Modern jazz dance classes provide a fun and exciting way for dancers of all ages to learn the fundamentals of jazz dance. Getting started can be intimidating if you’re new to the genre—from mastering the terminology to understanding the nuanced steps and movements. But don’t worry! This beginner’s guide to modern jazz classes will make it easy for anyone—regardless of their experience level—to hit the ground running.

Definition of Jazz

Jazz is a musical genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterised by its use of improvisation, syncopated rhythms, and a strong emphasis on swing. Jazz music has a rich history and has influenced various musical styles, including blues, rock and roll, and hip-hop. Jazz dance is a dance style inspired by jazz music and characterised by its energetic, rhythmic movements and improvisational style. Jazz dance has roots in African-American dance and has evolved over time to include a wide range of styles, including classic Broadway-style jazz, contemporary jazz, and street jazz. Jazz dance is known for its strong, sharp movements, high energy, sense of style, and personality.

Benefits of Jazz Classes

Jazz dancing is a fun and energetic activity that involves fancy footwork, unique moves, quick turns, and big leaps. However, jazz dance offers aspiring dancers benefits beyond enjoyment, such as physical fitness, artistic expression, and cross-training skills.

Improved Physical Fitness

Jazz dance is a high-energy dance that requires a lot of movement and can provide a great cardiovascular workout. It can also help to improve strength and flexibility, as many jazz dance moves require you to use and stretch your muscles.

Stress Relief

Dancing to upbeat jazz tunes challenges physical strength, flexibility, coordination,  and agility. Because muscle memory is so important during practice and performances, you also need to be mentally strong. Thus, it can be a great way to release tension and reduce stress.

Increased Coordination and Body Awareness

Jazz dancing requires precise movements and coordination, which can help you to improve your overall body awareness and control. Jazz dance involves a lot of isolation movements, where different parts of the body are moved independently, which can help improve control and coordination. It can also help to improve body awareness in a more holistic sense. Jazz dance involves a strong connection between the mind and body, and the improvisational nature of the dance encourages dancers to be in the moment and pay attention to their bodies and the music. This can help improve body awareness, control, coordination, and balance.

Enhanced Creativity and Self-expression

Jazz dance is all about self-expression and personal style, so it can be a great way to enhance creativity and self-expression. Jazz dance classes often include improvisation, encouraging students to let go of their inhibitions and express themselves through movement. This leaves a lot of room for personal interpretation. This can help boost confidence and self-esteem and give a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.

Jazz in Modern Theatre

Originally from America, modern theatre is a rhythmic dance style that has gained popularity all over the world. It incorporates the style and technique of modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre under one umbrella. It unifies the aesthetic and technical tenets of such diverse dance forms as modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre. Modern theatre has recently been gaining more attention due to the various new musically-driven Broadway shows that have taken centre stage.  At its core, modern theatre is about innovation and experimentation with different musical styles and techniques. This could include incorporating jazz,hip hop beats into classic musical numbers or completely revamping an old favourite. By embracing originality, these shows are able to create singular experiences for their viewers that will stay with them long after they leave the theatre.

Choosing a Class

If you consider having your child take a jazz dance class in Singapore, we can help you prepare. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:

Preparing for Your First Lesson

Now that you’ve decided to take your first beginner jazz dance class, what’s next? Your first step is a great achievement! Here are a few things you need to know for your first visit to the studio.

Dress Comfortably

Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely, such as leggings and a tank top or t-shirt. Jazz shoes or sneakers with non-slip soles are also recommended.

Be on Time

Arriving before the start time of your dance class can help you improve significantly. You can be prepared with enough time to put away your belongings, warm up, and visit with others. 

Try New Things With an Open Mind

Jazz dance is about self-expression and personal style, so don’t be afraid to experiment and let your unique flair shine through.

What to Expect During Your Lessons

In your first jazz dance lesson, you can expect to learn the basic techniques and terminology of jazz dance. This may include learning to do jazz walks, runs, and basic jazz turns and leaps. You may also learn some basic jazz combinations and across-the-floor progressions. Your instructor may teach you fundamental jazz-style elements, such as isolations and contraction/release.

It’s important to remember that every dance instructor has their own teaching style, so the specific content of your jazz dance class may vary. It’s also important to remember that dance is a physical activity, so be prepared to move and sweat! Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows for a full range of movement, and bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Most importantly, come to class with an open mind and a willingness to learn and have fun.

Enjoy the Journey

Modern theatre and jazz classes offer a unique experience for children that can help shape their creative and social skills. These classes provide a special outlet for children to build self-confidence, practice teamwork, and have fun.With dedication and practice, challenging moves such as turns, leaps, and kicks become second nature. Start your dance courses at Elevate Dance Academie; Our Modern Theatre and Jazz courses focus on two main dance genres, Modern and Jazz, while also incorporating Lyrical, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre.