Looking for the best jazz dance class in Toronto? Tandem Studios offers a variety of jazz dance classes focused on musicality, weight and direction change, as well as balance, strength, jumps and turns. Our jazz program relies on a variety of choreographic styles, ranging to include more traditional jazz to contemporary variations. Our students love learning combinations across the floor and in the center, as they develop their own flair of stylization and performance.
Brief History Of Jazz Dance
Earliest Origins of Jazz
Jazz dance is often credited as an American-born dance, but it has deep African roots. Jazz dance officially originated in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s as a mix of African and European dance traditions. African elements are rooted in rhythms and torso movement, while Europeans put more focus on musical harmonies, folk and social dances.
African elements of dance involve simultaneously moving different parts of the body to different beats, for instance your arm moves to one rhythm while your torso moves to another. The first American jazz dancer was known as Joe Frisco, although Jazz traditions date back much further than this documentation.
Plantation slaves formulated the original foundations of jazz dance while working on plantations, using dance as a form of emotional release during trying and oppressive times.
The 1940’s: The Jazz Revolution
Jazz originated on plantations, made its way to restaurants and nightclubs, and by the 1940’s became a popular form of dance taught in studios. The 1940’s are known as the jazz revolution; it was during this time period that jazz began to rival classical ballet. Originally restricted to vaudeville acts, jazz began to gain popularity in Broadway shows and musical comedies.
Popular jazz dancers at the time, such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, combined swift rhythmic jazz dance with graceful ballet moves.
The jazz we know today is a combination of American culture, European jigs, and the traditions of African slaves. Africa lends jazz its movement and rhythm, Europe adds a touch of elegance and America provided necessary exposure so that this form of dance continues to surpass the test of time.
Modern jazz is a mix of dance, music and theatrical story telling, creating the musical theatre we know and love today.
Just as the original famous jazz dancers, modern jazz often incorporates elements of other dance as well, such as ballet or Hip-Hop. In recent years, jazz has become more prominently used in popular music videos and films.
The Best Jazz Dance Class in Toronto
Tandem Studios provides state-of-the-art jazz dance classes for beginners up to pre-professional dancers. In order to keep things exciting, classes are designed to keep dancers constantly scaling up and learning new things. We provide a variety of chorographic styles, and as a result our dancers are fluent in traditional and contemporary jazz.
Competitive Jazz Dance
Jazz is an entertaining and popular form of competitive dance performed solo or in groups. If you are interested in competing, we know just how to get you prepared. In fact, our jazz dancers have won countless awards.
Recreational Jazz Dance
We also cater to dancers with no interest in becoming a professional or competitive dancer. Jazz offers a great way to develop balance, rhythm, endurance, strength and confidence. Competitive or not, we welcome you to our family of passionate dancers.
Come Get Jazzy With Us!
Jazz is a heart-racing, fun and challenging form of dance that students of varying ages and backgrounds thoroughly enjoy. Regardless of personal experience, dance background or future goals, we offer jazz classes catered to all. Contact us today to learn more about our jazz dance class.