It is possible for your mini dancer to graduate from jazz dance classes in Ontario to the big stage on Broadway! Whether he/she has received professional training in other dance genres or just in jazz, the teachings of this type of dance can help spring their Broadway ambitions to life!
When studying this impressive dance genre, it’s important to understand where Broadway jazz originated and the story of Broadway jazz.
Broadway jazz, in particular theatre jazz, provides storytelling through dance techniques that were first introduced on stage in the 1920s. Blending the movements and fluidity of ballet, modern, and jazz, Jack Cole created Broadway jazz in his choreography as a way to enhance the story of the play by capturing the audience’s attention through dance.
Jazz Dance Essentials for Broadway Performers
With jazz dance classes for kids in Toronto, the fundamental movements and steps of the dance are incorporated with the four key elements of jazz: blues, syncopation, swing, and creative freedom.
Flexibility enables the dancer to perform stretching activities to help lengthen the lower back and leg muscles which are vital to professional dancers. The classes also teach strength, balance, and coordination to improve and promote fluid dance movements with stamina and grace.
These key elements are important in Broadway productions wherein the focus is not on technique as much as storytelling through movement. Jazz is used in theatre plays and musicals to showcase sociocultural aspects. The dance itself originated from West Africa and has taken on influences of European nations.
Versatility Through Jazz Dance
One of the highlights of jazz classes in Toronto is the students’ ability to become more versatile in their dancing skills. As jazz incorporates movements from ballet, modern, and musical theatre, as well as street dance, it allows students to study other dance genres and audition for various Broadway shows.
The different steps and actions within jazz dance also allow dancers to freely express their emotion through various styles of movements. It is essential for any Broadway dancer to have the ability to use blended styles to effectively give the performance demanded of a show.
Expressing Through Movement
This expression of emotion is an important aspect of jazz dance and Broadway musicals. Being able to manipulate the body to tell a story is a beautiful skill that requires practice, patience, and time. Jazz dance is often described as a way to depict the history, socialization, and culture of a people and/or an event.
Expression through movement is the backbone of Broadway musicals as a way to emotionally connect with the audience. Dancers must use written choreography to maintain a synchronized communication with the music in order to convey the narrative of the story.
Building Stamina and Endurance
Building stamina and endurance to perform on Broadway begins with learning and mastering various jazz steps. This highly energetic genre of dance demands constant movement with the dancer’s arms, legs, and core.
A Broadway show can run eight weeks on average for a dancer. Knowing the fundamentals of jazz can provide dancers with the energy, endurance, and stamina they need night after night during a show run.
Developing Stage Presence
Stage presence comes easy for some performers but for many, it takes dedication and practice in developing star stage presence. The intricate teachings of jazz can help a dancer transform from a wall flower to commanding the attention of the audience while on stage without saying a word.
For Broadway, stage presence demands a dancer to be comfortable on stage and to engage the audience through their dance movements and facial expressions. This involves a dancer being aware and in charge of their personal space on stage with no inhibition.
Jazz Dance for Role Preparation
To receive a dance call for a Broadway show, a dancer needs to have strength, performance ability, and technique within their audition. Jazz dance class can help a dancer gain perspective on these stage factors while improving their skill.
Consider two popular Broadway shows, Chicago and La La Land. Both incorporate jazz movements with music that tells a particular story. Being able to combine narrative expression with energetic style of dance has escalated the popularity of these shows.
Practical Tips for Using Jazz Dance in Your Career
Regardless of your child’s current dance skill level, any dancer can aspire to be on Broadway by following a few professional tips.
To begin, sign your child up for jazz classes at a reputable dance school that has had success in the dance world outside of the studio. Ensure your child can listen, watch, and accept constructive criticism from a professional dancer to improve their skills and knowledge about the dance world.
Jazz is a creative way to express one’s emotions. Use lessons taught to experiment with various movements and steps that will also enhance your child’s endurance, stamina, and flexibility. Use their spare time to practice and consider joining offseason dance classes/performances to gain experience.
Performing Dance Arts Offers Jazz Dance Classes for Various Levels
Wondering where to start on your journey to Broadway? Speak to the world-class dance instructors at Performing Dance Arts. Each member of our team has had experience on and off stage working and teaching in a variety of dance genres.
Our jazz classes in Etobicoke, Vaughan, and North York are conducted by professional dancers for all levels, from beginner through to advanced. We invite students and parents to visit our studios for a free dance class to see if our classes are “ALL THAT JAZZ”. Contact us to register your child today!