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  • Writer's pictureSharon's Dance & Music

The History of Jazz Dance

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Jazz dance is a genre of dance that originated in the African American communities of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz dance is characterized by its syncopated rhythms, improvisational style, and use of isolations and syncopated movements.


Jazz dance began to emerge in the early 20th century, as jazz music became increasingly popular. At the time, jazz music was played in bars, clubs, and dance halls, and dancers began incorporating elements of the music into their dance routines. The Charleston, a popular dance from the 1920s, is one of the earliest forms of jazz dance.


In the 1930s and 1940s, jazz dance began to evolve as it was incorporated into Hollywood films and Broadway productions. Choreographers like Jack Cole and Bob Fosse became known for their innovative use of jazz dance in their work. Jazz dance continued to evolve in the 1950s and 1960s, as dancers began to incorporate elements of modern dance and ballet into their routines.


Today, jazz dance remains a popular form of dance, with many dancers incorporating elements of hip hop and contemporary dance into their routines. Jazz dance classes are offered at dance studios and schools around the world, and jazz dance competitions are held annually in many countries.


Overall, jazz dance has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the history of jazz music and African American culture. Jazz dance has evolved over the years, but it's improvisational style, syncopated rhythms, and use of isolations and syncopated movements continue to define the genre today.


At Sharon’s Studio of Dance & Music, we proudly offer jazz dance classes for children of all ages. View our dance class schedule and register online today or contact the office to schedule a free trial class.

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