Jazz dance at HPSD

At Hyde Park School of Dance, our jazz classes are accompanied by age-appropriate contemporary music and feature a low center of gravity, a high level of energy, and self-expressive movement.

Warm-up exercises develop the habit of correct placement, and strengthen each muscle group to improve balance. Across the floor work and choreography draw on diverse influences, mixing dance styles including modern, contemporary, street, and lyrical. 

Check out the jazz classes available this session!

What is Jazz dance?

Jazz dance originated in the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s, evolving alongside and in response to ragtime, and, naturally, jazz music. This early jazz dance could be seen in dance halls and on the vaudeville stage in young America's growing urban hubs.

By the time the swing movement was taking off in the twenties, jazz dance was an integral part of the American dance landscape. American musical theatre was also in an important phase of its evolution at this time, and the dance in new American productions tended to be of the style we now call jazz dance. 

This expressive form of dance was born organically from the social history of the people of America. It is an eclectic reflection of ethnic heritage, historical influences, and cultural evolution, and has, since its inception, been continually influenced by popular music and social dance trends. 

Jump into Jazz: The Basics and Beyond for Jazz Dance Students, Fifth Edition (Minda Goodman Kraines, Ester Pryor)


Uniform for Jazz

For Jazz class, dancers may choose to pair either a solid color tee shirt or a leotard with leggings or jazz pants. Appropriate footwear for jazz dance is the split-soled jazz shoe. Dancers who do not have short hair should wear their hair pulled back out of the face for class. 

Explore the other types of dance we offer!