What Are Jazz Dance Classes?

Thinking about enrolling your child in a jazz dance class? Learn about what they will need and more about jazz dance classes.

Are you looking for a fun learning activity for your child? Are they interested in dance but you want something other than ballet?

Jazz dance classes might be the perfect option for your family. This type of performance art is lively, rhythmic roots, and energetic movements. 

Take a look below to learn more about what jazz dance classes are, how they benefit your child, and how to prepare your kids for class.

What Are Jazz Dance Classes?

Jazz music has roots in West Africa, where traditional songs are played for special occasions. Drums are an important part of those songs, the reason that rhythm is important in jazz music today.

As African Americans in New Orleans developed jazz music in the early 1900s, they focused on blues and improvisation while they played. The energetic music led to the birth of swing dancing across the country. Music and dancing continued to evolve throughout the century.

Jazz dancing evolved from the swing era. Solo jazz techniques became their own style, separate from the popular partner dancing of the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Tap dance became a way to demonstrate the rhythms of jazz more fully, but jazz dance on its own is powerful, too.

Born out of moves like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, Boogie, and Spank the Baby, jazz steps celebrate the original rhythms. Now jazz students learn moves like the jazz square, ball change, and some techniques from ballet, like chassé and isolations.

Jazz music isn’t part of this style of dance any longer. Jazz dance classes at San Elijo mix jazz techniques with lyrical dance and perform them to popular energetic songs. The moves and dance phrases are taught using French terms that come from ballet.

While it seems confusing, the high-energy classic dance is fun and great for exercise and toning. Your kids will love moving to the beat as they learn modern-day jazz dance.

Benefits of Jazz Dance Classes

Your kids will build confidence as they attend jazz dance classes. They’ll learn to move their bodies and control movement, and as they grow they’ll find that this is something they can do! Mastering difficult moves and discovering that they improve with every practice helps them have the self-assurance they need in life.

Dance is great for overall health, too. Putting your kids in dance class encourages them to lead an active lifestyle.

Because childhood obesity affects over 13 million children in the US alone, starting early with healthy habits is important. Children should know that physical activity is an important part of their general wellbeing.

Jazz dance helps kids improve their athletic ability. If your boys or girls need to grow in coordination and flexibility, a dance class can be the way to go. Some college and professional football programs even ask their players to take dance lessons because it increases their athleticism on the field.

No matter the sport your child loves, jazz dance can help improve their skills when they play. From baseball to swimming, dance builds strength and body control, which kids use in any athletic pursuit.

Jazz Dance Classes for Kids

When your kids are just starting out with dance classes, they’ll learn great technique. It’s important that children set an excellent foundation so they can learn more advanced moves later. Without the proper technique, they won’t be able to achieve those difficult steps.

Jazz dance requires excellent flexibility and balance. When a child is first starting out, they’ll focus on building those characteristics. They’ll also learn how important it is to stretch and increase flexibility.

Dance is a performance art. An outgoing personality isn’t required to take jazz dance classes, but there is definitely a showy feel to the steps. Your child will learn how to portray energy and excitement on stage, even when they don’t feel excited.

When kids are on stage, they don’t always realize their movements look small. In jazz, movements have to be big and animated because, to the audience, they look smaller than they feel. Kids will practice lively and spirited moves and using their whole bodies to perform.

Jazz Dance Classes for Teenagers

Even as beginners, teenage jazz dancers are often more coordinated than younger kids just starting out. Because of this, the classes are a little different. While teenage jazz classes still emphasize how important technique is, they assume a certain amount of body control that older kids already have.

Whether your teen is a beginner or more advanced, they can still take jazz dance classes. Working with each person to learn steps, master technique, and shine in performance is important for any age or level.

How to Prepare for Jazz Dance Classes

If you’re ready to sign your child up for jazz dance classes, you’re probably wondering what they need to bring with them. You can prepare your child in several ways.

Help them understand what class will be like. Talk to them about their teachers and everything you’ve learned about their classes from the dance school. Make sure you allow them to ask any questions they have and to talk about their feelings if they’re nervous.

Let them help you pick out their dance equipment. Some kids may already have appropriate clothing at home, but if not, you can help them find comfortable, stretchy clothes to dance in.

Jazz classes require athletic clothing that isn’t too loose because it can get in the way of movements. Students can wear ballet clothes if they like, but it isn’t required.

Shoes are just as important as clothing. Check with your teacher about the shoes they recommend, especially if there is a specific store to buy from or a sizing tip. Whether ballet shoes or jazz sneakers are the choice, your child should get to help you choose the pair they like.

Fancy Feet

As your child starts off in the dance world, you’ll learn a lot. From the origins in rhythm and blues to modern techniques and popular music, jazz dance is full of fun and excitement.

Your child will love their jazz dance classes and the confidence they build as they learn the foundations and get their exercise. Help them prepare and encourage personal growth through dance.

Enroll your child in a jazz dance class at San Elijo today.