Dance Genre Descriptions
Ballet is a genre
that typically uses classical music to allow dancers to move gracefully and
gently. Most classes begin with a “barre” warm up where the dancers practice a
set of technique exercises. Ballet has lots of interesting dance vocabulary and
is seen as the foundation for many other dance genres.
Tap uses special
shoes with metal on the bottom to create sounds with. Dancers use these shoes
to make rhythms that match the songs they are performing to.
Modern focuses on
sparking creativity in dancers. Students are able to explore moving at
different levels and tempos and coming up with their own movements through
“Improvisation.” It typically uses alternative music that is a bit slower than
Jazz uses upbeat pop
songs that are fun and exciting. Like ballet, jazz has a set vocabulary that
dancers learn over time. Throughout class, dancers work on flexibility and
precise movement while bringing their own personality to the choreography. Dancers
wear special shoes that help them turn.
The Hip Hop dance
genre uses faster hip hop, rap, or pop music. The moves are typically very
sharp and sassy. Many popular dances you see in music videos could be
considered hip hop. Dancers wear clean sneakers for this genre.
This dance genre is a
mix of ballet and modern. It still uses the technique exercises that dancers
practice during “barre,” but these exercises are typically done in the center
of the room to build core strength. Contemporary does a hybrid of modern and
ballet activities throughout the class.
Musical theater style
dancing uses fun music you might hear in Broadway shows or other musicals.
Dancers have to use both acting and dancing while performing through the use of
facial expressions and sharp, clear movements.
After dancers have
taken many years of ballet and demonstrated a certain strength in their feet,
they might be given the opportunity to take pointe. Pointe uses special shoes
that are hard at the tip so that dancers can balance on the tops of their
shoes. It is a more challenging form of ballet.