Even though it’s only existed in its present form for less than 80 years, the influence of jazz dance is evident all around the world, from dance studios to stages to films. Here is a brief primer on the art form from your Monroe dance school, Soaring Dance Theatre.

An American Story

Jazz dance as we know it today developed in the 1940s and 1950s in the urban centers of New Orleans. Existing both as a form of social dance performed and enjoyed by multiple participants and as burlesque-style stage performance, jazz dancing took place everywhere from parks to parlors to funerals to ballrooms to just about any other available venue.

Jazz Dance Influences

The origins of jazz dance can be traced back to African slaves who were brought to the American south. Observers noted their improvisational form of dance that unfolded like a conversation among the participants. Alongside the development of jazz music, the form of dance continued to evolve as Caribbean and Latin American influences were incorporated.

The Sky’s The Limit!

Today, modern jazz dance is one of the world’s most expansive styles of dance, growing and innovating along with popular music and incorporating new influences as choreographers continue to push the limits of what is considered jazz dance. With the jazz dance classes offered at Soaring Dance Theatre, we aim to provide our Monroe dance students with the historical context and traditions of jazz dance that will allow them to use the system to create expressive and memorable performances.

While other dance studios may only give jazz dance a causal treatment, we offer in-depth jazz dance classes for kids through adults to give students a complete understanding of the art form. If you’re interested in learning more about jazz dance, contact us today!