What is Lyrical Dance?

By Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)

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?

Lyrical is a quality of dance. It is expressive and fluid. Poses showing off dancers’ flexibility and strength are held as long as possible, jumps are high and explosive and turns are fluid and melt into the next.

Movement in lyrical dance is used to show intense emotions and music and lyric choice helps to determine the emotional tone and choice of the choreography of lyrical dance.

Lyrical dance is generally an addition to the ballet or jazz dancers’ arsenal. Technique and amalgamation of both disciplines need to be mastered so that the dancer can concentrate on emotionally performing the steps rather than on their execution.

It is also important to understand that there IS a difference between Lyrical and Contemporary dance, especially for those entering competitions. Lyrical dance is fluid and dynamic, it should follow and match the tone of the song and lyrics being danced to and is emotionally expressive. Whereas contemporary dance distorts ballet technique, is generally avant-garde, and is dancer-centric, with a focus on the choreography or a theme, idea, or concept. Similar dance steps may be used in both styles but it is the way in which they are sequenced, performed, and matched with sound and music that can make them different.

This page is just one of hundreds of definitions of the many styles and genres of dance. This library is being continually added to by the writers and contributors of Dance Parent 101!

About the Author

Samantha Bellerose

Samantha is a wife and mother of four kids aged 3-11. She danced and acted from the age of 5 and performed in film clips, on television, and in musical theatre professionally. She also taught dance, but after leaving the profession to backpack through Europe, Canada and the USA with her husband for three years, she then completed an Education Degree and taught within primary schools in Australia. Today she is a business owner with her husband and the creator and writer for Dance Parent 101 where she hopes her previous experience as a dancer, current experience as a dance parent and the research and writing skills she gained completing her education degree will help enlighten parents on their journey with their child through the world of dance.