This regal art form originated in the Italian Renaissance Court and further developed in France and Russia. It is a highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. Notable elements include Pointe work, turnout of the legs, high extensions and graceful, flowing – yet precise – movements with ethereal qualities. Choreography is often set to orchestral/classical music.
The act of standing on the tips of the toes while performing Ballet steps and movements. Dancing en Pointe is achieved using hard-toed and stiff-shanked Pointe shoes. This dance style requires strength and skill and is a central part of the advanced female Ballet dancer’s training and repertoire. Young girls usually begin their Pointe training around the age of twelve and are not considered ready for Pointe work without several years of Ballet training. Dancing en Pointe requires one to use the entire body for support, including the legs, back and abdominal muscles.
This style of dance is often influenced by other dance styles such as Acrobatics, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical and Hip Hop. In turn, many other dance styles have been and are influenced by Jazz dance. As a result, many movements that are common to Jazz dance can also be found in other dance styles. An important factor of Jazz is expression. Good Jazz routines express the music through dramatic and grandiose body movements. Isolations, upbeat music and highly energized choreography characterize Jazz.
This dance style’s name comes from the tapping sound made when the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch a hard surface. This lively rhythmic tapping makes the performer not just a dancer, but also a percussive musician. Tap is a style of American theatrical dance using precise rhythmic patterns of foot movement and audible foot tapping. What is now called Jazz dance actually evolved from Tap dance, so these two dance styles have quite a bit in common.
Ballet and Jazz dance styles fuse together to interpret the emotion of the music in Lyrical dance. This dance style’s goal is to tell a story or convey a feeling. Songs lyrics are the driving force and key inspiration behind Lyrical choreography. It possesses a poetic, expressive quality that externalizes deep personal emotions through movement and theatricality.
This is a street dance style that evolved as a part of Hip Hop culture. It is primarily danced to Hip Hop music, but it is not limited to only that genre. Hip Hop can include a wide array of styles such as Breaking, Popping, Locking, Krumping and House dance. Confidence and swagger are key characteristics.
CONTEMPORARY / MODERN
Contemporary and Modern dance styles experiment with movement and emotion to push the boundaries of dance. These styles seek to discover new ways to use music and sound in relation to movement. They are often associated with Contemporary Ballet and pull much of their technique from Ballet dance.