Jazz is a fast paced style of dance loosely based on classical ballet. Jazz dance is generally done to popular "top forties" and pop music, and is especially popular with pre-teen and teen-age students. An overall emphasis is placed on flexibility and coordination with a major emphasis on technique and strength. Jazz students wishing to continue on to higher levels of study, or to become a member of our performing and competition teams must take ballet in addition to their jazz class.
We do not allow students younger than the age of six to take jazz classes. Developmentally, pre-school age children generally do not have the strength, coordination, or rhythmic expectations required for jazz dance. Pre-schoolers are encouraged to take Creative Movement to prepare them for any style of dance they wish to pursue once they reach school age.
Jazz classes are offered for 45 minutes or one hour, one time per week. No other time commitment is expected from jazz students until the recital in June at which time there will be a dress rehearsal and performance. Jazz students will be expected to buy appropriate dance attire for their weekly class (see list) and a recital costume in the spring.
Jazz students are required to wear a black leotard, black jazz pants, and black jazz shoes. It is also recommended they wear support tights (black preferred) under their jazz pants. While stretchy pants of any sort may seem like a good idea, most of the ones that can be picked up at department stores do not hold up to the rigorous stretching and movement required of dance, or are the wrong style to be considered safe for such activity. For these reasons, jazz students MUST have REAL jazz pants for class. For safety reasons, we will not allow students to participate if they arrive to class without proper attire.
Reasons for Attire Requirements:
Dance, like other fine and performing arts, is a varying combination of tradition and structure with individuality and creativity. The expressions of individuality and creativity should come from the dance itself, not from wild colors or funky hairstyles. (An orchestra dresses alike partly because it looks nice, but also because they dont want to distract the audience form feeling and seeing the music). Proper attire also promotes a sense of discipline among the students and places a special importance on the activity. Also, from a teachers point of view, it is much easier to see, and therefore correct or compliment, body positions, steps, expressions, etc. if the movements are more obvious than the clothing.
Reasons for Hair Requirements:
It is very difficult and frustrating to learn proper body positioning and control if you cannot see or have to keep brushing hair out of your eyes. All dance students are required to have their hair pulled back away from the face and up off the neck. For safety reasons, we will not allow students to participate if they arrive to class without their hair secured.