The Difference Between Ballet, Lyrical Dance and Jazz

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If you or your children are thinking about learning how to dance, you’ll soon find there are several choices of dance classes at your local dance studio. So, how do you choose a style?

Perhaps the first thing you should learn is what the different styles of dance are. The top three choices for dance lessons are ballet, lyrical and jazz. Many local dance studios may also offer tap, hip hop, pointe, a new favorite, Zumba. For now, let’s take a quick look at the top three, ballet, lyrical and jazz:

What is Ballet Dancing?

In the fifteenth century ballet dancing was developed as a type of performance dance. Over time, ballet took the form of a concert dance which included choreography and music for a production. Most people associate the ballet with such popular productions such as The Nutcracker.

Ballets are performed by trained dancers and often accompanied by professional orchestras or the music from famous composers, such as Tchaikovsky. Requiring years of training, ballet is taught throughout the world. Children as young as two years of age can begin ballet lessons at a local studio.

What is Lyrical Dancing?

Lyrical dance is very similar to ballet dancing in that it involves a lot of the technical aspects of ballet but it also add more freedom of expression through fluid movements. Lyrical dance is more of a type of jazz, contemporary and modern combined within the framework of ballet dancing.

What is Jazz Dance?

Jazz dancing is a fun and energetic dance style. Combining fancy footwork, quick turns and big leaps, jazz dancers quickly gain attention because not only of their fluid movements, but also the grace and balance in which these movements are performed.

Jazz dance was developed back in the early 1900s through the African-American vernacular dance as Africans were brought over on slave ships to America. Modern jazz, with roots in Caribbean style dancing, became popular in the 1950s. The syncopated rhythms of jazz make its music popular. Dancers wishing to be proficient in jazz need a low center of gravity and a high level of energy.

The best way to learn to dance is to seek out a qualified, local studio for dance lessons. These types of performing arts schools should be focused on high quality, personalized training that helps develop well-rounded, technically sound performers. Benefits to group dance lessons for children in addition to socialization skills include the building of self-confidence and self-esteem.