballet or Jazz Dance as taught and examined at a dance school or competition today is basically another deviation of classical ballet, although it hasn’t always been this way originally developing from strong African American roots with references to early Caribbean dance.
Fosse Jazz was created in the 1940’s and 50’s by Bob Fosse as an offshoot of Broadway jazz. Fosse pulled inspiration from his background in vaudeville, the teachings of Broadway jazz founder Jack Cole, his work with Fred Astaire, and his own insecurities (he did not like his hands or his thinning hair and didn’t have good turnout), he developed a unique choreographic style and terminology.
Burlesque dance is a sensual, sometimes bawdy and comedic dance style reserved for adults. Historically, burlesque dance was a part of variety shows as early as the late 1800s that featured lewd comedy, suggestive dancing, pantomime, and later, the striptease. One famous example of early 20th century burlesque can be seen in the movie “Gypsy” starring Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee, a real burlesque dancer, whose gimmick was to strip down to nearly nothing but never reveal anything more than an arm or a leg.
Broadway jazz, or theater jazz originated in the 1920’s. It was the first time dance was an important part of a play’s plot, and viewers fell in love. It is a unique blend of ballet, modern, and jazz and is distinguished by its emphasis on exaggerated movements, high energy, and story-telling. It is almost always performed by a troupe of dancers, with few solos.
A heels class can be one of two things depending on the dancers it’s intended for. A heels class in the context of a children and teen’s dance studio will be a class that includes jazz, street jazz, theatre dance and/or commercial dance styles that utilize character heels.