Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

Expert advice and interesting facts

Interesting facts about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

  • Jazz dancing originated in America in the early 1900’s as African and European dancing styles fused.
  • Eight times Tony Award winning American choreographer Bob Fosse choreographed his first Jazz Dance in a nightclub when he was just 15 years old!
  • One of the most famous Jazz dancers, Lester Horton, adapted his style to be like the Native American dancing he’d seen in the Wild West.
  • In the early 1900s a jazz or tap dancer was traditionally part of a jazz band, and these dance trends soon spread to the audience and the public. The result was dances like the Charleston, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, and Swing.
  • The’ father of jazz dance’ was Jack Cole who helped to shape the style of modern jazz dance and was famous for his work with Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe.
  • Today’s jazz styles range from slinky Broadway-inspired movements, to a more balletic style, and may even include some street dance techniques. Basic jazz technique is still based on the mastery of turns, leaps, kicks, and fluid style, but every jazz class and jazz teacher is unique.

How to pick a jazz dance school for your child about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

Key questions to ask the dance school:

  • Do they follow a dance syllabus and enter children for exams?
  • How many other children are in the class? Is it mixed gender?
  • What is the studio space like? Can you go and have a look at it before you sign up?
  • Is there a strict dress code? Usually children are expected to wear specific leotards, tights, shoes, costumes etc. You must allow for this in your budgeting costs. Do you need to purchase these items before your child starts their jazz dance lessons or can he/she wear their own clothes initially in case they decide not to continue?

National associations & clubs about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

British Theatre Dance Association

Royal Academy of Dance

Qualifications & exams about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

There are many examination boards for dance. These are some examples.

The British Theatre Dance Association.

The BTDA is accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training and Ofqual.  They offer two types of exam; Graded exams and Medal tests. The main difference is that Graded exams are curriculum based and the student takes the exam alone (or in a small group) with an Examiner, while Medals are performance based exams taken in front of the examiner and an audience. Rose Awards (for younger children) are private like Graded exams and the candidates are accompanied by their teacher in the examination room. 

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

The ISTD is one of the world’s leading dance examinations boards and is accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training and Ofqual. The examination structure is designed to cater equally for those who wish to progress to making dance their profession (either as a performer or dance teacher) and for those pursuing dance purely as a leisure activity. Examinations and medals are available to take in numerous areas of dance including Modern Theatre Jazz. 

The International Dance Teachers’ Association.

The IDTA is one of the world’s largest examination boards, covering the full spectrum of dance examinations on a global scale, with over 7,000 members in 55 countries. 

Professional Teachers of Dancing.

The PDT is an examining board and teaching society and is accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training. Established in 1992, it is a not-for-profit society that covers a range of dance subjects both in the UK and abroad.

Learning from the activity about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Focus/concentration
  • Agility
  • Strength
  • Stamina
  • Posture
  • Flexibility
  • Precision
  • Gross motor skills
  • Rhythm
  • Physical fitness
  • Learn to follow instruction
  • A sense of discipline through learning new positions and steps

Dancing has a huge amount of health and fitness benefits. Jazz dancing builds up a lot of muscle, especially in the lower half of the body. It also develops poise, balance and grace with its quick, sharp and light movements. As Jazz dancing is often performed in a group the activity is a social and communicative one, building your child’s social and team skills. Live performances may also increase your child’s self-esteem, sense of achievement and confidence in public.

Famous people about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago. The original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances. It was choreographed by famous Jazz expert Bob Fosse and his style is strongly identified with the show.

The Academy Award-winning 2002 film version of the musical was directed by Rob Marshall and starred Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah. Chicago was a commercial success, grossing more than $306 million worldwide, and received universal acclaim. The opening song of the musical is ‘All That Jazz’, famously performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

YouTube about Children's Jazz Dance Lessons: Facts & Ideas

Jazz Dance: (Paramount Dance Studios) *Competition* - 6 young ladies (The Paramount Dancers) performing jazz in a dance competition.

Jessy Lipke 9 year old jazz solo: Flaunt It - Jessy Lipke (just 9 years old) performing her jazz solo ‘Flaunt It’. 

He's A Tramp-Lady And The Tramp (with lyrics) - Jazz number ‘He’s a tramp’ from the classic film ‘Lady and the Tramp’. Not much dancing but a fabulous tune!

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