Different Styles of Jazz Dance

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Little Jazz Dancer

One of the most popular and long-lasting styles of dance in the performing industry is jazz. It arose when African ethnic dances and the dance techniques of the European nations were combined in the 1800s. Over the years, jazz has evolved into a global phenomenon, continuing to be one of the most creative and experimental forms of dance. Shows like So You Think You Can Dance bring the beauty, fun, and versatility of dance to light, showcasing all the different moves that are incorporated into the style. Here are some of the most common styles of jazz dance!


This particular style of dance is very significant compared to other forms of jazz dance. While all jazz goes back to the times of slavery, the Cakewalk stands out. It was a socially acceptable way for slaves to make fun of their masters. The dances were usually held at the owner or master’s house and took the form of a competition. The winning dancers would receive cake as their prize. The dancers would line up and high step in a straight line as if to mock the wealthy aristocrats and masters they served under.


Rising in popularity during the 1920s, the Charleston remains to be a popular dance today. It involves pivoting the feet in and out, while straightening and bending the knees. The dancer will shift their weight from foot to foot, and as each foot is underweighted, it kicks out at an oblique angle.

Broadway Jazz

This type of jazz is one of the most popular kinds for live audiences. The dances are often seen in Broadway musicals in New York theatres, and productions like Mamma Mia!, Cabaret, and Cats.


The Afro-Jazz style combines the modern form of dance with its original African ethnic roots. The dance focuses more on rhythm and improvisation, making it simpler but very cultural.


Also known as Pop-Jazz, this style evolved from modern jazz dance culture and has grown to include elements of vogue, street-dance, disco, and waacking.


Combined with elements of samba and salsa, Latino-Jazz is usually performed under Latin American rhythms.

Choose Performing Dance Arts to Teach Your Child Jazz Dance

If you’re looking for a fun way to help your child increase their self-esteem, improve physical ability, and develop their cognitive skills, jazz lessons are a great place to start. At Performing Dance Arts, we provide students with extraordinary instructors that are certified and trained to teach your child how to dance and the culture behind the dances they love. Our teachers will nurture your child’s social and emotional development and maturity, so they can do well in other areas of their life. Our studio inspires creativity and our instructors will motivate your child to dance with passion, creativity, and excitement.

Ready to enroll your child in our jazz classes in Toronto? Contact us today! We will provide you with all the information you need to know about our programs, and what your child will need to bring to their first class. Or, you can visit our Toronto dance studios to see our facility for yourself!

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