Jazz is one of the most historic forms of dance, and at Ascendance our Jazz classes stay true to history. Jazz has evolved as a free-form style that develops as the music increases and decreases in pace. With a strong focus on technique, jazz encompasses style and strength. In addition, students will learn a variety of movements to enhance their technical dance foundation, as well as develop their individual style.
At Ascendance Studio, we expose all our dancers to as many styles as possible while still promoting fun and well-being. We offer a various selection of jazz classes for all our beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. Each of our jazz classes incorporates a stretching component that focuses on developing the dancer’s flexibility, an across-the-floor portion that teaches them musicality and technique, and a choreography portion where students incorporate all the elements learned in class to a song.
To make each class even more exciting, our dance teachers utilize various props to help our dancers envision themselves on the big stage, prepped and ready to perform! Apart from jazz classes, Ascendance teaches classes in contemporary and lyrical for those older dancers who wish to experiment with movement and different styles. These combination classes aim to teach how to integrate emotion with technique on the dance floor. Our dancers dance to various rhythms, learn how to improvise, and become comfortable with to truly feeling the music so they are able to connect to it and express themselves through movement.
What is Jazz Dance?
To begin with, jazz dance encompasses all the technical elements of ballet, but incorporates more isolations, syncopation, ground work, and contractions than the ballet style. But, what exactly is jazz dance and where does it come from?
For starters, jazz dance is an American creation, taking its origin in New Orleans from both European and African roots. It became immensely popular after the beginning of the 20th century, especially in the African American population that dispersed the dance style to the north of the country. As time went on, dancers that were training in ballet and modern dance became interested in the dance style and brought it to the stage in various forms. Have you ever heard of Broadway jazz? This style is rooted from this movement! Two icons in the jazz world include Katherine Dunham who emphasized the African roots within the style and Bob Fosse, known for his artistry in bringing jazz dazz to the big screen. Their influence, along with the influence of many famous jazz icons is still observed in jazz dance across the world today
Why you should take jazz classes at Ascendance?
Jazz is a popular dance style among our students and we we are whole-heartedly confident that your child will fall in love with this style. The variety of music that our jazz classes utilize makes being in class fun and a different experience every single time students are in class! Our dance teachers love to mix genres of music from several eras to both educate and vary their classes. From Whitney Houston to Bruno Mars, we’ve got you covered! In addition to awesome tunes, our instructors work hard to break down jazz technique into the bare bones of the movements and steps so that your child is more likely to understand and in turn, able to execute the steps correctly. At Ascendance Studio, we emphasize technique at the core of our classes, as our goal is to train well-rounded and fundamentally strong dancers.
What else makes our classes unique? Apart from technique and stylistic components, our classes sometimes incorporate a wide selection of props that will aid in helping your child absorb what they learned in creative and entertaining ways. Come try a jazz dance at Ascendance Studio, where improvisation and individuality are both highly emphasized in our curriculum.
Benefits of Jazz/Contemporary/Lyrical
Learning how to dance is an achievement in and of itself, but being a diverse dancer is a gift that not many have the opportunity to have. The beauty behind jazz, lyrical, and contemporary is that it teaches you how to move to several types of music and use different rhythms, movement, and technique every time. These styles expose your child to something new, allowing them to build confidence in a completely different style. It teaches them the disciple, builds control, and enhances endurance. Jazz technique at Ascendance Studio will encourage dancers to become more aware of how their body works and make them more coordinated, strong, and well-rounded. Your child will gain the skills and confidence to express themselves through dance using proper technique and developing their own style, simultaneously! Ascendance Studio encourages you to step up to the challenge. Try our free jazz dance trial today!
What other styles come from ballet, besides jazz?
Equally important to jazz and also offered by Ascendance Studio, are other styles that stem from ballet, such as contemporary and modern dance. Contemporary dance originated in the 1950’s and is a fusion of ballet, modern, and jazz dance. The style focuses on non-standard movements to express sentiment. Furthermore, common elements emphasized in contemporary dance include floor work, and focus on the importance of using the breath when dancing.
When dancing contemporary, music is optional. The way that dancers use their bodies and accent their movements, tells a story and creates a visual rhythm all on its own. Contemporary dancers gain versatility in their ability to dance with or without music. Jazz, on the other hand, is more dependent on the music, utilizing the lyrics more and working alongside the music. Contemporary dance is a more experimental style and allows for more flow within the movement. Jazz, in contrast, is more structured and sharp. Leading masters of the contemporary industry today include Martha Graham, Mia Michaels, and Travis Wall.
Apart from contemporary and jazz dance, modern dance was popularized in the early 20th century. Modern dance offered something contrary to the stiffness and restraint that the ballet style offered. Through the years, the style became diversified as several cultures around the world contributed a piece of their heritage. Like lyrical, modern is heavily dependent on emotion and many times expresses the social and political climates of the time. The emphasis on sentiment is stronger in modern than in contemporary. Movement in contemporary dance is fluid and allows for more experimentation with technique. Masters Martha Graham and Lester Horton’s techniques greatly revolutionized the dance world to form modern dance.
Objectives of Jazz/Contemporary/Lyrical
- To increase flexibility, coordination, and endurance
- To learn proper technique and how to utilize it
- To teach musicality and dynamics of a new style of music
- To promote well-being and strength
- To foster long-lasting relationships in and outside of the classroom
- To educate students on the human anatomy and how to exercise control
- To allow for freedom of bodily expression
- To express and release energy in a healthy and fun way