Katherine Dunham is considered the grandmother of jazz dance technique. She was the inspiration for modern jazz dance legends Jack Cole, Matt Mattox, Gus Giordano, and Bob Fosse. Our jazz dance faculty integrates Bruce Stegmann’s jazz technique, who developed his own technique from the technique of the aforementioned jazz teachers.
Today you can find jazz dance in many different forms and venues. It is an essential element of musical theater choreography, you can see it in music videos, and on TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance. Ballet technique is the foundation for all dance movements. Leaps and turns and the strong and sharp movements with the correct posture are the focus of jazz dance. A good background in ballet technique is helpful for the recreational dancer. One of the differences between ballet and jazz dance is the emphasis to the beat. Ballet gives the emphasis to the upbeat of music, whereas jazz emphasizes the downbeat. Jazz dance, like any other dance form, requires moderate stretching in order to warm up the muscles and help prevent injuries.