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​© 2015 by The Dance Alliance. 

Dance Styles

Ballet
Jazz

Ballet is a classical dance form demanding grace and precision and employing formalized steps and gestures set in intricate, flowing patterns to create expression through movement.

 

Classical ballet is based on traditional ballet technique and vocabulary. There are different styles of classical ballet that are related to their areas of origin, such as French ballet, Italian ballet and Russian ballet. Several of the classical ballet styles are associated with specific training methods, which are typically named after their creators. For example, the Cecchetti method is named after its creator, Italian dancer Enrico Cecchetti.

 

Contemporary ballet is a form of dance that combines elements of both classical ballet and modern dance. It employs the fundamental technique and body control (using abdominal strength) principles of classical ballet but permits a greater range of movement than classical ballet and may not adhere to the strict body lines or turnout that permeate classical ballet technique. 

Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. Before the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. In the 1950s, a new genre of jazz dance — modern jazz dance — emerged, with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Every individual style of jazz dance has roots traceable to one of these two distinct origins. Jazz was a big hit in the early 50's and it is still a well loved style of dance all over the world.

 

Throughout its history, jazz dance has developed in parallel to popular music. This pattern of development has resulted in a few elements of movement key to the dance style, the most important being that jazz is they physical embodiment of the popular music of a given time.

Tap

Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using the sound of one's tap shoes hitting the floor (or other surfaces) as a percussive instrument. As such, it is also commonly considered to be a form of music. Two major variations on tap dance exist: rhythm (Jazz) tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap focuses more on the dance. It is widely performed as a part of musical theater.

 

Rhythm tap focuses more on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the Jazz tradition

Hip Hop

Hip-hop dance refers to street dance styles primarily performed to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. 

Lyrical
Musical Theatre

Lyrical dance is a style of dance created from the fusion of ballet with jazz and contemporary dance techniques.  Lyrical is generally smoother and a bit faster than ballet, but not quite as fast as jazz.

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. 

Acro
Contemporary

Acro is a style of dance that combines dance technique with acrobatic elements. It is a popular dance style in amateur 

competitive dance as well as in professional dance theater and productions such as those performed by Cirque du Soleil.

 

Contemporary dance has become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world.  It incorporates elements from many styles of dance including ballet, modern, and jazz. Contemporary dance combines the strong and controlled legwork of ballet with modern's use of the torso, floor work, fall and recovery, as well as changes in rhythm, speed, and direction.